These days, many people are searching for a permanent vision correction treatment to free themselves from prescription glasses and lenses. What stops some people from going ahead with any treatment are their concerns about the permanent change to their cornea as some vision correction treatments, such as Laser Eye Surgery, modify corneas permanently.
If you are worried about changing your cornea then there is a treatment called Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL) which does not alter the shape of your cornea and corrects your vision to the highest standard achievable – 20/20 vision.
Range of refractive errors cured by ICL implants
A refractive error occurs when the shape of an eye does not bend light correctly, resulting in a blurred image. The main types of refractive errors are:
- myopia – also known as near-sightedness
- hyperopia – also known as far-farsightedness
- presbyopia – the loss of your near vision with age
An Implantable Contact Lens is suitable for a wide range of prescriptions from -24D to +12 with astigmatism up to 7D. ICL is the standardised treatment for higher prescriptions and is recommended by the American Association of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and the European Association of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS).
ICL is the treatment of choice for patients found unsuitable for laser surgery due to an unusual prescription or abnormal/thin corneas. It can also be used to help patients suffering from Keratoconus who have had cross-linking treatment or when the disease has stabilised.
Indeed, AVC recently made history by being the first clinic in the UK to treat an astigmatic hyperope (a long-sighted patient with a high prescription and significant astigmatism).
Material used to make Implantable Contact Lenses
An ICL is made of Collamer, a highly bio-compatible advanced lens material which contains a small amount of purified collagen. Collamer does not cause a reaction inside the eye and contains an ultraviolet blocker that protects the eye.
As Collamer material is completely bio-compatible with a human body’s natural chemistry, a human body readily accepts ICL implants.
Advantages of having ICL over other vision correction treatments
As ICL treatment is fully reversible, unlike Laser Surgery, so if in future as you age, if you develop an eye condition such as Cataract which needs surgery on eyes, the ICL implants can be safely removed from an eye and normal cataract surgery can be performed.
ICL is often referred to as a phakic IOLs meaning, a lens is implanted into an eye with the natural lens in place. An Intra-Ocular Lens (IOL) replaces the natural crystalline lens and is used to treat patients aged 45+ that require reading glasses (presbyopia) or have cataracts.
In addition to the above, it is possible to have ICL’s after having Laser vision correction treatment.
The time scale for having an ICL treatment
A person will be required to attend an eye consultation to map the eye for refractive errors, through the gathered data a bespoke lens is ordered unique for your eyes from a Lens manufacturer for which the patient is best suited. Dependent on the type of lens and the complexity of the prescription, the lenses can take between four to eight weeks to manufacture and ready at a clinic for implant.
Once the lenses arrive at a clinic, a person to be treated needs to attend a surgery which should take no more than thirty minutes per eye.
Implantable Contact Lenses have become a choice of vision correction treatment for individuals seeking freedom from glasses and lenses, and also to mention they are the first choice for people who pursue an active lifestyle.