Refractive Lens Exchange

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive Lens Exchange is a popular procedure chosen by refractive surgeons to correct the vision of patients over the age of forty who are interested in correcting distance and reading vision. It is also a great option for patients who are not good LASIK candidates due to prescription or thin corneas.

Older couple back of heads outside in the forest

One of the benefits of Refractive Lens Exchange is that it treats the natural vision dysfunctions caused by the natural aging process. When we are young the lens in our eye is flexible and clear. The lens is able to accommodate to see objects at a distance and then to zoom in to see objects up close. Usually, by the age of forty-five, the lens has become more rigid and we lose the ability to accommodate or zoom in up-close. This condition is called Presbyopia. This is the time when patients begin to use reading glasses, bifocals, and progressive lenses. This loss of flexibility in the lens continues as we age further and eventually the lens will become hardened and cloudy. This condition is known as a cataract. Cataracts usually appear in patients around the age of seventy. Patients who have undergone Refractive Lens Exchange to treat their distance and reading vision (Presbyopia), will not develop cataracts and therefore will not need to have cataract surgery in the future.


The Refractive Lens Exchange procedure is performed in a similar manner to performing cataract surgery. The main difference is that a cataract is not present. The procedure is performed at the Cataract & Laser Center located in West Springfield, Massachusetts. One eye is treated at a time. The eye will be numbed so you will not experience any pain. Dr. Balin will make a small incision to remove the natural crystalline lens and replace it with an advanced multifocal or accommodating lens. These advanced intraocular lenses behave much like our eyes when we are young allowing us to see distance and then to zoom up close.

Following the procedure, you will need a ride home and a ride to your one day post-op appointment. You will use drops in the treated eye and you will be given some activity restrictions as you heal. Most patients experience rapid improvement in vision.

As a respected and well known Refractive and Cataract surgeon, Dr. Balin has performed thousands of lens replacement procedures. She is considered an expert in the field of refractive surgery. Although millions of lens replacement procedures have been performed worldwide, like all surgery there is risk. It is important to be properly evaluated by a qualified surgeon to determine if this or any other refractive procedure is right for you.

At Balin Eye & Laser Center we offer pre-op exams where extensive testing is performed to determine whether a patient is a candidate for a vision corrective surgery. Dr. Balin personally meets with each patient to recommend his/her best options for vision correction. All procedures at Balin Eye & Laser Center are performed by Dr. Nancy Balin.

For more information or to schedule and examine:

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Or, call our office at 413-584-6666.

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