Implantable Lenses Treat Nearsightedness

Implantable lenses, also called phakic IOLs, or intraocular lenses, treat nearsightedness, as does laser eye surgery, but in a very different way.

The surgeon implants specially designed lenses, much like contact lenses, either in front of or behind the iris. No changes are made to the natural cornea.

One very good reason to take the time to consider this procedure before laser eye surgery is that phakic IOLs are reversible. Laser eye surgery is not. IOLs are a good alternative to Lasik or PRK or other laser eye surgery for correcting nearsightedness.

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Other reasons your eye surgeon might consider phakic IOL implants is if you are a poor candidate for laser eye surgery. For example, if you have thin corneas phakic IOL's may be a viable option.

You might be a good candidate for phakic IOLs if your nearsightedness was out of the correctible range for any of the laser eye surgery procedures.

If your vision is not fully corrected after these lenses are implanted, phakic IOLs may bring your best-corrected vision into a range correctible by laser eye surgery.

Intraocular lens implants are considered permanent because they are surgically placed and can’t be removed as a contact lens can. The procedure is reversible only by surgery.

Your ophthalmologist can remove them permanently, or replace them with a different prescription if that becomes necessary.

Unlike contact lenses, phakic IOLs don’t require maintenance. You can’t feel them, and they aren’t going to pop out and get lost, either.

Unlike cataract surgery that removes your natural crystalline lens and replaces it with an IOL, phakic IOLs are placed between the iris and the natural lens. Your natural lens is not removed.

Advantages of Implantable Lenses:

  • Your eyes retain their natural ability to focus
  • The procedure is painless
  • Multifocal lenses can be used improving vision at near, intermediate and far distances.
  • Can return to work the next day
  • Good Candidates for Implantable Lenses Are:

  • Under 60 years of age
  • Are able to take time off work as each eye is done separately, about one week apart
  • Have no sign of cataracts
  • Risks:

  • Increased risk of retinal detachment
  • Damage to corneal epithelial cells
  • Inflammation and infection
  • Corneal decomposition
  • Severe vision loss
  • Halos
  • Increased intraocular pressure
  • FDA has approved two brands of intraocular lenses for correction of nearsightedness, the Verisyse phakic IOL and the Visian ICL. Both are being studied for use in treating farsightedness.


    Return From Implantable Lenses to Other Eye Surgery