Individuals ranging in ages 18-40 who have moderate to severe nearsightedness
may benefit from ICL (Implantable Collamer® Lens), as a
LASIK alternative. ICL, a lesser-known vision correction option, involves the placement
of an artificial intraocular lens into the eye. The FDA approved the procedure
in 2005 for the reduction and treatment of nearsightedness (myopia). For
patients who may not otherwise be a good candidate for LASIK, ICL provides
another alternative to glasses and contact lenses.
The phakic intraocular lens used during ICL is different from the lens
implanted during cataract surgery in that the ICL does not replace the
eye’s natural lens, but is placed between the iris and the natural
lens to correct nearsightedness. Because the phakic IOL does not replace
the lens, but supplements it like a prescription contact lens, it is sometimes
referred to as an implantable contact lens.
Benefits of ICL
The primary benefit of ICL is that the implanted lens is removable, so
this type of vision correction is not as permanent as laser vision correction,
such as LASIK. “ICL is removable so if something better comes along
down the line, we can take the ICL out,” said Key-Whitman Dr. Jeffrey
Visian ICL used by Key-Whitman doctors requires a smaller incision than other phakic
intraocular lenses because it is foldable. Because it requires a smaller
incision, it is considered less invasive and does not require sutures.
A 2010 study evaluating ICL versus LASIK found that the two procedures
provide almost equal odds of attaining 20/20 vision following surgery.
The same study found that ICL patients were more satisfied and experienced
better contrast sensitivity than patients undergoing LASIK eye surgery.
Another benefit of ICL is that patients undergoing this procedure will
not experience irritating and painful dry eye that is commonly experienced
by LASIK patients.
ICL is a low-risk and effective alternative to LASIK eye surgery for patients
who have moderate to severe nearsightedness and are not otherwise a candidate
for LASIK. To find out if you are a candidate for the Visian ICL procedure
to correct nearsightedness, contact the eye surgeons at
Key-Whitman Eye Center.