Straining your eyes to read because you misplaced your glasses for the umpteenth time?
If losing your glasses and contact lens is getting on your nerves, you should consider Implantable Contact Lens (ICL), also known as Implantable Collamer Lens.
“ICL will not disturb the structure of the eye,” says Dr Nor Zainura Zainal, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Optimax Eye Specialist Centre. Moreover, the body will recognize the lens which is biocompatible to the eye, she adds, making it the main reason why more people are opting for ICL.
“There are also very minimal side effects for ICL and the success rate for this procedure is very high,” says Dr Nor Zainura.
The new and improved lens for ICL comes with a hole of about 0.36mm in the middle of the lens to minimize risk of glaucoma and avoid disruption to the aqueous flow in the eye. The lens also contains ultraviolet protection, providing you with high definition visual acuity.
AM I ELIGIBLE?
ICL is performed on a patient to correct their refractive error. This procedure is ideal for people who need visual correction to the eye. Suitable candidates are those with myopia (short sightedness), hyperopia (long sightedness) as well as astigmatism. As the visual condition varies in each individual, ICL is personalized accordingly.
“There are also certain criteria that must be met. The candidate must have a stable refraction, healthy eyes and should be free from diseases such as diabetes or autoimmune disease which can cause other complications,” stresses Dr Nor Zainura. This procedure is usually recommended for those between the ages of 21 to 45.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE LIKE?
If you are found to be a suitable candidate, the measurements of your eye will first be taken, a vital step to ensure that the lens is a perfect size and does not sit too close or too far to the patient’s crystalline lens.
ICL is an outpatient procedure which takes an average of 15 to 20 minutes for each eye. The patient will be given local anaesthetic and the eye will be dilated for the procedure.
During the procedure, the doctor will create 3 openings on each eye; 2 small openings of about 1 millimeter and the other slightly bigger to insert the lens. The ICL will be inserted on top of the iris with its edges later tucked underneath it.
The ICL is permanent and can last you a lifetime. However, in the event the patient develops visual problems such as cataract or wishes to remove the lens, a procedure can be done to have the ICL removed.
ARE THE EFFECTS IMMEDIATE?
Most patients experience an improvement in unaided visual acuity right after the surgery. However, they will see the maximum effect within one to seven days, with almost 100% achieved normal vision after the surgery and more than 80% achieved 6/6 or better vision. According to STAAR Surgical 99% of visian ICL patients have reported satisfactory results.
After the surgery, patients will not be allowed to drive home; hence arrangements for transportation will be necessary. Patients may also feel a slight discomfort in the eye post-surgery. Dr Nor Zainura describes this feeling as “sand in the eye.”
ICL not only allows you to get back on your feet almost immediately after the procedure but also promises good vision without the use of other forms of corrective lenses such as glasses or contact lens.
POST-SURGICAL EYE CARE
- Use eye drops that are given by the doctor which helps to reduce inflammation and prevent infection.
- Do not lift heavy objects or conduct any strenuous activities.
- Avoid places with dust and strong wind.
- Do not rub or squeeze the eye.
- Abstain from activities that involve close contact to the eye such as sports or facial spa.
- Wear sunglasses to avoid strenuous movement to the eye when there is a strong glare.