Refractive lens exchange

What is a refractive error?
A refractive error is an abnormality of the shape of the eye, or the strength of the lens within the eye, which means that the eye is not in focus in the distance in the resting state as it would be in a person with normal vision.
Several conditions can be caused by a refractive error, including:

  • Hypermetropia (Long-sightedness)
  • Myopia (Short-sightedness)
  • Astigmatism (distortion of the front of the eye)

A refractive error is different to Presbyopia (glasses for reading vision). Presbyopia is a change in the natural lens inside the eye which prevents it from changing its shape and makes people in their 40s and 50s become increasingly dependent on glasses.

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive Lens Exchange is a treatment for people who are very short-sighted or very long-sighted. Refractive Lens Exchange involves removing the natural lens which you were born with and replacing it with an artificial lens which can correct your glasses prescription.

This can give you good distance vision but would require you to wear reading glasses. However, this technique can be combined with either multifocal lens technology or blended vision to give you reasonable independence from glasses.
Refractive Lens Exchange is also known as ‘clear lens extraction’, and when combined with a multifocal lens as ‘presbyopic lens exchange’.

If you wish to discuss any of these techniques with our surgeon please feel free to make an appointment.


Bournemouth Nuffield Hospital
67 Lansdowne Road

Tel: 01202 291816
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