If you are nearsighted (myopic) and would rather not have a Custom LASIK procedure, or have been told you are not a good LASIK candidate, the Staar® Visian ICL™ could be a good option for you. ICL stands for Implantable Collamer Lens and collamer is the proprietary material used to make the lens. In other countries, ICL stands for Implantable Contact Lens, but the FDA determined that to be inaccurate and required that “Collamer” be used.
The Visian ICL is also known as a phakic intraocular lens (P-IOL). A regular IOL such as the Crystalens®, ReStor or ReZoom™ lenses used during cataract surgery would actually replace the natural lens of your eye. The Visian ICL is placed in front of the natural lens directly behind the iris (colored part of your eye). It is”hidden” back there, practically invisible to the world and cannot really be felt by the patient. The ideal candidate for the Visian ICL would be between 18 to 45 with little or no astigmatism, although there are exceptions.
How the Visian ICL Works
The Visian ICL is FDA-approved to treat as much as 15.00 diopters of myopia, so it is an excellent option if you have moderate or severe myopia. It is an alternative to LASIK and all its variant procedures.
A myopic eye bends (refracts) too much incoming light, causing it to focus before it reaches the eye’s retina (the back of the eye). Correction of myopia is achieved by undoing some of that light bending; that is, by reducing the eye’s refractive power. Whether it is done with glasses, contacts, LASIK, or a Visian ICL, the correction involves bending light, delaying its focus until it reaches the retina.
If you look at a person’s eyes, you see the color right away, and that is the iris. It is behind the transparent cornea which covers the eye protectively. Behind the iris is the crystalline lens, suspended by some little ligaments and controlled in its curvature by two muscles called ciliary muscles.
So each eye has two lenses – the crystalline lens and the cornea. Together, in a 20/20 eye, they bend incoming light to a focus on the retina. The Visian ICL provides a third lens. It corrects corneal refraction after the fact – before the light reaches the crystalline lens. Now you have three lenses that work together to give you clear vision at all distances.
What if I am NOT a candidate for LASIK eye surgery?
Advantages of the Visian ICL
- You cannot feel it in your eye, nor can you see it. You just see a normal eye just like what you would have seen without the ICL, except that things are in clear focus.
The procedure is reversible. That means that the Visian ICL can be easily removed if that becomes desirable for any reason. It can also be replaced with a lens of different strength if necessary.
- The procedure is short and simple. Local anesthetic numbs your eye, the incision is tiny, the ICL is easily positioned and is supported by the eye’s inside walls, and the incision usually has no sutures. There will be no residual scar in your field of vision, nor visible to others.
- The collamer used to make the Visian ICL filters out ultraviolet light, thus protecting the eyes from possible damage from that source.
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If you would like to know more about the Visian ICL and whether it would be the best option for correcting your myopia, please contact Clear Advantage Vision Correction Center today. One of our friendly staff will be happy to speak with you more about this exciting option.