Countless people live with refractive eye errors, including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. For most of these people, glasses or contact lenses help them to see clearly. While laser vision correction offers patients a permanent way to correct their vision, there is another, less well-known option – implantable contact lenses.
Also known as ICLs or in some cases, phakic intraocular lenses (pIOLs), these specialized contact lenses are a great choice to permanently improve the vision of patients who may not be good candidates or who would prefer not to have laser vision correction.
Implantable Collamer lenses are the name of the contact lenses that are used in permanent, implantable lenses. The name Collamer refers to the material from which these contact lenses are made. Collamer is a biocompatible material, which means that your body won’t view it as an invader and therefore won’t reject it. The name Collamer comes from a combination of collagen and polymer.
Implantable Collamer lenses shouldn’t be confused with intraocular lenses (IOLs) which are used to replace the natural lens of the eye in patients with cataracts.
Although they aren’t as well-known as laser vision correction, glasses, and contact lenses, implantable lenses have a wide range of benefits, meaning that an increasing number of people are choosing them to help correct their eyesight. Here are some of the reasons why patients are choosing ICLs:
ICLs enable patients to enjoy clear vision at all times of the day and night without needing to wear glasses or conventional contact lenses.
ICLs are reversible, meaning that you can change for a different lens power in the future should your prescription change.
You can swap ICLs for IOLs if you develop cataracts in the future.
You can’t see or feel ICLs once they have been implanted.
There’s no need to clean or maintain ICLs since they can’t be removed.
ICLs contain UV protection which helps to protect your eyes from the damage that could be caused by exposure to the sun.
ICLs are completely biocompatible, meaning you don’t have to worry about rejection.
The treatment doesn’t cause any changes to your cornea, as is the case with laser vision correction surgery.
The cornea remains the same thickness and its integrity isn’t compromised in any way, as is often the case with LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures.
The procedure is minimally invasive, painless, and quick and patients can go home the same day.
You may be able to have both eyes treated on the same day.
It usually takes between two and three days to be able to see clearly following your procedure.
ICL surgery is considered to be extremely safe, with more than 800k procedures performed worldwide.
ICL surgery is a very safe and straightforward procedure that is carried out under local anesthetic. This means that you will be awake during the procedure, but you won’t experience any pain or any of the side effects associated with a general anesthetic. However, you will also be given sedation which will help you to remain calm, comfortable, and still while the procedure is performed.
The procedure itself involves a special device being used to make a small incision of around 2.8mm being made into your eyes, which will be used to insert your custom ICLs. This goes behind the iris. There is no need for sutures, and once it is in place, your eyes will be covered and left to heal. Around an hour after your surgery, your surgeon will check your eyes and vision, and evaluate the pressure inside your eyes to make sure that everything has been successful, and you will be allowed home.
It’s essential that you follow the aftercare instructions provided by your team at Santa Barbara Eye Care as this will minimize your risk of experiencing complications and help your eyes to heal as quickly as possible.
For more information about implantable Collamer lenses, call Santa Barbara Eyecare in Santa Barbara, California at (805) 967-9990 to schedule a consultation today.