Have you considered LASIK surgery but been ruled out because of a high prescription or other reasons? If so, implantable collamer lens (ICL) surgery might be a great option for you. The ICL procedure can correct moderate to severely nearsighted vision. It is a permanent solution, but it is also reversible. The American Optometric Association says 30 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with nearsightedness. ICLs can provide an option for clearer vision if LASIK or other treatments have been ruled out for you due to high prescription.
What Is ICL Surgery?
ICLs—also known as implantable contact lenses—can help correct nearsightedness the same way that glasses and contact lenses do. The difference is that your surgeon will permanently implant the lens in your eye so you don't have to wear glasses or have to use regular contacts and waste time on the care they require. The procedure takes about 15 minutes for each eye, and you can usually have both eyes done on the same day.
Your surgeon will numb your eye with anesthetic drops, make a tiny incision, and place the implantable lens between your eye's own lens and the iris. Usually, you won't need stitches, and you can go back to work within a couple of days.
Is ICL Reversible?
Yes, ICL surgery is reversible even though it can do away with your need to wear corrective contact lenses or glasses. Unlike LASIK surgery, nothing within your eye's structure is changed physically, and no corneal tissue is removed. The corrective lens is simply added to help your eye's own lens focus better and see things more clearly. Unlike regular contact lenses, which must be removed so your eyes can breathe, collamer lenses are designed to be left in permanently.
Although it is rarely necessary, the implantable contact lenses are removable. If your prescription changes significantly, your surgeon can remove or replace the implanted lenses and change them to your new prescription.
Am I a Candidate for ICL Surgery?
ICL surgery may be an option for you if you have moderate to extreme nearsightedness but cannot have LASIK surgery because of high prescription, dry eyes, or thin corneas. The ideal candidate for ICL is between ages 21 and 45, has not had previous eye surgery, and does not have a history of glaucoma or other eye diseases. Your doctor can determine if ICL is right for you. If you have any of these conditions and would like more information about ICL surgery, please contact Woodhams Eye Clinic to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced doctors.
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