Firstly, What is ICL?
ICL is a procedure that corrects myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism through Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL).
The permanent contact lenses implant reshapes each cornea as if the lens was the new thin, gently curved covering of the eye. By using the new shape of the ICL, the most refractive errors are remedied and patients see without any squinting or corrective wear.
You might be wondering about the difference between an implantable contact lens and your regular corrective lenses. ICLs are permanent; each is surgically placed inside the eye, where it works in conjunction with your natural lens. The two lenses work together to make perfect vision.
How are the permanent contact lenses inserted?
In order to properly place the thin lenses, your doctor will create a small incision in the cornea. Depending on the health of the eye and degree of remedy required, the lens is slipped in front of or sometimes behind the iris and always in front of the natural lens.
Why get ICL instead of LASIK?
ICL often corrects refractive errors that are too extreme to be fixed by laser eye surgeries. ICL is especially common in commons with severe myopia (severe near sightedness) and slight astigmatism.
Am I a candidate for ICL?
Correcting vision and achieving perfect sight through implantable lenses sounds ideal to us all, but it is reserved for an acute portion of patients. Find out if you might qualify as a patient fit for ICL by checking off the following criteria:
- Ages 21–45. ICL is not commonly performed in patients over 40. As we age, most of us will experience presbyopia, a natural aging process of the eye where farsightedness sets in and normal range of visions shifts. Surgeons recommend having the procedure before this initial change and not performing it during the likely age span of sight change.
- Moderate to severe myopia. ICL corrects between -3 and -20 diopters. If your refractive error is not as severe as this prescription, ICL would over correct your vision. In the case of mild to moderate myopia, a laser eye surgery is likely the better option.
- Minor to no astigmatism. While ICL can be used to correct astigmatism, the lenses approved by the FDA only treat up to 2.5 diopters of astigmatism.
- Pupil size. Your surgeon will determine whether your pupils are large enough to undergo surgery and small enough to complete the surgery safely. Who knew you’d ever need to have medium sized pupils!
- No history of eye trauma or retinal detachment. Retinal detachment and other traumas place the eyes in compromised positions, and surgery would further put the eye attachment at risk.
- Not currently on steroids or immunosuppressant drugs
- Six months to one year with an unchanging vision correction prescription. Depending on the lenses your surgeon recommends, the correct time frame will be selected and analyzed. It’s important that the vision is generally static so that the lenses are effective.
- Not pregnant or breastfeeding, as hormones in the body at this time play with the vision. Wait until after birth and breastfeeding.
- Poor candidate for LASIK. Many patients who do not qualify for LASIK make excellent candidates for the ICL technology. Some common qualities of patients who did not qualify for LASIK but qualify for ICL are dry eyes, thin cornea, and severe myopia.
- Not allergic to local anesthetic eye drops, as these are positively necessary for undergoing the procedure.
Are you ready to find out if you’re a candidate for ICL? Come in to Diamond Vision for a free consultation to determine the best corrective procedure for your eye sight, lifestyle and overall health.