At EyeCare 20/20, we wish that we could help everyone clear up their vision problems with LASIK, but it’s just not that simple. Some people, because of severe astigmatism or nearsightedness, aren’t good candidates for LASIK. And that’s tough to tell them, because often times these are patients who have some of the worst vision, and would see great benefits from vision correction surgery.

But now we have some hope for these folks. According to research presented at AAO 2016, the 120th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, there is another option for people who cannot get LASIK. Phakic intraocular collamer lenses, or Phakic IOLs, were found to be safe and effective after five years, according to the research.

The 31 patients who were tracked over 5 years after receiving the IOLs all had 20/200 vision or worse. That’s not a typo. To put that in perspective, in the United States you are considered legally blind if you see 20/200 with your glasses or contacts. So without their corrective lenses, all of these patients could see at 20 feet what someone with normal vision could see at 200 feet. Only sixty percent of them were able to achieve 20/40 eyesight with their contacts or glasses.

So after five years, what did the researchers find? Well, for starters, the lenses all stayed clear after five years, and not a single patient lost any visual acuity. Over half the patients achieved 20/40 vision without the help of contacts or glasses, and a majority of patients were able to read at least one or more additional lines on the chart. Maybe one more line doesn’t seem like a lot to you, but when you can only read the first line, gaining another one is a pretty big deal.

So it’s clear that to someone who has been laboring with severe vision problems, the Phakic IOLs may be the answer they’ve been looking for. It’s important to remember that the researchers followed these patients for five years, and didn’t see any signs of clouding, nor did they see any instances of the lenses hurting vision. Everyone in the study saw some degree of improvement in their vision, even if it was very slight. That’s quite a low risk for a potentially very high return on the investment that a patient is making in their eyes.

It’s true, 31 patients isn’t a huge sample size, and the researchers did note that larger studies would be needed in the future, but for now it looks as though Phakic IOLs can help many people in their daily lives.

Even if you’ve been told you aren’t a good candidate for LASIK, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options for improving your vision. Contact us today and set up a consultation with our team. You might be surprised at the options you have available to you. So don’t wait any longer with poor vision. Call today and learn more about your options for vision correction.

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