Refractive Lens Exchange Made My Eyesight Worse – Is There A Solution?

Many of us with poor vision very much dislike wearing glasses every day and the idea of having laser eye surgery to correct your eyesight sounds like a dream!

Unfortunately for some people, laser eye surgery is not always the long-term answer. There is a chance that it may only work for a short while before your eye sight begins to regress and not everyone is a suitable candidate for repeated laser eye surgery.

In this type of situation a common procedure, the Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), is an appealing option. The procedure involves replacing the eye’s natural lens with a synthetic one which reduces the need for glasses and/or contact lenses.

Faulty RLE

We have recently come across a number of cases involving patients who have previously undergone the RLE and subsequently suffered with potentially life-changing consequences. This is not due to the surgery itself but the synthetic lens being contaminated at the point of manufacture. This causes the lens to become cloudy (opacify) whilst in the eye.

Patients who have fallen victim to a faulty lens have reported that at first they saw RLE as a benefit – their vision improved and things seemed fine at first. It was only after a few years that they suddenly began to experience cloudiness and glare which has gradually become worse. Both of these symptoms are consistent with opacified lens implants and can impact the ability to undertake every-day tasks, such as working or driving, and can be particularly bad at night.

Is there a solution?

Some manufacturers have investigated and recalled the contaminated batches of lenses but where does this leave those who have already had surgery and are experiencing these symptoms?

It is very likely that where the faulty lens is not removed, vision will continue to deteriorate over time.

The most common solution is to have further surgery to replace the faulty lens. This carries with it a number of risks related to the removal of the faulty lens.

Understandably, the decision to undergo further surgery is not one to be taken lightly. Although every operation carries with it a number of risks and possible complications, the medico-legal expert ophthalmic surgeons that we work with advise us that in most cases there is still a very good chance that patients will be able to achieve reasonably good vision again.

faulty RLEMedical negligence claims

We can only imagine how difficult it must be to have to continue with your day-to-day life with only a fraction of the vision you once had. If you have undergone RLE or some other eye surgery and are experiencing on-going problems with your vision, you may wish to seek legal advice from our specialist team of solicitors.

Shrdha Kapoor is a Paralegal in our expert Medical Negligence team. If you have any questions in relation to the subjects discussed in this article, then please get in touch with Shrdha or another member of the team in Derby, Leicester or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online form.