PRELEX, short for “Presbyopic Lens Exchange,” is a surgical vision correction procedure desiged to address presbyopia, an age-related vision condition that makes it difficult to focus on close objects. PRELEX is similar to cataract surgery, but is performed on patients who have not yet developed cataracts.

What is PRELEX?

PRELEX is a vision correction procedure that is different from laser procedures such as LASIK. It permanently allows patients to get rid of the need for glasses and contacts for both distance and near. 

Why do I need reading glasses/bifocals as I age?

During daily activities such as reading, writing, watching television or working at the computer, our eyes are constantly focusing on objects at a distance, up close, and in between. The ability to quickly change our focal point throughout our range of vision is called accommodation. The eye accomplishes this by moving the lens inside the eye small distances back and forth. As we age, our lens gets a little heavier until it becomes difficult for the eye to move the lens. This is called presbyopia. Many people will complain of “eye strain” or needing the “arm stretcher” to see clearly. Therefore, the more birthdays you have, the more dependent on bifocals or reading glasses for up close and intermediate work you become.


During a PRELEX procedure, the eye’s natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). What sets PRELEX apart from traditional cataract surgery is the choice of a premium multifocal or accommodating IOLs. These specialized IOLs allow individuals to regain clear vision at multiple distances (near, intermediate and far), reducing or eliminating the need for reading glasses or bifocals.


PRELEX can be an effective option for individuals who want to reduce their dependence on glasses for both distance and near vision. Laser vision procedures such as LASIK are beneficial for many people, however these procedures alleviate the need for glasses and contacts at distance only. While this is ideal for patients in their twenties and thirties who can still read without glasses, it does not give those who use reading glasses/bifocals the outcome they desire. With LASIK, these individuals would still require reading glasses because LASIK does not correct the heavy natural lens. PRELEX is the best option because it corrects vision for distance, intermediate, and near, giving the recipient the best possible outcome. 

Like any surgical procedure, it carries risks and benefits that should be discussed with your eye care specialist to determine its suitability for your specific needs and eye health.

What lens is implanted?

The majority of the time surgeons at The Eye Center select the Panoptix, Vivity, or Synergy lenses for a PRELEX procedure. However, each procedure is customized to each patient’s individual needs and lifestyle.

What are the benefits?

In most cases, patients who undergo PRELEX achieve excellent vision at distance and up close. This improved vision typically remains stable over a lifetime. As an added benefit, you will never develop cataracts because your natural lens has been removed.

While the near vision after PRELEX is excellent in most cases, you may still require reading glasses for tasks like threading a needle.

To find out if PRELEX is the right surgery for your eyes, schedule a consult with the surgeons at The Eye Center.

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