Treatment of refractive errors
with intraocular lens implantation
Intraocular lenses for correcting refractive errors
Phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs) are an alternative to procedures like LASIK and PRK for patients with refractive errors. These lenses are transparent and are placed inside the eye without removing the eye’s natural lens. They are positioned either in the space between the cornea and the natural lens (anterior chamber phakic lenses) or behind the natural lens (posterior chamber phakic lenses). The role of these lenses is to properly focus light on the retina and correct refractive errors, providing good vision without the need for glasses.
Phakic IOLs are similar to contact lenses in that they correct refractive errors, but the difference is that they work from inside the eye. These lenses are not felt or seen by the patient, and there is no need for additional care except for routine eye check-ups.
For patients with severe nearsightedness, farsightedness, or those who have insufficient corneal thickness for laser correction, phakic IOLs can provide an effective solution without removing the natural lens. The implantation of these lenses is a minimally invasive procedure that allows for the preservation of accommodation, which is important for maintaining the ability to focus on both near and distant objects. Phakic IOLs are particularly suitable for individuals who have not yet reached the age of presbyopia, as they can provide good vision for both near and far distances. The lenses can be positioned in either the anterior chamber (between the cornea and the iris) or the posterior chamber (behind the iris and natural lens).
These lenses, such as Verisyse and Artisan, are permanently implanted inside the eye. However, they can be removed through surgery at any time. Each type of lens has its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types are Verisyse and Artisan. Verisyse lenses are thin and rigid lenses that have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are gradually gaining popularity among eye care professionals. A potentially better type is the foldable or flexible version of these lenses (Artiflex & Veriflex), which is used to correct severe nearsightedness or farsightedness. The advantage of these lenses is that they are inserted in a folded state and then opened inside the eye, allowing for smaller incisions and, consequently, less astigmatism resulting from the surgery.
These lenses are recommended for individuals whose refractive error falls outside the range that can be corrected by corneal laser surgeries (like LASIK or PRK) or have thin corneas. Since this procedure carries a higher risk, it is often used in individuals with higher degrees of nearsightedness or farsightedness.