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For most individuals with nearsightedness (myopia) or astigmatism, glasses or contacts with a mild prescription are enough to bring their vision back into clear focus. For patients requiring particularly strong corrective lenses, implantable collamer lens (ICL) surgery may provide a safe, effective, and easy path to clearer vision.

What Is ICL Surgery?

During an ICL procedure, a tiny lens made of a collagen/plastic compound known as collamer is implanted directly into the eye, between the eye’s natural lens and the iris – the colored part of the eye. This lens supplements the existing natural lens and corrects the refractive error causing the vision problem.

Who Can ICL Surgery Help?

ICL surgery isn’t for everyone. Generally, only patients who fit the following profile are candidates with implantable lenses:

  • Patients with myopia, or nearsightedness – you can see things close up but have trouble focusing on things far away.
  • Myopic patients with astigmatism – ICL can correct astigmatism alongside myopia.
  • Patients with good eye health – ICL is only recommended as a corrective option for people whose eyes are generally healthy and whose vision problems are limited to refractive errors that can be corrected with lenses.
  • Patients who are not good candidates for LASIK or other laser-based procedures – ICL may be an option for patients who:
    • Have especially thin or irregular corneas.
    • Have preexisting dry-eye syndrome – laser procedures can exacerbate dry-eye conditions.
    • Do not wish to have irreversible procedures performed on their eyes – unlike laser procedures, ICL surgery is 100% reversible.

Who Is Not a Good Fit for ICL Surgery?

ICL is an excellent option for many patients, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. If any of the following are true, ICL surgery may not be an option:

  • You are farsighted (hyperopic).
  • You have otherwise poor eye health – glaucoma, cataracts, retinal issues, etc.
  • You are over 45 – patients older than 45 typically have or will develop eye conditions that ICL cannot treat or could make worse.
  • You only have mild myopia – mild cases of nearsightedness are better corrected through less-invasive means like glasses or contact lenses.

If you have questions about your eyesight or want to learn more about ICL surgery, schedule a visit with Eyesight Associates.

At Eyesight Associates, our doctors perform comprehensive eye exams to uncover the health of your eyes and vision. We’ll inform you of the state of your eyes and help you choose the best course of action with your health, if necessary. Schedule your exam with us today: 478-923-5872.