What is the Difference Between Permanent Contact Lenses and Contact Lenses?

Sub Title

young man putting contact lens in his eye
by Dougherty Laser Vision

You have two different options when it comes to correcting your vision when you don’t want to wear glasses when you are not a candidate for LASIK or PRK corrective laser surgery. You could get permanent contact lenses installed or wear regular contact lenses.

What Are Permanent Contact Lenses?

This type of contact lens is typically called a Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer® Lens), which many people simply call an implantable contact lens or just ICL. The ICL is made from biocompatible materials, including collagen. The lenses are implanted into the eye in between the cornea and the iris during an ICL procedure which uses lasers to make the incision to implant the lenses.

What Are Regular Contact Lenses?

Regular contact lenses are the ones you obtain from your optometrist to correct your vision. There are several different types of contact lenses on the market today, including:

  • Soft Lenses
  • Hard Lenses
  • Colored Lenses
  • Daily Wear Lenses
  • Weekly Wear Lenses
  • Monthly Wear Lenses
  • Toric Lenses
  • Bifocal Lenses

One key difference between ICL and regular contact lenses is regular contacts can be prescribed for any age for a variety of corrective vision problems, such as:

  • Farsightedness
  • Nearsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Presbyopia

A key concern with regular contact lenses is there are increased risks of eye infections, improper contact usage and storage, and other “at-risk” behaviors that could permanently damage one’s vision that people don’t have to worry about with implantable contact lenses.

Pros of Implantable Lenses

There are several pros and cons of implantable lenses you need to know to help you decide if they are the right choice to correct your vision.

1. ICLs can help correct nearsightedness and astigmatism. Advances are being made in this area to address other vision conditions.

2. ICLs are a good choice for people who are not good candidates for LASIK or PRK.

3. ICLs can be used when people have irregular corneas, dry eyes, or vision prescriptions that exceed the acceptable range for LASIK or PRK.

4. Dr. Dougherty pioneered and created his proprietary Vista Vision ICL Procedure in Los Angeles. It allows people to have the entire procedure completed in a single surgery, unlike other eye surgeons that require four separate surgical procedures.

5. ICLs are maintenance-free since they are implanted in the eye.

6. There are no added expenses for contact lens cleaners, storage containers, or replacement lens costs.

7. The Vista Vision ICL Procedure is minimally invasive with the entire procedure lasting no more than 15 minutes in most cases.

8. Compared to LASIK or PRK, people end up with high-definition vision with ICLs.

9. ICLs last a long time and allow people to see clearly for many years.

10. The procedure is reversible if you do not like the results. Dr. Dougherty has never had a single patient who wanted to reverse their procedure.

Implantable Contact Lens

4 Cons of Implantable Lenses

1. ICLs are intended for people between the ages of 18 and 50.

2. Annual eye wellness appointments are still required.

3. The ICL procedure is considered a cosmetic procedure, so it is not covered by most insurance plans.

4. The cost for the ICL procedure can seem expensive since the implantable contact lenses are custom made for each patient. However, there are financing options available to make the procedure affordable.

5. After age 50, the ICLs may need to be replaced due to cataracts.

As you can see, there are plenty of advantages offered with Visian ICL permanent contact lenses in LA County. To learn more about the Vista Vision ICL Procedure and to see if you are a candidate for ICLs, please feel free to contact Dougherty Laser Vision at (805) 422-7939 to schedule a free consultation today! Unsure if LASIK surgery is right for you? Take our Self Test!