Dr. Paul Dougherty on Implanted Contact Lens (ICL)
1. Overview of LASIK Laser Eye Surgery:
a. LASIK, or Laser Eye Surgery, is the reshaping of the inner cornea by laser in order to correct vision.
2. Drawbacks to LASIK?
a. Not everyone is a candidate. Some people have astigmatism that is too strong; some people have corneas that are too thin to be safely operated on.
b. Major side effects include halos, starbursts, night-driving problems, and eye dryness.
3. Overview of Implanted Contact Lens (ICL):
a. A hollow needle smaller than the size of the tip of a pen inserts the contact lens underneath your cornea.
4. How ICL is superior to LASIK:
a. With LASIK, the cornea is removed, so the corneal nerves are actually severed. Those negative side effects we talked about earlier are a direct consequence of that. With ICL, the only trauma to the eye is that single incision by a very small needle. The likeness of any of those things happening is virtually nothing.
b. LASIK changes the shape of your eye. ICL maintains the shape of your eye, so it provides a more natural vision.
c. ICL’s also have a built in UV Blocker in them. We still recommend sunglasses, but it does provide that added protection.
5. Procedure and recovery time:
a. It takes about 5 minutes per eye. The recovery time is quick, you can go back to work the next day, if you like. Your vision will be a tiny bit fuzzy the next day, but you will be 100% by day 3.
6. The cost:
a. $6,000 for the procedure. Some insurance will cover it. If you think of the cost of contact lenses, solutions, and glasses over the span of a lifetime, it’s worth it.
7. Why everyone will eventually need additional vision correction:
a. Your prescription doesn’t really change after your mid thirties. You will not need to have your current lens changed out for a “stronger” one. In your mid 40’s everyone, whether you have LASIK or ICL, will need readers. This is why: the muscle behind your cornea flexes convexly and conversely (Dr. Dougherty uses an index card to illustrate the lens flexion) in order to adjust for switching from near sight and far sight. Eventually, due to age, that muscle stops being able to flex as well. It will happen to everyone, no matter WHAT kind of vision correction you have, or if you have enjoyed 20/20 vision all of your life. Everyone will eventually need readers. But you get to enjoy perfect long distance vision the whole of your life.
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