Correcting Nearsightedness with the Implantable Collamer Lens


Nearsightedness is the most common refractive eye condition in the world and is estimated to affect more than 25% of Americans. Also known as myopia, it occurs when the light that passes through the eyes doesn’t quite reach the retina, which is the area of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye, and instead comes up short just in front of it. As a result, patients with myopia can see objects close to their eyes clearly, but those that are at a distance will appear blurred and out of focus. Other signs of myopia include eyestrain, headaches, and squinting. 


In the past, patients with myopia only had the option of prescription glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision. Today, there are many more treatments available, including one of the newest and most innovative – Implantable Collamer Lenses. 


What is the Implantable Collamer Lens?


The Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) is a cutting-edge FDA-approved treatment for the correction of nearsightedness. It is a surgical solution which means that all the time that the lens is in place, your vision will be permanently corrected. However, if you decide that you want the ICL to be removed, this is possible and straightforward. 


The ICL itself is very similar in size and design to a contact lens. However, rather than being worn on the front surface of the eye, it is instead implanted within the eye, in front of your natural lens and behind your iris which is the colored part of your eye. This is done using a local anesthetic, and the entire process usually takes less than 30 minutes. However, you will need to spend a little extra time in the care of your optical team both before and after the procedure, although you can still go home the same day. You will need someone to collect you and drive you, ideally staying with you at home while you recover.


Once implanted, the ICL cannot be felt or seen, nor does it require any maintenance. In fact, most patients pretty much forget that they have even had the procedure. It isn’t generally recommended for both eyes to be treated at once. Instead, you will have the surgeries planned for a minimum of one week apart. You will be given specific advice on the best way to take care of your eyes while they heal, and you should follow this as directed. 


What are the Benefits of the Implantable Collamer Lens?


There are a number of different benefits associated with the use of Implantable Collamer Lenses. These include:

  • The procedure is low-risk and carried out using local anesthetic, meaning that you won’t be in any pain.

  • ICLs are suitable for the majority of patients who have been diagnosed with myopia. 

  • The lens cannot be felt when it is in place, meaning that it doesn’t interfere with your day to day life. 

  • There’s no maintenance needed.

  • The procedure is reversible should you wish it to be. 

  • You can enjoy clear vision without glasses or contact lenses, and without the permanence of laser vision correction.


Am I a Good Candidate for the Implantable Collamer Lens?


The ICL can be successfully used by a wide variety of patients, particularly those who are under the age of 40. It is most often recommended for patients who require high prescriptions for myopia, and/or for patients who may otherwise have considered laser vision correction but are not good candidates for that treatment. You will need to have healthy eyes and stable vision too. 


If you are considering correcting your nearsightedness with the Implantable Collamer Lens, please contact our eye care center in Santa Maria, CA, Lompoc, CA, or Solvang, CA to schedule a consultation to discuss your candidacy for this effective myopia treatment.