Isn’t nearsightedness a pain? You need to wear glasses or contacts for everything: to drive, to go to class… You may even need to wear them in order to see a loved one while having a normal conversation. Many people get used to wearing contacts or glasses all their lives, but the truth is, this isn’t a necessity. A treatment called Intacs can actually help you with nearsightedness and make sure you no longer have to wear your contacts or your glasses.
Intacs are corneal inserts that your doctor will place during a minimally invasive surgery in order to reshape the surface of the eye. While Intacs was originally approved by the FDA in 1999 to treat mild myopia or nearsightedness, the FDA granted Intacs a Humanitarian Device Exemption in July of 2004 for the ability to treat keratoconus as well. Intacs are meant for long-term vision correction, allowing people who are unhappy with having to wear contacts or glasses every day to have the option of choosing Intacs.
Intacs is a surgery that involves inserting two clear and crescent-shaped plastic polymer devices into the cornea. This reshapes the eye, making it work differently than it did before. When Intacs are used to treat nearsightedness, they flatten the cornea, which allows it to refocus light rays in a more natural way. Because nearsightedness causes the eye to be unable to focus light naturally, which interferes with your ability to see faraway objects, the Intacs help correct this problem, allowing you to see faraway objects without your glasses.
Before the procedure, you will probably receive an oral sedative, and your doctor will likely place drops in your eyes that have an anesthetizing effect. Your doctor will create a tunnel between the layers of the corneal stroma, and then, they will choose the type of ring that suits your eye. Thicker rings will flatten the cornea more, so if your nearsightedness is very advanced, you will need a thicker ring to create higher-level vision correction. Then your doctor will place the Intacs into the tunnel.
The procedure is very fast and only takes about 15 minutes in the doctor’s office. Most individuals are able to seek this treatment on an outpatient basis, and while they are able to go home the same day, they need to have someone else drive them home.
Fortunately, Intacs are made from a biocompatible material, so they cause very few side effects in most cases. However, some side effects do occur in rare situations, such as:
In most cases, patients tolerate the treatment well and experience few to no side effects. They also experience an increase in vision that allows them to see comfortably and far away without the need for contacts or glasses.