Are these for everyone? No -- though they were initially developed first for the correction of near-sightedness, they didnt pan out for this group of patients.However, a doctor in France suspected they might be good for patients with a condition called keratoconus. You will remember that the cornea is the clear dome on the front of the eye that functions as its major lens. This allows us to use lasers to correct near-sightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. If you have keratoconus, your cornea is distorted and vision is blurry. While this is often correctable with hard contact lenses, the lenses are uncomfortable and dont correct the vision all that well.
Thank goodness, then, for Intacs! Intacs are small, clear half-ring segments that are embedded in the cornea. They reshape the cornea and generally improve the quality of vision, making it possible for many patients to see with glasses or contact lenses. Intacs dont work in all patients with keratoconus, but many, many people with this condition benefit considerably from their use.
Heres how it works: we make a special little channel in the cornea using the IntraLase and insert the Intacs into the channel. The procedure is quick, taking only 20 minutes or so, and painless, with only some numbing eye drops administered during the procedure and a night of intermittent scratchy discomfort in the eyes to contend with. Most people feel fine the next day.
Most people with keratoconus notice some immediate improvement in quality of vision, but it can take up to 6 months to fully stabilize.In the event that Intacs are uncomfortable and ineffective, they can be removed without much trouble.
Intac implants are a welcome alternative. Until recently, all we had to offer those with keratoconus was a corneal transplant. Of course, when necessary, corneal transplants are still an excellent solution, but we welcome Intacs as they allow us to treat a great number of patients using a procedure that embodies three words that should be music to the ears of doctor and patient alike: quick, simple, and painless.