Alternatives to Laser Vision Correction
Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)
ICLs (implantable contact or collamer lenses) are lens implants that are placed inside the eye and sit on top of the natural lens capsule. The ideal candidates for ICLs are those who have very strong prescriptions or corneas that are too thin for laser vision correction. Also, those patients who prefer to avoid LASIK, LASEK or PRK can consider ICL implantation. This procedure is very similar to cataract surgery, except that the natural lens remains intact, and the ICL is placed on top of the natural lens. Patient’s who undergo ICL implantation must undergo special testing to make sure the lens will fit correctly, and a laser procedure to protect against angle closure glaucoma. The visual benefit after ICL implantation may be realized up to 6-8 weeks after the procedure.
Natural or Refractive Lens Exchange
For those patients who are not good candidates for laser vision correction or those with cataract formation, refractive lens exchange offers an opportunity to improve vision and be less dependent on glasses. This is a procedure in which your natural lens is removed, and an intra-ocular lens (IOL) implant in placed into the eye. Interestingly enough, cataracts are treated in the exact same way. There are a variety of IOLs that can be implanted that afford many patients with improved vision and less dependence on distance or reading glasses. Please speak with your physician to determine which lens would benefit you the most.