Vision Correction: LASIK vs. Implantable Contact Lens (ICL)

Vision Correction: LASIK vs. Implantable Contact Lens (ICL)

The LASIK vision correction procedure has become popular recently because of patients who have spread the good word that this operation actually works for people who have chronic problems with their impaired vision. However, some are still not convinced. Consider the facts: 95% of all LASIK patients reported that they experienced no permanent or major side effects, therefore, there is the remaining 5% who had their vision altered forever, in a way that LASIK did not intend. A few people would not like to take this risk, thus they look for other ways to correct their vision.

LASIK surgery uses a scalpel to create a flap in the eye so that the laser that can have access and alter the shape of the eye’s cornea. Through the reshaping of the cornea, one’s focus can be improved. More modern LASIK techniques do away with the scalpel altogether; a different laser can be used to create the flap instead. Some LASIK machines incorporate the LASIK Wavefront technology, which can create an accurate map of the landscape of the eye to ensure precision. The patient will be informed of the applicable procedure for his or her eye should he or she prove to be eligible for the procedure.

For those who were not able to get the doctor’s go-ahead signal to have LASIK eye surgery, there is another procedure available for them. Implantable Contact Lens surgery, or ICL, is one of the best alternatives to LASIK. It works exactly as it sounds: contact lenses will be implanted on the eyes of the patient permanently. The goal of Implantable Contact Lens surgery is also to improve the eye’s focus. Patients who took this option happily report that the lenses are unnoticeable once implanted on their eyes.

Both ICL and LASIK can improve vision problems like nearsightedness and astigmatism. However, 20/20 vision cannot be guaranteed by either procedure. Implantable Contact Lens surgery is performed less frequently than LASIK. Also, less than 3% of all LASIK patients needed to have additional surgery. In both procedures, the risk of infection can be significantly decreased if one practices the recommended post-operative eye care religiously. In addition, there should be regular check-ups to check for and prevent any complications.

The advantage of ICL over LASIK is its reversibility. LASIK reshapes the eye’s cornea permanently, while the implanted lenses of ICL can still be taken out if there appears to be some problem. LASIK, however, is less intrusive, and thus LASIK costs are lower than ICL. Expect to pay $500-$2,500 per eye for LASIK, while ICL may cost $1,500-$3,000 per eye.

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