Pros and Cons of ICL

An implantable “contact lens” (ICL) is a kind of intraocular lens (IOL), like in cataract surgery. In the latter case, a new, artificial lens implant replaces the natural lens which has become discolored and hardened with age and (cataract) . In the case of an implantable “contact lenses,” the soft lens implant (which looks and feels much like a soft contact lens) is inserted over the existing natural lens, adding to its focusing ability instead of completely supplanting it.

The ICL has some advantages over LASIK in that it does not cause dry eye and can be used in high degrees of nearsightedness that would unduly weaken the cornea, the part of the eye LASIK works on. An ICL can also be used if there is some problem with the cornea being unsafe for LASIK. ICL implantation is described as being reversible, which is true but a little misleading; removable is a more accurate statement.

In my own experience, the real disadvantage of ICLs over LASIK is the increased risk of cataract formation. I believe this is under-reported because the cataract can form years later. While neither patient nor doctor wants to have to do more surgery to fix such a problem, cataract/ lens implant surgery is fortunately highly successful. And the results are usually more permanent than even the ICL.

Still, because of its many advantages, the ICL is an overall very safe procedure and an excellent choice for many nearsighted people.

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