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Product Review: Make It Sharp, Implantable Contact Lenses

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Product Review: Make It Sharp, Implantable Contact Lenses
June 19
15:01 2016

If you can no longer tolerate discarding and replacing contact lenses but would still like to keep things sharp, there is a new procedure available to make lenses a part of you. Literally.

Implantable contact lenses (ICL) are becoming increasingly popular, according to Dr. Guillermo Rocha, President of The Canadian Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery Society.

“I think people got really interested in trying to correct their vision when laser [surgery] came along. The [main] reason to do ICL is if your prescription is too high or your cornea is too thin; or it has other diseases, thinning condition, for example, that you would not be able to do laser surgery.”

Dr. Rocha explained that implantable contact lenses can treat hyperopia (farsightedness) as well as high myopia (nearsightedness).

“Depending on the space available within the eye, one could potentially correct patients from 20.0 diopters to +3.0 diopters.”

Your doctor must ensure there is enough space to insert the lens. Though both nearsighted and farsighted people can be candidates for ICL surgery, those who are nearsighted receive treatment more frequently. This is because nearsighted people have larger eyes, which allows more space for the lens.

Product Review: Make It Sharp, Implantable Contact Lenses

Product Review: Make It Sharp, Implantable Contact Lenses

ICL are excellent in treating astigmatism – up to 5.0 diopters. Dr. Rocha detailed that ophthalmologists start offering them at approximately -8.0 diopters of myopia, depending on corneal thickness and other factors.

ICL surgery is generally safe and it is very similar to removing a cataract. The surgeon will make a tiny incision in your eye and fill it with a jelly-like solution to maintain space and protect the tissues. In the final stage of the procedure, your ophthalmologist will insert the lens and position it in front of the lens of your eye. The surgery is performed under local freezing.

Necessary aftercare includes eye drops, antibiotics and steroids. Dr. Rocha discourages ICL patients from swimming for three to four weeks to prevent infection.

Implantable lenses are compatible with the body and are unlikely to cause allergies, which was previously common in the 1970s.

“The lens material that we have now is extremely rare for causing allergic reactions,” Dr. Rocha clarified. “Anything can happen in medicine. It’s so rare. I certainly haven’t seen it with ICL.”

Rocha detailed five specific problems that can be associated with the lens: bleeding and infection may occur during surgery, and there is a risk of developing glaucoma (high-pressure), inflammation and cataract formation. Although these complications are extremely rare, medical monitoring is necessary.

According to Dr. Rocha, implantable contact lenses can also be safely removed if necessary.

“They can be removed if, let’s say, the ICL is not of the right power; sometimes, if the ICL is not of the right size. It’s always better not to go back, but it’s possible to do it and with good success.”

With implantable lenses, you can finally enjoy air-conditioned rooms without eye irritation. Unlike a regular contact lens, ICL will not affect the eyes’ surface because it is inserted within the eye.

Despite the benefits of implantable lenses, many patients still have concerns about the procedure. Dr. Rocha maintained that although patients may have concerns before surgery, information regarding ICL can dispel any apprehension and assist in making an informed decision.

For those who can no longer tolerate standard contact lenses and glasses, and if your optometrist has discouraged or ruled out laser eye surgery, implantable contact lenses might be the answer you’re looking for.


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