Implantable contact lenses could be a solution to growing interest in vision correction
MIAMI– The pandemic has led to a significant increase in vision-related complaints, partly fueled during the pandemic as people have spent more time staring at screens than ever before.
Rising nearsightedness, or nearsightedness, is driving increased interest in vision correction procedures, and a recent innovation is attracting attention: an implantable contact lens.
The solution was ideal for Powell Robinson, who has been using contact lenses since grade seven.
“Basically, the inflammation from wearing them for really long hours was making my vision a little blurry, my eyes were getting really dry and it was kind of becoming unbearable,” says Robinson.
Working as a cinematographer and director in Los Angeles, he turned to Dr. Neda Shamie at the Malone-Shamie Vision Institute for help. She recommended a procedure known as EVO Visian ICL.
“The EVO ICL is a permanent implantable contact lens that is placed in the eye instead of a contact lens that you would wear on the surface of the eye, where you constantly have to take it out and put it back on,” says Dr. Shame.
She says the implant is ideal for treating myopia and offers an alternative to Lasik surgery, which works by altering the anatomy of the eye.
The EVO Visian ICL has been approved overseas for over 10 years with over 1 million surgeries performed.
Here in the US, it was approved by the FDA in March and is hitting the market just as eye complaints are skyrocketing.
Myopia is increasing so rapidly that an international study published in the journal Ophthalmology estimates that half of the world’s population could be nearsighted within the next thirty years.
EVO lenses take 8-10 minutes to implant and cost between $2,500 and $5,000 per eye. Because this is an elective surgery, it is usually not covered by health insurance.
For Robinson, the improvement in his vision was almost immediate, and he calls his new window on the world life-changing.
“It’s kind of weird waking up in the morning and seeing,” he says.