What is the Intrastromal Corneal Ring (ICR)?

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:48 pm
If you’re looking for an alternative to eyeglasses, contacts, or surgical procedures that cut or remove tissue from the eye, ask your doctor about corneal ring implants. Intrastromal (in-truh-STRO-muhl) corneal rings are plastic inserts placed in the cornea to correct low levels of nearsightedness. The rings flatten the center of the cornea to allow the eye to focus on distant objects. Unlike other refractive surgical procedures, intracorneal rings can be removed. When the inserts are removed, the cornea returns to its original shape and nearsightedness returns. The procedure is generally performed on an outpatient basis, and anesthetic drops keep the patient comfortable and pain-free. It’s a quick procedure that takes less than half an hour. The rings are made of the same plastic used in contact lenses, and you won’t feel them in your eye. Complications are rare, but include undercorrection, overcorrection, induced astigmatism, infection, glare, and halos. Slight scarring may also occur in the area of the rings. Intracorneal rings are currently available for people with mild nearsightedness who don’t have a severe case of astigmatism. The best way to find out if you’re a candidate for the procedure is to schedule an appointment with your doctor and have your vision evaluated.
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