Frustrated By Reading Glasses? This Procedure May Be Your Solution
Age certainly isn’t kind to our eyesight … especially once we hit our 40s. That’s when many of us begin to have difficulty with our up-close vision—and head to the local drug store to pick out multiple pairs of reading glasses.
But keeping a pair of these glasses in the bedroom…and kitchen…and car…and desk…and purse…and on and on, isn’t really the best solution, is it? Dr. Gregory Parkhurst—a global Top 40 Under 40 Board Certified ophthalmologist with accolades too numerous to mention—doesn’t think so. In fact, he says a new generation of lens technologies are effectively and economically treating common “Where are my reading glasses?” vision problems, like presbyopia (“over-40 vision”) and cataracts.
“The good news is that both of these vision problems can now be treated effectively and efficiently with Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE),” he explains. These accommodating, multifocal, and extended depth-of-focus intraocular lens implants are designed to restore seamless all-distance vision to aging eyes.
Listen to Dr. Parkhurst speak about RLEs, and it’s obvious he is enthusiastic about the possibilities for patients. “My life’s work is to help people enjoy life without the barriers created by poor vision,” he asserts. “I love what I do, because experiencing life with better vision allows people to connect with one another and enjoy the world around us every waking minute of our lives.”
To help patients better understand RLE and the available lens options, we asked Dr. Parkhurst to share the expertise he’s learned through the thousands of RLE treatments he’s performed.
In the most basic sense, RLE is when the eye’s natural lens is replaced with a high-tech lens to correct vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia.
Dr. Parkhurst says people with the following vision changes might be good candidates for RLE:
Difficulty reading without reading glasses or bifocals
Difficulty seeing near objects
Difficulty seeing to drive, especially at night
Changing glasses prescriptions
Have been diagnosed with early cataract formation
“My life’s work is to help people enjoy life without the barriers created by poor vision,” he asserts. “I love what I do, because experiencing life with better vision allows people to connect with one another and enjoy the world around us every waking minute of our lives.”
And the benefits? They are extensive:
Improvement in both near and distance vision.
Since the natural lens has been replaced, cataract surgery won’t be needed in the future.
The high-tech lens is not expected to require any replacement or maintenance, providing long-term visual stability to the lens of the eye.
Patients with astigmatism even have an option for clear vision thanks to advanced RLE technology
What about lens choices? Dr. Parkhurst explains that multifocal and accommodative lenses allow patients to see distance and near. “Essentially, these lenses eliminate or at a minimum reduce a patient’s dependence on reading glasses or bifocals for most normal daily activities,” he asserts. “They can also be used in different combinations to increase the range of vision.”
As for the actual procedure, Dr. Parkhurst says RLE is an outpatient experience that usually takes less than 15 minutes to complete. “Numbing eye drops and a mild sedative are used to prepare the patient for the procedure, which is completely painless,” he explains. Patients, however, may experience pressure and what he describes as “a light show” during the procedure.
So, what should patients look for when searching for a surgeon to perform this procedure? “You will want to work with a surgeon who is experienced across many different types of vision correction technologies—someone who specializes in vision correction surgery.” Dr. Parkhurst is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has a thriving practice in San Antonio, Texas. “And be sure to ask for patient testimonials.”