Implantable contact lens

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by Brandy Aguilar, Special projects

azfamily.com

Posted on January 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 19 at 10:21 PM

PHOENIX -- A lot of people turn to Lasik to fix their vision, but a lesser known procedure might be the solution to a much clearer outlook on life without all the hassle.

"I have had pretty horrible vision for the past 14 years," Pegah Bipar said.

Bipar has been wearing contacts since she was in middle school.
 
"Sometimes I will fall asleep and forget to take out my contacts lens and that's definitely not what they recommend," Bipar said.

The 22-year-old doesn't want to mess with contacts anymore. She wants a more permanent solution.
 
"The procedure is to correct nearsightedness so that the person can see without having to wear glasses," Dr. Michael Campion said.

Bipar is a candidate for Implantable Contact Lenses or ICL. Campion at Southwestern Eye Center in Mesa will be putting in the FDA-approved lenses.

The procedure starts with the patient's eyes getting numb.

"It does go behind the iris, the colored part of the eye," Campion said. "Two or sometimes three incisions are made and then the ICL is folded up and injected into the eye. When it unfolds inside the eye, once unfolds, then the ICL is positioned in the eye in the appropriate manner."

The procedure can last up to 30 minutes for both eyes.

"Typically, it will take several weeks for the vision to settle and to stabilize with maximum level, but for the most part people can usually see well enough to take care of themselves right away," Campion said.

In Bipar's case, she had 20/20 vision in both eyes one hour after the procedure.

"The quality of the vision is better with the ICL than it is with Lasik," Campion said. "And Lasik does remove some of the corneal tissue which is not replaceable, so someone can have an ICL and still have Lasik in the future or they can have other technology that may come along."

It"s been more than a week since Bipar got her procedure. She says life is definitely a lot clearer these days.

"For the first few days, I was expecting to blink and feel my contacts in my eyes, but that was one of the best feelings to have was that these are now my eyes and it's now my vision," Bipar said.

To see if you’re a candidate, log on to Southwestern Eye Center at www.sweye.com.

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