What is Visian ICL?

The Visian ICL is a phakic intraocular lens (IOL) used during refractive surgery for correcting myopia. Unlike IOLs that are used during cataract surgery, the Visian ICL does not replace the eye’s natural lens. Instead, the ICL is placed between the iris and the natural lens. Because the phakic IOL does not replace the lens, but supplements it like a prescription contact lens, it is sometimes referred to as an implantable contact lens.

Now, patients who are seeking the latest approved procedures for vision correction or who want to avoid the permanence of laser vision correction have another choice for correction of nearsightedness. If a patient decides to get laser surgery later, or opts for a still undiscovered procedure at some point in the future, the ICL may be removed.


What is Visian ICL?

What Makes the Visian ICL Different?
Although the Visian ICL is often informally defined as an ” implantable contact lens,” in the United States, the “ICL” in the Visian ICL stands for “implantable Collamer lens.” This designation acknowledges the unique material that comprises the lens.

Unique Lens Composition
Unlike other phakic IOLs the Visian ICL is made from Collamer, a unique, organic lens material, designed especially for the Visian lens. This proprietary lens material has greater biocompatibility than acrylic and silicone lenses. Collamer does not cause a reaction inside the eye and contains an ultraviolet filter that provides protection to the eye.

Safe, Proven Procedure
The safety and effectiveness of the Visian ICL implantation procedure has been proven with over 55,000 implants worldwide as well as recent U.S. FDA approval. Unlike corneal refractive surgery, the Visian ICL does not permanently alter the structure of the eye. Instead, the phakic IOL is placed in the eye’s posterior chamber, where it works with the natural lens to correct vision.

Small Incision
Unlike other phakic IOLs, the Visian ICL is foldable. This feature allows physicians to implant the lens using a smaller incision. The small incision procedure is a technique that is familiar to eye surgeons. The Visian ICL requires a 2.8mm to 3.0mm incision as opposed to the 6.0mm incision required by other FDA-approved phakic IOLs. This smaller incision is seen as less invasive, does not require sutures, and is astigmatically neutral.

Removable, if Necessary
The Visian ICL is meant to stay in the eye indefinitely. However, if overcorrection or undercorrection occurs, a complication develops, or a patient’s vision changes, the Visian ICL can be removed or exchanged by a trained ophthalmic surgeon.

Eye Drops – How to use

It is important to take your medications regularly and exactly as prescribed if you are to control your eye pressure. Since eye drops are absorbed into the bloodstream, tell your doctor about all medications you are currently taking. Ask your doctor and/or pharmacist if the medications you are taking together are safe. Some drugs can be dangerous when mixed with other medications. To minimize absorption into the bloodstream and maximize the amount of drug absorbed in the eye, close your eye for one to two minutes after administering the drops and press your index finger lightly against the inferior nasal corner of your eyelid to close the tear duct which drains into the nose. While almost all eye drops may cause an uncomfortable burning or stinging sensation at first, the discomfort should last for only a few seconds.

Treating Glaucoma

Most glaucoma treatments are aimed at consistently lowering intraocular pressure. Eye drops, oral medications, laser treatment, and surgerycan be used to lower intraocular pressure. These treatments do not “cure” glaucoma, but help control thedisease.

Eye Drops are the most common treatment for glaucoma. Eye drops work to either decrease the amount of fluid the eye makes, or increases the outflow of fluid. It is important to use eye drops as they are prescribed and not miss doses. Oral medications are some of the most powerful ways to lower intraocular pressure. They carry certain side effects that limit their use long term.

Lasers are available to help lower eye pressure. Laser trabeculoplasty is the most common laser used for glaucoma and can be used in the early or middle stages of the disease. Lasers can often decrease or eliminate the need for eye drops.

Surgery is available when medicines and lasers do not control the intraocular pressure. The most common types of glaucoma surgery either enhance the natural passageway for fluid to flow out of the eye or create a new passageway for fluid to flow out of the eye. Sometimes a tube or shunt is used to direct fluid out of the eye.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Unfortunately, most glaucoma has no noticeable early symptoms. Usually the eye pressure is not high enough to “feel”, unless it is very high. Vision loss usually takes years to progress to the point someone can notice the blind spots.

Symptoms of glaucoma can include blurring of vision, haloes around lights, and a feeling of pressure or pain around the eye. This usually occurs from wide fluctuations in eye pressure or a rapid rise in eye pressure.

Who is at risk for Glaucoma?

Factors that increase a person’s risk generally include:

· Increased Intraocular Pressure (IOP) – Anyone who has been found to have an elevated intraocular pressure at a glaucoma screening or as part of a general eye examination is considered to be at risk for developing glaucoma.

· Increasing Age – The incidence of glaucoma increases as we get older. Typically the incidence of glaucoma becomes much more noticeable above the age of 40 years old. This is why routine eye examinations with glaucoma evaluation are recommended every 2 years above the age of 40, if there is no other family or medical history, and more often if there is a preexisting history of glaucoma in the family or other predisposing heath factors.

· Race – People with Africa heritage tend to have certain genetic factors that cause a higher likelihood of developing glaucoma.

· High Blood Pressure – Those patients who are being medically treated for high blood pressure may be at greater risk for glaucoma due to the lowering of the blood pressure within the optic nerve.

· Family History of Glaucoma – Family history of glaucoma is a very significant risk factor. If any other family members have been diagnosed with glaucoma, your risk of developing glaucoma increases considerably. This is particularly true for siblings of glaucoma patients, who have a 5-fold increase in risk for developing glaucoma.

· Diabetes – Anyone being treated for diabetes is considered to be at greater risk for glaucoma due to the general circulation problems associated with diabetes.

· Myopia (nearsightedness) – In general patients who are nearsighted have anatomical features that may increase the risk of glaucoma.

· Long-term Steroid Treatment

· Injury/Trauma To The Eye

Dr. Bergstrom will weigh all of these factors before deciding whether you need treatment for glaucoma, or whether you should be monitored closely as a glaucoma suspect, meaning your risk of developing glaucoma is higher than normal, and you need to have regular eye examinations to detect the early signs of damage to the optic nerve.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve. Over 3 million Americans (67 million people worldwide) are affected by glaucoma. Half of those with glaucoma are not aware of it. Glaucoma has been called the “silent thief of sight” because there are no warning signs until significant nerve damage and vision loss has occurred.

As the optic nerve degenerates, blind spots develop in the peripheral (side) vision. Because the blind spots are usually in the outer visual field, they go unnoticed. The most common cause of nerve damage is high intraocular pressure (eye pressure). Once the nerve is damaged, it can not be replaced or repaired. With early detection and proper treatment, total blindness from glaucoma is uncommon.

Everyone knows someone with glaucoma – the leading cause of preventable blindness. In more than 9 out of 10 cases, blindness from glaucoma could have been prevented by early detection and treatment. If you have questions about Glaucoma or want additional information please give us a call.

Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL)

Intraocular lenses, commonly called IOLs, may be one of the most important ophthalmic developments in the past 30 years. These tiny prescription lenses are placed inside the eye during cataract or Clear Lens Extraction And Replacement surgery (CLEAR), replacing the eye’s natural lens (called a cataract when it becomes clouded). Prior to the development of IOLs, cataract patients were forced to wear thick “coke bottle” glasses or contact lenses after the surgery. They were essentially blind without their glasses.


IOLs are small, and because they are placed safely within the eye, the lenses are invisible, and provide a new sense of freedom and comfort.

Today, patients receiving IOLs often enjoy the best vision of their lives. Thanks to sophisticated formulas used to calculate the corrective prescription power of the lens. We look at Cataract surgery as a chance to give our patients excellent vision, and in many cases, without glasses.

Types of Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) :


There are three main types of IOLs, the standard monofocal lens and the “Lifestyle” lenses which include multifocal and accommodating, and toric astigmatism correcting lenses.


Monofocal lenses are the standard lens and the most common used in cataract surgery today. These lenses are made to allow the patient to see at distance, perhaps even without glasses. The patient will still need to use reading glasses for any near activities and they do not correct astigmatism.

Lifestyle lenses offer the patient enhanced vision by providing both distance and near vision or by correcting astigmatism. These lenses give the patient the best vision possible with much less dependence on glasses.

Multifocal lenses are a type of lifestyle lens. These lenses have two or more focal points or spots where vision is clear. The areas of clear vision are usually at distance and can be chosen for various near points.


Accommodating lenses are another Lifestyle lens. These lenses gives patients the chance to experience vision more naturally. The lens has the ability to focus or shift slightly in the eye, creating a more natural range of vision. Patients can expect good distance, intermediate and near vision. The amount of near vision varies from patient to patient.

The last type of Lifestyle lens is a Toric lens. This type of lens is a special monofocal lens that also corrects for astigmatism.  It has to be placed at the proper orientation in the eye.

If you are not a candidate for Intraocular Lenses,  Visian ICLmight be an option.

Understanding Cataracts

Cataract formation is a natural process which occurs slowly over time. The lens behind the pupil gradually becomes cloudy which affects how light is focused onto the retina, causing glare and blurry vision. Cataract surgery is a technologically advanced procedure in which the lens is removed through a small, no stitch incision, and is replaced with a crystal clear acrylic lens that allows light to be clearly and precisely focused on the retina.

Advancements in lens technology and refractive surgery allow Dr. Bergstrom to achieve unprecedented results with cataract surgery. Now it is possible to achieve clear vision for both distance and reading without glasses. Premium multifocal and accommodative lenses offer the potential for reduced dependence and frequently complete independence from glasses.