Implantable Contact Lenses

If you want to permanently correct your vision but aren’t a good candidate for LASIK surgery, there’s now another viable alternative. In 2004, the FDA approved the use of the first implantable contact lenses (ICLs) for people suffering from extreme nearsightedness. These lenses are made out of soft plastic and are placed behind the iris. During the procedure, an ophthalmologist makes an incision in the cornea and then inserts the plastic lens in front of the person’s natural lens. The implantation is usually an outpatient procedure, and patients are given an anesthetic.

Many people who are not able to get LASIK surgery can benefit from ICLs. Researchers at the University of Kentucky found that implantable contacts can treat a larger range of patients than other permanent alternatives. They are especially helpful for people with moderate to severe forms of myopia. Clinical trials have shown a high rate of success, with 95 percent of people obtaining at least 20/40 vision, according to WebMD. Other advantages of implantable contacts include their virtual invisibility and their permanent vision correction. They can also be removed or replaced if a person’s vision changes dramatically.

Ideal candidates for this procedure are typically between the ages of 21 and 45 and have minor or no occurrence of astigmatism. There are other conditions that must be met, but those are best discussed with your eye care professional. Talk to your ophthalmologist for more information about implantable contact lenses. If they’re right for you, you could be seeing clearly in the very near future.

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