Implantable Contact Lenses
Implantable Contact Lenses
  • Yun Jung Ji-hye
  • 승인 2007.04.06 20:06
  • 댓글 0
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In ancient times, people could see really tiny things far away; however a person of the present age can't even see letters in a newspaper.  Fortunately, the development of techniques and science has given us surgery for correcting nearsightedness by way of peeling the cornea with a laser. 

Recently, there has been ICL (implantable contact lens) surgery highlighted for permanency and safety.  Contact lens use by means of putting a lens on the cornea has decreased due to the ICL method of inserting a permanent lens between the cornea and iris. 

ICL technology has been available for the correction of nearsightedness and farsightedness eyes mostly in foreign countries since 1996.  It has passed certification in the European Union and is approved for efficiency and safety.   ICL is made of a collagen complex called Collamer which is that contains refined collagen and adapts with cells within the human body. 

The process
Contact lenses are produced according to an individual's eyes and diopter.  The procedure can be done under local anesthesia with the patient awake throughout the operation.  The lenses are inserted into the eyes through a tiny incision by using an injector.  The ICL is a tiny and foldable lens that is inserted through a 3mm incision that does not require sutures.  After the insertion, the lens is fixed into proper position. 

The advantages
The ICL provides predictable refractive outcomes and excellent quality of vision due to its insertion inside the eye in a position where natural focusing occurs.  ICLs provide better visual quality than LASIK (laser in-situ Keratomileusis).  The implant surgery is quick and painless, lasting less than 30 minutes. 

After surgery, you are carefree about the damage of the cornea and deformation and have merits for easy care.  Also, ICLs have low probability of intra-ocular infections such as cataracts.  Moreover, the lens can easily be removed if necessary.

The disadvantages
The surgery should be performed only in the hands of an experienced ophthalmologist.  The operation fee is expensive for custom-made lens quality material.  And making an accurate estimate is less precise than LASIK.  Finally, the patient is operated on twice because each eye is operated on, at separate times. 

Compared with LASIK
In general, ICLs are better suited in patients requiring correction of severe nearsightedness because it doesn't require excessive cornea flattening compared with LASIK.  In fact, certain ICL patients are actually able to see better than they could with glasses or contact lenses. 

LASIK rarely provides such an optical benefit.  In addition, ICLs may be more predictable than LASIK in correcting high nearsightedness, and ICLs may be the first option for patients with nearsightedness greater than 15 diopters. 

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