For individuals over 40 who are considering refractive surgery to decrease dependence on glasses and contact lenses, clear lens extraction (CLE) is an option.
This procedure entails removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant. This procedure is essentially the same as cataract surgery with lens implant, however in this case the procedure is completed prior to cataract development for the refractive advantage. CLE may be an excellent alternative for people already wearing bifocals or for those who do not qualify for other refractive procedures such as LASIK or PRK. CLE avoids any treatment of the cornea, and instead changes the refractive power of the eye in a potentially more natural position. CLE is best suited for patients over 45 years of age who are already wearing bifocals. A multifocal IOL implant is also an option, allowing the patient to focus both near and far.