Historically, eye surgeons used implantable lenses for the treatment of cataracts, or an age-related clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Nowadays, lenses are also used to correct refractive errors like nearsightedness. Surgically inserted in the eye, implantable contact lenses provide clear vision and excellent focus, reducing or eliminating dependence on glasses and removable contacts.
Understanding Implantable Contact Lenses
Implantable contact lenses (ICLs) are made from a biocompatible material called collamer. They are similar to removable contact lenses but designed for long-lasting vision correction. Implanted behind the iris and in front of the natural crystalline lens, implantable contact lenses cannot be seen or felt. They are approved by the FDA for safety and efficacy, and often, they improve vision up to 20/20.
ICLs work by improving the way that light bends, or refracts, back to the retina. Unlike LASIK, they are reversible, since no eye tissue is removed during the implantation process.
You may be a good candidate for vision correction with ICLs if you are between the ages of 21 and 45, and have myopia (nearsightedness) and little or no astigmatism. You may consider implantable contact lenses if you are tired of the hassle and inconvenience of corrective eyewear, yet do not qualify for LASIK because you have thin corneas, a high amount of nearsightedness or chronic dry eye. Or perhaps you want freedom from glasses and contacts but are looking for a treatment option that does not make permanent changes to your eye’s structures.
Whatever your reasoning for considering ICLs, the team at Eye Care of San Diego is happy to evaluate you for treatment and discuss your options.
Placing ICLs, Step by Step
Implantable contact lenses can be placed on an outpatient basis so you can return home the same day as the procedure. You will need someone to drive you home, since your vision may be temporarily blurry or hazy after the placement.
A few weeks prior to the implantation of your ICLs, you will need to undergo a short office procedure in which we use a laser to create a small opening between the lens and anterior chamber of your eye. Aqueous fluid can then pass between the two areas and we can prevent your intraocular pressure from spiking after the placement of the ICLs.
The implantation procedure takes about 15 minutes to perform. Your eyes will be completely numbed so you do not feel any discomfort. The doctor will create a small incision and insert the ICL into your eye. Once the lens has been positioned behind the iris and in front of your natural lens, we will close the incision with sutures.
The recovery from the implantation procedure is usually very short. You should be able to resume work and your daily activities within a few days.
For more information about implantable contact lenses, please schedule a consultation at Eye Care of San Diego. Please contact us today to request an appointment.