Implantable contact lenses (ICL) have significantly changed how people improve their vision problems. These lenses provide a permanent solution for those who want to improve their vision without the hassle of traditional contact lenses or reading glasses.
In a nutshell, an ICL is an artificial lens inserted into the eye to help correct high refractive errors of up to 1000 degrees. These refractive errors include myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia (lao hua yan). The lens will reside permanently behind the coloured iris and in front of the eye’s natural lens. ICL offers an effective alternative to LASIK surgery.
Advantages of Implantable Contact Lens
Implantable contact lenses offer several benefits, making them a safe and effective long-term treatment solution. Among the advantages of the ICL are the following:
- Improved Vision Quality: The ICL increases visual acuity and reduces night vision disturbances, such as glares and halos, by maintaining the cornea’s natural shape.
- Suitable for LASIK-Ineligible Patients: Patients who cannot undergo LASIK because of thin or uneven corneas, dry eye syndrome, high prescriptions, or large pupils may benefit from implantable contact lenses.
- Biocompatible: ICLs contain a biocompatible material called collamer, which helps minimise the risk of infection or rejection by the eye’s natural tissue.
- Maintenance-Free: Unlike regular contact lenses, ICLs are maintenance-free and do not require daily removal, disinfection, or cleaning.
- Quick Recovery: The ICL is a quick, minimally invasive procedure that does not involve tissue removal, resulting in faster visual recovery.
- Less Risk of Dry Eye: The ICL poses less risk of dry eyes as it does not affect the corneal nerves in a way that is often associated with laser refractive surgery.
How is the Procedure Done?
The procedure for implantable contact lenses is relatively quick and straightforward. It is usually done under topical or local anaesthesia, with the process taking 10 to 20 minutes per eye.
Firstly, the surgeon numbs the patient’s eyes with anaesthesia or eye drops, then makes a small incision in the cornea. Afterward, they insert the ICL through the incision and carefully position it behind the iris. Once the lens is in place, the surgeon will ensure its stability and check for proper alignment.
After the procedure, the incision heals naturally without the need for stitches. A protective patch is usually placed over the eye for a day or two to promote healing. You may notice an immediate improvement in your vision in the days following surgery. Your surgeon may schedule follow-up appointments and prescribe eye drops or oral medication for pain relief.
Recovery from the Surgery
Recovery after implanting contact lenses is relatively short. You can resume your normal activities after a few days, although it is advisable to avoid strenuous activities and exposure to dust for a couple of weeks. Follow your surgeon’s postoperative care instructions to ensure proper healing.
Is an Implantable Contact Lens Right For You?
Implantable contact lenses offer an effective solution for resolving vision problems. With their numerous advantages, including permanent vision correction, high-quality visual acuity, and a wide range of refractive error correction, they are a viable option for those seeking an alternative to the daily maintenance of contact lenses or glasses.
If you are considering implantable contact lenses, it is crucial to consult with an experienced eye surgeon who can assess your specific needs. They will provide detailed information about the procedure, potential risks, and expected outcomes to help you decide whether an ICL is right for you.