Implantable contact lenses (aka phakic IOLs) can be thought of as similar to an ordinary contact lens, however instead of the lens sitting on the surface of your eye, it is placed permanently inside your eye. The implantable contact lens procedure is a simple operation and carries a high success rate.
Implantable contact lenses/phakic IOLs are generally made up of a material called Collamer which is completely bio-compatible with your eye. They are commonly used for extreme short sighted prescriptions (approx. over -10.00 DS) which fall outside the treatable range of either Lasik or Lasek.
Implantable contact lenses can in theory also be used for long sighted prescriptions that fall out of the treatable range of laser eye surgery but more often than not such people will be unsuitable for this treatment due to restrictions in the depth of the anterior chamber.
The anterior chamber is the area at the front of the eye between the iris (coloured part of the eye) and the cornea (clear outer surface). This is where the implantable contact lens is generally placed and therefore the anterior chamber has to be big enough to accommodate it. Long sighted eyes are smaller than short sighted eyes and so consequently have a much smaller anterior chamber. This is why extreme long sighted prescriptions are often not suitable for Implantable contact lenses as there is quite simply not enough room for them.
Implantable contact lenses are typically a treatment for younger patients aged between 21-50 years old. The reason for this is that an Implantable contact lens does not interfere with the focussing power of your eye as your natural lens is left intact. The natural lens in your eye is called upon whenever you need to focus on anything close to you. During the procedure a lens equal to the prescription in your glasses / contact lenses will be inserted into your eye to enable you to see clearly. Following the procedure, when you need to read something up close the natural lens in your eye will continue to focus as it always has done. This is one of the main advantages of implantable contact lenses. This is different to refractive lens exchange as with this procedure the natural lens inside your eye is replaced by an artificial lens and hence your focussing power is impaired. For this reason refractive lens exchange is generally recommended for people over the age of 50 years old. For more information on refractive lens exchange read the following guide: How does refractive lens exchange work?
“I saved £300 on my laser eye surgery at Optical Express when I booked through Right Clinic and now I never have to wear glasses again. Thank You!"Gemma Rostron, London
“I was always a little scared of having laser eye surgery but felt reassured after reading the reviews on here. I am now glasses free and am over the moon!"David Flynn, Manchester
"After comparing all the clinics I decided to just go for it! I booked my consultation through Right Clinic and got a better price than if I'd gone direct."Jayne Blake, Cardiff