CLE (Clear Lens Exchange)

CLE (Clear Lens Exchange)

Clear Lens Exchange (CLE) is an exciting vision-correcting technique that utilizes advanced technology intraocular lens (IOL) implants to reduce dependence on reading glasses or bifocals/trifocals.  It is an exceptional alternative to LASIK for many patients that have reached their mid-40s or those that are poor candidates for LASIK.

The youthful human lens acts like the zoom function in a camera, allowing up close reading vision to be in perfect focus without the need for reading glasses or bifocals.  All individuals however, beginning in their mid-40s, develop a hardening and early clouding of their lens.  Hardening of the lens reduces accommodation, resulting in blurred reading vision.  This loss of accommodation is referred to as presbyopia and requires the use of reading glasses or bifocals/trifocals for up-close reading vision.  Progressive clouding of the lens induces aberrations and scatters incoming light diminishing visual quality and color perception.  CLE replaces the patient’s dysfunctional lens with a pristine, advanced technology intraocular lens (IOL).  This eliminates the imperfections of the aged lens while correcting the patient’s refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia).

CLE replaces the natural aging lens with a clear, synthetic and permanent intraocular lens (IOL).   The design and power of each IOL is customized for each individual based on the patient’s visual needs and surgeon recommendations.  The IOL corrects the focusing error of the eye allowing greater independence from contacts, bifocals / trifocals.  The pristine clarity of the IOL restores a more youthful visual quality and allows patients to see color in a more vibrant manner.

CLE is based on the same highly successful techniques used in cataract surgery and eliminates the inevitable need for cataract surgery in the future.  The surgeons at North Suburban Eye Specialists are regional leaders and among the 1% of surgeons performing true micro-incision lens replacement surgery.  This cutting-edge technique uses incisions less than 2 millimeters (diameter of a pin head), which is the least invasive, most gentle option for lens replacement available.  Studies show that a mico-incision technique ensures quick healing, superior visual outcomes, and increased safety compared with conventional incisions.  Patients can resume most normal activities and occupational obligations by the following day.   This quick and comfortable experience is typically completed within 10 minutes and is “topical”, meaning no needles or stitches are needed for the procedure.

Advantages of CLE

  • Corrects high degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia.
  • Can reduce dependence or eliminate the need for reading glasses, bifocals / trifocals.
  • Restores vision to its youthful clarity and vibrant color.
  • A safe and exceptional alternative to LASIK for many patients beyond their mid-40s or those considered poor candidates for LASIK.
  • Eliminates the inevitable need for cataract surgery in the future.

Lens Options for your CLE Procedure

There’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” intraocular lens.  Together, you and your doctor will discuss which lens or combination of lenses best fits your lifestyle and your vision goals.


MonofocalMonofocal Lens

A monofocal IOL will create focused vision at a single distance after surgery. Your doctor will help you choose what distance will best suite your lifestyle. NSES offers advanced monofocal lenses that create optimal vision at the selected focal point. Patients who receive a monofocal lens will require corrective lenses for many activities following surgery.


Toric Lens

Patients who suffer from blurry or hazy vision caused by astigmatism can benefit from a CLE procedure featuring a Toric lens implant. Toric lenses correct for astigmatism as well as replacing the natural lens. Because toric lenses are monofocals that will be set to focus at one distance, corrective lenses will be needed for most daily activities.


MultifocalMultifocal Lens

With a multifocal lens, patients experience quality vision at several focal points. Concentric circles built into the lens provide focus points for distance, intermediate and near range vision to offer a fuller range of vision. Most patients who receive a multifocal lens implant will not need to wear corrective lenses for most activities after surgery. However, some patients with multifocal lens implants experience halos or glare in their vision at night.


AccommodatingAccommodating Lens

The eye’s natural lens is flexible and can adjust to focal points at varying distances. But as we age, the flexibility diminishes as your natural lens hardens. This condition is called presbyopia and results in corrective lenses for many adults. Our accommodating lenses return some of the flexibility of a younger, natural lens to offer patients a continuous range of vision while reducing halos or glare at night. Some patients will still need reading glasses with their accommodating lens implant.


Blended Vision

Blended Vision uses two advanced monofocal lenses, each set to focus at a different distance in a different eye, to “blend” vision. Although some depth perception is lost, the brain learns to use the best focal length of each eye in specific situations. Many patients achieve freedom from corrective lenses for most daily activities with Blended Vision.



Like Blended Vision, Monovision uses two advanced monofocal lenses, each set to focus at a different distance in a different eye. With Monovision, the focal points of each lens are set further apart, creating less blend in the overall vision and more focal range for patients. Many patients achieve freedom from corrective lenses for most daily activities with Monovision.