Frequently Asked Questions

Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL) Questions


Q. I am interested in ICL but your website states its for people 40 or this correct? I have a prescription of -10 and -10.5.

A. Yes this is correct. After the age of 40 most people start to need the use of reading glasses therefore we look at offering RLE instead. ICL treatment can't help with the need for reading glasses so it wouldn't be worthwhile for someone over the age of 40 to have this treatment.


Q. I am due to have ICL surgery in a few weeks. Do I need to adjust my contact lens wear in the lead up to the surgery?

A. Please see below for times to leave lenses out for: Soft/daily lenses- 48 hours, Sleep in/toric lenses- one week, Hard/gas permeable lenses- three weeks.


Q. I am longsighted with an astigmatism. I have been told in the past I am not a candidate for laser surgery but I have been reading about implantable contact lenses. Can you tell me are both eyes done on the same day?

A. We can look at offer you ICL treatment with a long sighted prescription from age 30 onwards. We treat the eyes a week apart.


Q. I had implantable lenses some 10 years ago, I now need reading glasses. Can I have my lenses replaced so I don't need the glasses?

A. It is possible to have the lenses replaced however we would need to check your suitability. Usually after this long patients will have the ICL removed and have RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange) treatment instead rather than fit another ICL.


Q. I came for a consultation in around April last year and was advised I needed ICL treatment, I was told this would be fine in Liverpool but I didn't have enough holiday to take from work. If I decided to go ahead this year would I need to have another initial consultation?

A. We would need to see you for another consultation as they are only valid for 6 months. This time it would only take about an hour however we will still use the dilation drops in your eyes.


Q. Can you have colour lens instead of clear?

A. All the lenses we use have to be clear.


Q. From what age can you get icl lenses?

A. We will consider ICL surgery from a minimum age of 21 provided you are within the treatment parameters.


Q. I am blind in one eye, could I have icl in my good eye as I now need reading glasses?

A. We will not consider elective IOL or laser eye surgery where you do not have good, clear sight in both eyes.  The reason for this is around risk.  While the risks are very small if any damage occurs, your overall sight could become drastically impaired.  Due to this surgeons are reluctant to consider surgery.


Q. I'm -13 on the right eye and - 15 on the left. Am I suitable for contact lens implants?

A. Your prescription is in range for Implantable Contact Lenses so it is certainly a surgery option to consider.  Suitability depends on your eye condition which we will only know once we have seen you for a consultation.  The appointments are free with no obligation.


Q. I have recently had a consultation with Optimax for laser eye surgery and was told my pupils were too large for surgery and the earliest they suggested I return for another consultation was in 4 years time. As this could have a detrimental affect on the career path I am pursuing, I was wondering if I would be considered for ICL instead? PS. I'm 24 years old and my prescription is -4.5 in both eyes.

A. Unfortunately due to the pupil size you are not suitable for ICL surgery either.  ICL has even tighter guidance with pupil size compared to laser eye surgery due to the size of the implantable lens.  Surgeons are reluctant to consider ICL surgery with pupils over 7mm.  As you get older the pupil size will reduce which is why we advised it best to wait for a few years before considering surgery again.  With larger pupils (as well as other factors) you have a higher risk of developing glares and halos post surgery, especially at night time when your pupils are dilated.


Q. How long and painful is the recovery from ICL surgery?

A.  there is minor discomfort within the first 24-36 hours, your sight itself will be blurry for 2-3 days, after which it will clear but the full results of surgery can take a few weeks be realised.


Q. Do you have to get your implanted lenses changed every couple of years like you would with glasses?

A. The Implantable Contact Lens is a permanent procedure and will not need to be changed every few years.


Q. I wear reading glasses can this be corrected? If so, what is the process called? Is it available at all clinics? I also need glasses for distance and intermediate for computer work. So 3 pairs as I do not get on with varifocals.

A. The need for reading glasses is different to the need for glasses for good distance vision. The need for reading glasses is known as Presbyopia and is brought on in the mid-40s by the 'stiffening' of the lens inside your eye.
With laser, you have two options. We can correct both your eyes for distance vision but then you would be left with reading glasses, or we can offer a treatment called Monovision.
This is where your weaker eye (non-dominant) will be identified and selected to be made slightly short-sighted for better closer up vision. Your strongest (dominant) eye is treated to correct distance vision. The result is that one eye sees well in the distance and the other sees close up objects well. Good vision for both near and far objects at the same time without glasses is achieved.
Monovision can take some time to get used to and can be tried by wearing contact lenses of different strengths and this can be discussed during a consultation.
The treatments that I have detailed above are available in most clinics (except for consultation-only clinics), as they are laser treatments.
We also offer a treatment which is called Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE). This treatment involves exchanging the natural lens of the eye, with an artificial lens of the correct power for good vision. RLE is exactly the same operation as cataract surgery but performed for the purpose of correcting your prescription. This treatment also eliminates the need for cataract surgery in the future.
RLE offers different types of artificial lenses, but specifically the Multifocal Lens offers patients an excellent chance to regain younger vision as it can restore distance vision as well as improve near vision for tasks such as computer use or reading.
The above treatment is carried out within a hospital but all of our clinics offer consultations.