Monday, March 24, 2008
Medical Reports: Eye Opener
Finally, there's new hope for people who can't have LASIK eye surgery. Doctors can now implant a contact lens into your eye for 20/20 vision. Seven's Richard Lemus has more on this surgery that's being touted as a real Eye Opener.
WSVN -- Twenty-five-year-old Jenny Roth knows what it's like to be called four-eyes. She's had to wear glasses and contacts since she was five years old.
Jenny Roth: "Not being able to see what other people could see was frustrating."
Over the last few years, she's held on to one hope for 20/20 vision.
Jenny Roth: "My doctors always told me I would be the perfect candidate for LASIK surgery."
Turns out she wasn't.
Jenny Roth: "I ended up being too nearsighted. I was definitely bummed that I could not have LASIK."
There's now a new alternative for people like Jenny who aren't safe candidates for LASIK. It's called Implantable Contact Lens Surgery or ICL. Doctors surgically implant a contact lens into your eye.
Dr. William Rand: "The ICL has to be very precisely prescribed, we take all the measurements before the surgery and then order the lens specifically for that patient."
Doctors make a small incision in the cornea, then insert the lens behind the iris of the eye. The surgery takes just 15 minutes.
Dr. William Rand: "There's no stitches, there's no injections, patients can see right away."
You see through it just like you do a contact lens, but you don't feel it and, unlike LASIK, ICL is reversible.
Dr. William Rand: "If your vision changes, then an ICL can be changed, or we can supplement with laser."
Jenny had ICL surgery six weeks ago and saw results right away on the operating table.
Jenny Roth: "I actually remember seeing the light above me come into focus when he implanted the lens, which was the most amazing feeling."
Even more amazing, her vision is now 20/20, something that's been a real eye opener.
Jenny Roth: "I am seeing street signs from afar, I can see the TV, I can wake up and see the clock in the morning."
And, while she can now see everything, she doesn't feel a thing.
Jenny Roth: "I feel nothing in my eye. A lot of people at work call me the bionic eye woman now."
Richard Lemus: "ICL costs about double that of LASIK and is not covered by insurance. You also need to be at least 21 years old to have the surgery. That way your vision changes have stabilized."