Is an Intraocular Contact Lens An Alternative to LASIK?

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For many patients at Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley (OAV), refractive vision surgery helps reduce their need for prescription glasses or contacts. This vision improvement uses implanted lenses as a long-term vision correction solution. However, patients with severe myopia, or very thin corneal tissue, may not be ideal candidates. This can be determined during your visit, where we will discuss LASIK eye surgery. Implantable Collamer® Lenses (ICLs) are similar to traditional contacts. However, they are permanently placed inside the eye. During a consultation at our Encino or West Hills, CA offices, we can determine if you’re a candidate for a Visian® ICL™.

What is a Visian ICL?

At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley, we offer the Visian ICL, which has been proven to enhance vision and reduce refractive errors in our patients. The Visian ICL is implanted between the iris and your natural lens, which means we don’t have to remove your natural lens. This is especially beneficial for changing the depth of focus when changing vision from distance to near (and vice versa). Similar to LASIK, the ICL maintains this necessary ability to accommodate the vision you need almost instantly.

As an FDA-approved implant, the Visian ICL helps improve nearsightedness and is a safe, effective treatment for patients who can’t undergo PRK or LASIK eye surgeries in Los Angeles, CA.

Some benefits of getting a Visian ICL include:

  • UV protection

  • Effective Astigmatism or Myopia treatment

  • Quick recovery

Who is the best candidate for ICLs?

The best candidates for ICLs are 21 – 45 years old and have had a stable prescription for at least a year, have moderate, high, or extreme myopia, and don’t qualify for LASIK or PRK surgery. They should also be in good overall health and have no previous history of eye surgery. Those with diabetic retinopathy, iritis, or glaucoma aren’t good candidates. Also, those pregnant or breastfeeding aren’t ideal candidates. During a consultation at Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in Encino or West Hills, CA, our team can determine if this surgery is right for your eye health. During this visit, we perform a comprehensive eye exam and develop a custom treatment plan.

Differences between ICLs and LASIK

One of the biggest differences between LASIK and ICLs is the amount and type of prescription that can be treated with each procedure. The FDA has approved ICLs to treat different ranges of nearsightedness from a moderate amount to a more extreme amount. However, they aren’t approved to treat astigmatism or farsightedness, while LASIK can treat those eye conditions. Also, recovery from ICL surgery is significantly faster than LASIK.

What happens during ICL surgery?

During ICL surgery, a tiny Collamer lens that is smaller than a contact lens is inserted into the eye in front of the natural lens. A few weeks before your surgery, our team will create a small hole in your iris to allow fluid movement inside the front part of your eye. Numbing drops are used to keep you comfortable during this pre-op procedure. This is a necessary step as the inserted lens will block the passage of fluid through your pupil.

ICL recovery

After you’re monitored for a short time, we will release you to recover at home. For the next few days, you will notice significant improvements to your vision as healing begins. Most of our patients in Los Angeles, CA return to their normal routines after 2 – 3 days. For this timeframe, it’s extremely important not to touch or rub your eyes. You will need to attend several follow-up appointments at Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley to ensure your eyes are healing properly and to monitor your vision improvement closely.

Improve nearsightedness with IOL eye surgery

When you’re interested in correcting refractive errors, such as myopia, consider ICL eye surgery. It is especially great for those who aren’t candidates for traditional LASIK eye surgery. Visian ICL is great for patients who have severe nearsightedness and don’t want to rely on prescription eyeglasses or daily contact lenses for the rest of their lives. To schedule a consultation to learn more about intraocular contact lenses, call Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in Encino or West Hills, CA to schedule a consultation with one of our expert ophthalmologists.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.