Are you exploring options for permanent vision correction? At Takle Eye Group, our eye doctors are proud to offer advanced and innovative implantable collamer lenses, also known as ICLs, to help patients accomplish their vision goals.
What Are ICLs?
An implantable collamer lens (ICL) is a lens that can be surgically implanted inside your eye to correct refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. It is made of a biocompatible material called Collamer, which is similar to the natural collagen found in the body.
Unlike traditional contact lenses, which sit on the surface of the eye, ICLs are placed inside the eye between the natural lens and the iris. When you have a refractive error, the light that enters your eye does not land directly on the retina.
Refractive errors typically occur due to an irregularity in the shape of the cornea or if the eye is too short or too long. Like contact lenses and glasses, once the ICL is in place, it will work to correct your vision by bending the incoming light to focus it correctly on the retina.
An ICL may be an excellent choice for you if you have been told you are not a good candidate for other permanent vision correction procedures, like LASIK. ICLs are a good option for people with thin corneas or other anatomical abnormalities that make laser eye surgery risky.
What Happens During the ICL Procedure?
ICL surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that is typically an outpatient procedure. During the ICL procedure, you will be awake.
First, your eye doctor will place numbing drops in your eye to ensure that you are comfortable during the procedure. Next, your eye surgeon at Takle Eye Group will make a tiny incision in the cornea, which is the clear front part of the eye.
The incision is usually very small and will heal naturally during your recovery without the need for stitches. After making the incision, your eye surgeon will then insert the rolled-up ICL lens into the eye.
Since the ICL is a soft, flexible lens and made of a material that is biocompatible, it is well-tolerated by the body. Once inside the eye, your eye surgeon will unfold the implantable collamer lens and position it appropriately.
The ICL lens will be custom-made to fit the specific dimensions of your eye, and the power of the lens is based on your prescription.
After the lens is implanted, the procedure is complete.
Your eye doctor will apply eye drops to help prevent infection, and then you will be allowed to go home shortly after the procedure. The entire procedure is quick and usually takes about fifteen to thirty minutes to complete.
What is the Recovery Like After the ICL Procedure?
After your ICL procedure, it is essential to ensure that you are taking all the necessary steps to make sure your eyes heal properly. Your eye doctor will provide you with a list of instructions to follow to minimize your risk of complications.
It is very important that you follow these instructions closely, so your recovery is smooth. Your eye doctor will likely advise you to avoid rubbing your eyes, wear eye shields to protect your eyes while sleeping, and avoid strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or contact sports for several weeks.
You should also use eye drops as prescribed by your eye surgeon at Takle Eye Group to prevent infection and inflammation. Your eye doctor will want to see you for a series of follow-up appointments, which are typically scheduled in the days, weeks, and months following the procedure to monitor progress and ensure that your eye is healing properly.
One of the many benefits of choosing ICL surgery is that the recovery time is relatively short, and most people are able to resume normal activities within a few days.
How Long Do ICLs Last?
Implantable collamer lenses, also known as implantable contact lenses, are designed to be a permanent vision correction solution. Since they are made of a biocompatible material, collamer, they are durable and resistant to degradation over time.
The actual lifespan of ICLs can vary from person to person, depending on various factors such as age, lifestyle, and overall eye health. In general, ICLs are designed to last for many years, and most patients can expect them to remain effective for many years to come.
It is important to note that, as with any surgical procedure, there is a small risk of complications that may require additional treatment or replacement of the ICLs. Also, although an ICL can significantly improve your visual freedom and reduce your dependence on glasses and contact lenses, it will not prevent you from developing other eye conditions that may threaten your vision later in life.
Regular eye exams and follow-up appointments with your eye doctor are crucial to monitor the health of your eyes and ensure that your ICLs are functioning properly.
Who Is a Good Candidate for ICLs?
A good candidate for ICLs is typically between twenty-one and forty-five years old, has stable vision and a moderate to severe refractive error, has healthy eyes, realistic expectations, and good general health. The only way to know if you are a good candidate for certain types of ICLs is to visit your eye doctor at Takle Eye Group for an evaluation.
During this evaluation, your eye doctor will perform a variety of tests to determine your candidacy for this vision correction procedure. If you are confirmed to be a good candidate, you will be able to schedule the ICL procedure.
Are ICLs Safe?
ICLs have been shown to be safe and effective for vision correction, with high rates of patient satisfaction. However, like any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications that should be discussed with an eye doctor before undergoing any surgery.
The risks are relatively rare and can be minimized through proper preoperative evaluation and post-operative care. Your eye care professional can also help you understand the risks and benefits of ICLs and make an informed decision about whether this procedure is right for you.
Overall, while ICLs do carry some potential risks and complications, they are generally considered safe and effective for vision correction when performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon.
Would you like to learn more about ICLs or determine if you may be a candidate? Schedule an appointment at Takle Eye Group in Griffin or Locust Grove today!