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ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens)


Implantable Collamer Lenses, also known as ICLs, offer a permanent solution to vision problems and are becoming an increasingly popular choice for people who want to achieve greater visual freedom. At Washington Eye Institute, we are proud to offer ICLs to patients who desire reduced dependence on visual aids.

What is an ICL?

Implantable Collamer Lenses, or ICLs, are a type of intraocular lens that is surgically implanted into the eye to correct refractive errors. If you wear glasses or contact lenses in order to have clear vision, it is likely that your blurry vision is a result of a refractive error.

ICLs are made of a flexible material called collamer, which is biocompatible and does not cause any adverse reactions in the body. ICLs are designed to work in conjunction with the eye’s natural lens to improve vision and can be used to correct a range of refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

Unlike traditional contact lenses, ICLs are surgically implanted into the eye and remain in place permanently. They are placed between the iris and the natural lens, which allows them to correct vision while minimizing the risk of complications. 

ICLs are a popular choice for people looking for a permanent solution to their vision problems and who want to achieve greater visual freedom and reduced dependency on visual aids like contact lenses or glasses.

Who is a Good Candidate for ICL?

ICLs are an excellent choice for people with strong glasses or contact lens prescriptions who are not good candidates for LASIK or other laser eye surgeries. Candidates for ICL should be over twenty-one years old, have a stable prescription, and have good overall eye health. 

People with certain medical conditions, such as glaucoma or cataracts, may not be good candidates for ICL. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor at Washington Eye Institute will evaluate your eye health, medical history, and refractive error to determine if you are a good candidate for ICL.

If your eye doctor thinks that the ICL is a good choice for you, they will discuss the benefits, risks, and alternatives of the procedure with you to help you make an informed decision.

What Happens During the ICL Procedure?

The ICL procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and takes about fifteen to twenty minutes per eye. Before the procedure, you will be given numbing eye drops to ensure you are comfortable. 

Your eye surgeon will then make a small incision in the cornea to create an opening where the ICL will be inserted. The ICL is then carefully folded and inserted through the incision and positioned behind the iris but in front of the natural lens. 

Once in position, the ICL unfolds. Your eye surgeon will then perform a final check to ensure the ICL is positioned correctly before the procedure is complete.

Many people notice an improvement in their vision right after the procedure. However, you will still not be able to drive yourself home.

Plan to have a family member or friend take you to and from the procedure on the day of.

How to Best Recover From the ICL Procedure?

Following the ICL procedure, most people typically experience a fast and easy recovery and can resume their normal routine within a few days. However, it’s crucial to diligently follow your eye doctor’s instructions to ensure a smooth recovery. 

Avoid rubbing your eyes, swimming, or engaging in strenuous activities during the first few days after the surgery. To prevent infection and inflammation, it’s essential to use the prescribed eye drops as instructed. 

Your eye doctor will monitor your healing progress and vision improvement through periodic follow-up appointments, which you must attend to detect any potential complications. You may also experience some temporary dryness or irritation in your eyes, but this can typically be managed with lubricating eye drops as prescribed by your eye doctor.

If you experience any severe pain, vision changes, or other concerning symptoms during your recovery period, it’s essential to contact your eye doctor immediately. These could be signs of complications that require prompt medical attention.

It’s also important to keep in mind that although the recovery period is typically quick and relatively comfortable, everyone’s healing process is unique. Your eye doctor may provide specific guidelines or recommendations based on your individual situation.

Following the eye doctor’s instructions carefully, attending follow-up appointments, and taking all prescribed medications and eye drops as directed are crucial steps to ensure a successful recovery and optimal vision outcomes after an ICL procedure.

Why Choose ICL for Greater Visual Freedom

ICLs provide a multitude of benefits that make them an ideal solution for people seeking greater visual freedom. Unlike glasses or contacts, ICLs are a permanent solution that can correct a variety of refractive errors. 

This allows you to enjoy clear and stable vision without the inconvenience of daily maintenance or the risk of losing or damaging your corrective lenses. The vision quality offered by ICLs is exceptional since they work in conjunction with the eye’s natural lens.

Unlike traditional contact lenses, which may cause visual disturbances by shifting on the eye, ICLs remain fixed in position and provide reliable correction. Furthermore, ICLs are a safe and effective alternative for people who are not suitable candidates for LASIK or other laser eye surgeries, such as those with thin or irregular corneas. 

ICLs are also highly customizable, allowing your eye doctor to select the ideal size and power to fit your unique eye anatomy and refractive error. ICLs offer a safe, effective, and long-term solution for individuals looking to achieve greater visual independence. 

To find out if ICLs are suitable for you, we encourage you to book a consultation with one of our experienced ophthalmologists at the Washington Eye Institute in Rockville, MD. Our team of experts can assist you in evaluating whether ICLs are a suitable option for you and assist you throughout the entire process, from assessment to recovery. Would you like to learn more about ICLs or discover whether you are a candidate? Schedule an assessment at the Washington Eye Institute in Rockville, MD, today!

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