High myopia above -6 dioptres is debilitating. Patients are chained to either glasses or contact lens wear, without which the world around them is really very blurred.
Not unsurprisingly, it is this group of patients that often seek the expertise of an eye surgeon with regard to getting rid of their glasses or contact lenses. So, what is the best and safest option for people with high myopia?
Laser eye surgery (LASIK and LASEK) can safely correct up to -10 dioptres of myopia but may be limited by the patient’s corneal thickness. As the laser removes more corneal tissue as the attempted correction increases, it is important to keep in mind that a safe residual corneal thickness of at least 300 microns must be left behind after the treatment for structural integrity. If a patient has a thinnish cornea, it may thus be difficult to fully correct their vision whilst respecting the need to preserve a safe margin of corneal tissue.
For patients with thin corneas and those with levels of short sight even greater than -10 dioptres, the Visian ICL is a safe and highly effective option. The Visian ICL is a phakic intraocular lens ( it is positioned in front of the patients natural lens ) that can correct up to -25 dioptres of myopia and up to 7 dioptres of astigmatism. The Visian ICL often gives a better quality of vision than laser vision correction for higher levels of myopia due to the fact that no new optical aberrations are created ( laser create aberrations at higher corrections, hence the need to use wavefront technology ). Better still the procedure is reversible and visual recovery very rapid.