Clear Lens Exchange Charleston SC | Dr. Waring (2023)

  • Eye Doctor
  • Treatment
  • Clear Lens Exchange

If you have presbyopia, the inevitable loss of reading vision in your mid forties, or farsightedness (hyperopia), you may know that LASIK or other forms of laser vision correction are not ideal treatments for age-related farsightedness. It’s frustrating when you are limited by glasses or contacts but cannot have laser eye correction to correct your eyesight. Thankfully, clear lens exchange, or lens replacement surgery, is an innovation in laser eye surgery that allows for the replacement of the dysfunctional lenses. The procedure is similar to cataract surgery, and involves lens replacement to treat cases of presbyopia, although you do not have to wait for your cataracts to fully develop if you are interested in vision correction. In addition, this procedure has become very popular due to the fact that it prevents cataracts, as the replacement lens implant is permanent and does not age.

The Waring Vision Institute in Charleston, SC is well-known for its advanced treatments for age-related loss of reading vision. Dr. Waring is responsible for aiding in much of the development and research related to presbyopia, the first stage of the “dysfunctional lens syndrome” and the effective treatments for this condition.

If you are looking for info regarding Implantable Contact Lenses click here.

Dr. Waring performed Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) surgery with amazing results. After years of extreme nearsightedness and astigmatism, I can now see better than I did with contact lenses. I am grateful beyond words to Dr. Waring and his staff for this amazing outcome.

- Nancy D.

Dr. Waring performed Clear Lens Exchange surgery with amazing results. After years of extreme nearsightedness and astigmatism, I can now see better than I did with contact lenses. I am grateful beyond words to Dr. Waring and his staff for this amazing outcome.

- Nancy D.

(Video) Waring Vision Institute - Post-Cataract Refractive Errors - Current Approaches and Unmet Needs


CLEAR® is a uniquely effective treatment for DLS, or dysfunctional lens syndrome, a condition that affects a vast majority of men and women aged 40 and over. Through the natural course of aging, the eye’s internal lens becomes progressively more cloudy and unclear, and the eye begins to lose its ability to focus on objects near and far. Left untreated, DLS results in the need for glasses and contact lenses, and, continuing further, their eventual inability to help you see well. As DLS progresses, contacts, bifocals, and glasses are rendered useless if the condition isn’t effectively corrected. It is also significantly treats presbyopia.

CLEAR® restores perfect vision by replacing the cloudy lens with a crystal clear, restorative implant exchange that lasts a lifetime and prevents the continued deterioration of your vision as you age.

What is the CLEAR® Procedure?

CLEAR® is a custom lens extraction and replacement for the treatment of DLS. A procedure carefully and specifically designed to restore both close-up vision and distance vision with a crystal clear restorative implant that lasts a lifetime and prevents further progressive deterioration of vision due to cataracts.

  • Step 1: An advanced vision analysis helps us determine if a custom lens replacement is right for you.
  • Step 2: In the CLEAR® procedure, a laser is used to replace the dysfunctional lens.
  • Step 3: A crystal clear, restorative implant is used. It lasts a lifetime, and it prevents the progressive deterioration of your vision due to aging.

Benefits of CLEAR®

  • Lasts a lifetime
  • Prevents progress deterioration of the vision that typically occurs with aging
  • Prevents cataract formation
  • The rapid but highly exacting procedure takes less than 15 minutes to complete
  • Requires only mild sedation and results in only minimal discomfort
  • Vision recovery occurs within days

Risks of CLEAR®

The CLEAR® procedure is much like cataract surgery, one of the safest and most common surgical procedures performed worldwide. But as with all medical procedures, there are risks involved. These risks will always be thoroughly discussed with you prior to scheduling.

Recovery after the CLEAR® procedure

Following the CLEAR® procedure, you’ll use eye drops to help ensure a safe and smooth recovery. The day of surgery, and while sleeping for the first week after the procedure, you’ll also wear an eye shield to prevent accidental rubbing and to protect the eye. Apply no pressure to the eye or surrounding areas throughout recovery, and avoid getting soap, water, or makeup in your eyes.

What Is Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome?

In your 40s or 50s, you’ll likely start having trouble with your reading vision, in a condition known as presbyopia. This is Stage 1 of dysfunctional lens syndrome. Left untreated, over time, the aging lens will continue to lose function and eventually become a cataract, at Stage 3 of DLS. Due to aging, the eye’s internal lens loses function and clarity, necessitating the need for reading glasses and bifocals, but eventually if left untreated, resulting in their inability to correct the condition.

(Video) Postoperative Lens Adjustability Panel - Current Approaches and Unmet Needs at OIS@ASCRS 2019

Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome (DLS) At a Glance

  • Stage 1 DLS: The aging internal lens is still relatively clear, but has lost its ability to zoom and to focus well at up close objects such as books and computer screens.
  • Stage 2 DLS: The aging lens starts to get cloudy, resulting in reduced color vision, vision quality, and reading vision gets progressively worse.
  • Stage 3 DLS: In the final stage of the aging lens, the lens has become so cloudy that glasses, bifocals and contacts no longer allow you to perform daily activities.

If you are on this scale, you are likely a good candidate for the CLEAR® procedure.

Determining Candidacy

Clear lens exchange (RLE) is usually best suited for those who are not good candidates for LASIK or other form of laser surgery. Sometimes RLE is the only option for those who have presbyopia and moderate to severe hyperopia (farsightedness). There are many different types of laser vision correction available, but you may be a good candidate for RLE if:

  • You’re over 40
  • You have moderate or severe hyperopia
  • You have presbyopia and want to reduce the need for glasses or contacts
  • You want an alternative to LASIK or are not a good candidate for this treatment

A full disclosure of your medical history is important in any eye surgery or treatment. Certain medical conditions or prescription medications may pose the risk of complications for RLE. Dr. Waring can advise you if RLE is right for you, or another advanced treatment will be appropriate for your case.

Client Experience

Brooke Ryan describes her experience after her Custom Lens Replacement procedure

Clear Lens Exchange Procedure

Before the procedure begins, our ophthalmologist will sterilize your eye and provide an anesthetic eye drop solution to numb your eye to prepare it for surgery.

The surgeon will make a small incision to access the natural lens. A laser is typically utilized to gently create the openings, soften the dysfunctional lens, and often treat astigmatism . Once the lens is removed, it is replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL). There are four types of intraocular lenses:

  • Extended Depth of Focus IOLs have the unique advantage of elongating the focus continuously from distance to intermediate tasks such as the dashboard of the car, the computer and often smart phones and tablets, particularly if the font is enlarged. These lenses tend to create the best balance of quality of vision for intermediate and some near tasks. Occasionally a low power over-the-counter pair of reading glasses may be helpful for very small print or low light reading conditions.
  • Multifocal IOLs work similarly to bifocal lenses on glasses. Around the periphery of the lens, a correction is made to allow for clarity when reading or doing other close-range activities. The middle of the lens is calibrated so that your central vision is still clear for distance ranges.
  • Monovision IOLs only allow for one “focus” although clients will get a different lens for each eye. The dominant eye will receive a lens designed for seeing distance while the non-dominant eye retains the ability to see close objects. A similar practice is sometimes used for contact lenses, and over time, the brain learns to favor a certain eye for specific activities.
  • Accommodating IOLs are monofocal lenses, but the client can change the focus of the lens by shifting its position in the eye.
(Video) The aging of the eye - Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome - Dr. George Waring IV, MD

You and Dr. Waring can discuss which type of IOL is right for you based on your eyesight and any special needs and the advanced ocular analysis. Health insurance does not cover clear lens exchange, like it does not cover LASIK, and those who want to take advantage of the advances in clear lens implant surgery can discuss the many benefits of this advanced procedure. The entire procedure only takes 15 minutes per eye to perform. It is an outclient procedure so you will be able to return home the same day. Make plans for a friend or family member to drive you home from the surgery center.

Risks & Recovery

The risks from CLEAR®, although very rare, include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Dislocated IOL
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Glare, halos or starbursts from lights
  • Decrease or loss of vision
  • Increased eye pressure (can lead to glaucoma or other complications)

These side effects are uncommon, and the likelihood of developing them can be reduced even further by carefully following all aftercare instructions provided.

Most clients report almost immediate improvement in their sight, and can resume their normal activities the day following the CLEAR® procedure. You will have follow-up appointments to monitor your healing process and evaluate your improved vision. Most people who have the procedure see a dramatic improvement and may no longer need glasses or contacts, depending upon the type of lens placed in surgery.

Come to Charleston, SC for Your Vision Correction

Dr. George Waring and his staff at the Waring Vision Institute in Charleston, SC are committed to helping you improve your sight with advanced technology and compassionate care, and our facility is a premier destination for advanced vision correctly. Dr. Waring has been recognized as one of the nation’s top ophthalmologists in Castle Connolly’s Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists, and responsible for developing some of the most effective treatments for vision correction. Residents of Charleston as well as nearby Mount Pleasant, Myrtle Beach, and Columbia as well as clients who live outside the state come to the Waring Vision Institute to take advantage of our advanced treatments, technologies, and various ongoing clinical trials.

George Waring IV MD FACS

735 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Ste 101

Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Phone: 843-592-3955

(Video) How LASIK Works: Ben’s Procedure with Dr. Kerry Solomon in Charleston, SC

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Does insurance cover clear lens exchange? ›

Refractive lens exchange is considered an elective procedure, so it is not covered by insurance. It typically costs more than LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures.

How much does it cost to replace a lens in your eye? ›

The average price for eyeglass lenses ranges from $200 to $400 per pair, but it is possible that your prescription may be more complicated than that which can increase the length of time it takes to get them made.

What happens after clear lens exchange? ›

Most of the time, patients can resume driving and other normal activities within a week after having RLE surgery. It may take several weeks to experience complete vision correction. During this time, you may experience blurred vision, glare, and halos, as well as mild discomfort.

How does clear lens replacement work? ›

Clear Lens Exchange Procedure

The surgeon will make a small incision to access the natural lens. A laser is typically utilized to gently create the openings, soften the dysfunctional lens, and often treat astigmatism . Once the lens is removed, it is replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL).

How long do RLE lenses last? ›

Intraocular lenses last a lifetime. You will not need to have subsequent RLE surgeries to replace the intraocular lens. The first one you receive is designed to be a permanent eye-care solution.

How long does RLE surgery last? ›

RLE and Cataract surgery takes about fifteen minutes. You'll need to plan to be at the surgery center for approximately two to three hours, however, to accommodate the pre-op preparation and post-op recovery period. You will need to arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.

Can I just replace the lenses in my glasses? ›

If a person has damaged their lenses and does not need a new prescription, they can order new lenses from many online retailers. A person can also just replace one lens if only one is damaged. If a person has a new prescription, there may be a chance that these lenses will not fit their current frames.

Can you get clear lenses put in any frames? ›

When a sunglass frame has Rx-able options, it is compatible with clear lenses most of the time. This doesn't necessarily mean you need a prescription. It simply means that the frame can accommodate custom lenses, which you can choose as clear — with or without prescription.

Is it worth having lens replacement? ›

Lens replacement surgery can improve your vision and also reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Thousands of patients have found a new lease of life thanks to Optegra. However, no surgical procedure is without risk.

Is lens replacement surgery painful? ›

Lens replacement surgery itself is not painful, as your eyes are anaesthetised with numbing drops. When these wear off you will feel some discomfort, but in the vast majority of cases this reduces quickly as your recovery progresses.

Can you walk after lens replacement? ›

We recommend that you avoid any exercise for at least one week after cataract surgery. Any discomfort and tenderness from the surgery will settle within a few days and you can begin with some light to moderate exercise such as walking or stretching.

Can a lens implant go cloudy? ›

Several months to years following routine cataract surgery, it is common for patients to develop a cloudy film behind the new lens implant. The posterior lens capsule is a structure that is left in place at the time of cataract surgery to hold the new lens implant in place.

Who is a good candidate for RLE? ›

You may be a good candidate for RLE if you are over the age of 40, experiencing presbyopia, and have not yet developed cataracts. Candidates for RLE are also those who desire to see clearly at a range of distances without the consistent need for contacts or glasses.

Is clear lens extraction the same as cataract surgery? ›

Clear lens extraction (CLE)—also known as refractive lensectomy or refractive lens exchange—is similar to cataract surgery. Both CLE and cataract surgery involve removing your eye's natural lens and replacing it with a synthetic lens.

Can you see during lens replacement surgery? ›

Some patients with presbyopia may opt for monovision (also referred to as blended vision) during their lens replacement surgery, resulting in one eye excelling with viewing objects up close and the other for distance vision to help avoid the use of bifocals.

How long does it take for vision to stabilize after lens replacement? ›

Depending on the IOL you choose for your cataract surgery, it may take three to six weeks before your vision fully stabilizes.

Is RLE surgery permanent? ›

Unlike LASIK, RLE is a more permanent solution for your presbyopia and can correct any refractive errors, such as myopia (shortsighted), hyperopia (longsighted) or astigmatism you may have. Additionally, you will not require any cataract surgery in the future.

How long does it take to see clearly after lens replacement surgery? ›

Most people see better 1 to 3 days after surgery. But it could take 3 to 10 weeks to get the full benefits of surgery and to see as clearly as possible.

Do halos disappear after lens replacement? ›

Though you may notice immediate improvements in overall eyesight after your surgery, it will take some time for total healing. Halos, glare, and other visual disturbances are typical side effects after this type of procedure, and they will generally diminish day by day.

What is the success rate of refractive lens exchange? ›

However, research shows Clear Lens Exchange (CLE) is one of the safest surgeries, with the average success rates reaching more than 90 percent. Is RLE Permanent? Yes, implanting an IOL is a permanent procedure that replaces your natural lens forever. The surgery also eliminates the need for future cataracts removal.

Can Walmart put new lenses in my frames? ›

It depends on which Walmart you go to. Some Walmart's will replace the lenses in your frames and since they want to sell their own frames they usually add $25.00 to the cost of the lenses in a customer's own frame. You will need to call your local Walmart to find out their individual policy for your location.

Do you need reading glasses after lens replacement? ›

Can lens replacement surgery eliminate the need for reading glasses? Yes, lens replacement surgery can correct reading vision. A specialist intraocular lens known as a multifocal lens can be used to reduce your reliance on reading glasses. A multifocal lens can also improve your distance vision.

Can I buy frames and put my own lenses in? ›

The simple answer is yes. It is possible to replace your prescription eyeglass lens and keep your current frames. However, there are things you should consider before deciding to stick with your old frames. The first thing you should opt to consider is the condition of your frames.

Who wears clear frames? ›

Famous celebrities who have worn transparent glasses include David Bowie, Bridgette Bardot, Ingrid Bergman, Jaqueline Onassis, and Diana Ross. From the '60s onward, celebrities have used various kinds of fashion frames to make bold statements.

Will LensCrafters put old lenses in new frames? ›

You can put old lenses in new frames in most cases, as long as the new frames are the same ones you used to have. An eye care professional will just need to make sure your prescription doesn't restrict the type of eyewear you use so that you don't have issues down the line.

Will Costco put lenses in my own frames? ›

Costco's Policy on Frames and Lenses

It's entirely dependent on the Costco location and what their optical team decides. One thing that is consistent at all Costco's is that they are not happy about replacing lenses in your own frame. Especially if you didn't buy them there.

Which is better laser or lens replacement? ›

Even today, lens replacement remains the best way to treat patients with cataracts. However, for those looking for a way to simply treat a refractive error, there is likely a better option – even if they have been told in the past that they are not suitable for Laser Eye Surgery.

Who is a candidate for lens replacement? ›

Refractive lens replacement surgery is a good option for a range of candidates, including patients who: Are over the age of 40 who are nearsighted or farsighted or have astigmatism, as RLE repairs both short and long-distance vision. Are not good candidates for LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures.

Why has my eyesight deteriorate after cataract surgery? ›

Sometimes the natural capsule that holds the artificial lens becomes cloudy after cataract surgery. It may even seem as if the cataract is returning. This can affect your vision. An eye doctor can use a laser to make an opening in the center of the cloudy lens capsule.

How long does it feel like something is in your eye after cataract surgery? ›

Many people complain that they feel like there is sand in the eye or that the eye feels scratchy after surgery. This is a normal sensation caused by the small incision in your eye, and it should heal within a week or so.

How do I prepare for lens replacement surgery? ›

Before your cataract surgery:
  1. Note any changes in your eye health. ...
  2. Discuss your medications with the doctor. ...
  3. Use the eye drops. ...
  4. Do not wear contact lenses. ...
  5. Wear comfortable clothes and avoid cosmetics. ...
  6. Follow the doctor's advice on fasting. ...
  7. Prepare for your recovery. ...
  8. Ask questions.
26 Mar 2019

Are you awake for eye lens replacement? ›

An intraocular lens (IOL) is then placed into the lens capsule as a replacement for the clouded lens. The procedure has variants, but generally, this is one of the most common ways that a cataract is surgically removed. During the cataract surgery, the vast majority of patients will be conscious and awake.

How long do you wear eye shield at night after cataract surgery? ›

take it easy for the first 2 to 3 days. use your eye shield at night for at least a week. take painkillers if you need to. bathe or shower yourself as usual.

How do you sleep after lens replacement? ›

Sleep on your back or on the opposite side of the eye that was operated on to decrease your risk of infection and irritation after surgery. If you turn over in your sleep, your eye shield should help protect your eye from significant damage.

How do lens implants stay in place? ›

It is held in place by tiny, hair-like cables called zonules. The zonules run around the entire circumference of the lens, connecting it to muscles in the eye wall.

How long do I need to wear dark glasses outside after cataract surgery? ›

Wear sunglasses outdoors for one week after surgery. It is optional to wear them indoors.

Can blurry vision be corrected after cataract surgery? ›

Posterior Capsular Opacification

PCO can cause blurry or distorted vision. This condition is fairly common for patients receiving cataract surgery. Approximately 20% of patients experience PCO within 2–5 years of their procedure. However, a quick surgery known as posterior capsulotomy can help restore your vision.

Is LASIK better than RLE? ›

Ultimately, both LASIK and Refractive Lens Exchange are reliable, highly effective vision correction procedures. However, as we approach our forties and fifties, RLE is the most effective approach to correct eye changes that evolve over time.

Does RLE correct astigmatism? ›

RLE does not correct astigmatism because astigmatism is not caused by the lens itself, but by an irregularly shaped cornea. However, if you have an astigmatism, Drs. Beers and Liu can perform astigmatism reducing corneal incisions at the time of your procedure or LASIK 24 weeks after you've had RLE.

Is clear lens extraction safe? ›

The lens corrects common forms of vision impairment to provide patients with clearer vision to minimize their dependency on prescription lenses. Clear lens extraction is safe and effective, but it does alter the natural tissues of the eye, so it will take time to fully recover.

Which lens is best for eyes after cataract surgery? ›

If you're comfortable wearing glasses after cataract surgery, a monofocal lens may be the right choice. If you want to avoid wearing distance glasses after cataract surgery and have astigmatism, a toric lens might be appropriate.

What are the 3 types of cataract surgery? ›

There are three major cataract surgery procedures: Phacoemulsification. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS). Extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE).

Can you have a different lens put in after cataract surgery? ›

Absolutely. This involves a short operation, in which a second lens implant – called a piggyback implant – is inserted on top of the already existing lens implant. The piggyback lens allows us to modify either the toricity or/and power of the original implant.

How long do lens replacements last? ›

A cataract lens will last a lifetime, and the vast majority of patients do not experience any complications with their lenses after cataract surgery. In fact, the most common post-cataract surgery issue has nothing to do with your lens in particular.

What are the side effects of lens implant? ›

  • You may lose vision. ...
  • You may develop debilitating visual symptoms. ...
  • You may need additional eye surgery to reposition, replace or remove the phakic lens implant. ...
  • You may be under treated or over treated. ...
  • You may develop increased intraocular pressure. ...
  • Your cornea may become cloudy. ...
  • You may develop a cataract.
8 Jan 2018

Is lens covered by insurance? ›

Yes, some group health insurance plans do cover surgery for cataracts. You can with your employer for the same or read the policy copy. There is a possibility that there might not be any waiting period in a group health insurance plan.

Can refractive lens exchange be done twice? ›

The success rates for laser eye surgery are very high but in about 2 – 3% of cases a second procedure may be required soon after the first. A range of factors including the patient's eyesight, age and genetics can mean that the eyes under or over heal. This can lead to blurred vision, glare and some distortion.

Does anyone replace lenses in glasses? ›

If a person has damaged their lenses and does not need a new prescription, they can order new lenses from many online retailers. A person can also just replace one lens if only one is damaged. If a person has a new prescription, there may be a chance that these lenses will not fit their current frames.

What is bladeless cataract surgery? ›

Laser cataract surgery (also called bladeless cataract surgery) incorporates the use of the revolutionary LenSx® femtosecond laser system. This laser makes computer-controlled corneal incisions and then gently breaks up the cloudy cataractous lens, based on a detailed real-time 3-dimensional image of the eye.

Can I wear a torn lens? ›

What to do with a torn lens– If you have torn a lens, never keep wearing it, even if it's just a small tear along the side. Any torn edge can scratch the cornea. To remove a torn lens, wash your hands then add some rewetting solution to fully lubricate the lens preventing any bits from sticking to the eye.

Does Medicare pay for lens implants? ›

Medicare covers cataract surgery that involves intraocular lens implants, which are small clear disks that help your eyes focus. Although Medicare covers basic lens implants, it does not cover more advanced implants. If your provider recommends more advanced lens implants, you may have to pay some or all of the cost.

What can you not do after lens replacement surgery? ›

Do not bend over or do any strenuous activities, such as biking, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, for 2 weeks or until your doctor says it is okay. Avoid swimming, hot tubs, gardening, and dusting for 1 to 2 weeks. Wear sunglasses on bright days for at least 1 year after surgery.

Does anyone put new lenses in old frames? ›

Can You Keep Your Existing Frames? Fortunately, you can typically continue to use your existing frames when you get new lenses, provided that the frames are in good condition and aren't too complicated in shape. If they're damaged or worn out, then you'll need to get a new pair of frames along with the new lenses.

Who is a candidate for refractive lens exchange? ›

Patients without a refractive error who present with early cataract formation and a desire to be free of reading glasses are good candidates for refractive lens exchange with the Array or with monovision (if they have been successful with that modality in contact lenses).

Does Medicare cover refractive lens exchange? ›

Medicare won't cover advanced technology lenses or elective surgery primarily to correct vision from nearsightedness or astigmatism, called “refractive lens exchanges.” Talk with your doctor about your options and costs before your surgery.


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