Dr. Lee

ICL vs Lasik… Which is better?

ICL vs Lasik.. Which is better?

When someone is considering refractive surgery, I find very few know anything about the ICL procedure. Almost everyone knows about LASIK but since so few eye surgeons (ophthalmologists) offer the ICL, very few patients are even given that option.

To be politically correct let me say…”There are is no best surgery to correct vision, there is only the best surgery for you.” Now with that said, I tend to favor ICL in most cases.


The initials “ICL” technically stands for Implantable Collamer Lens. But most people think it stands for Implantable Contact Lens.  For very high myopes, it is sometimes the only refractive-surgery option short of removing the human lens (RLE-refractive lens exchange).  The ICL procedure has several advantages over Lasik.

It has the highest power correction range up to -20.00

Although it does involve a small hole in the Iris (the colored part of the eye) it is less “destructive” than Lasik. Lasik involves cutting a flap in the cornea then “melting” corneal tissue with a laser. The ICL is simply inserting a “lens” inside the eye (between the human lens and the iris).

ICL is reversible and changeable. Lasik is not.

Dry eyes is a common common complaint with Laisk.

Lasik inherently causes aberrations within the corneal that can potentially produce difficulty at night or  “loss of best visual acuity.”

Because of the flattening of the cornea with Lasik, contact lens wear post-Lasik is not a good option. So if the eyes change over time, the patient may be stuck wearing glasses to correct the difference. However, with an ICL, if the eye changes, contact lenses are still an option OR can even change the ICL (rarely done).

There is a possibility that for older patients (over 45) the ICL may cause cataracts to develop earlier. 50% of the US  population will develop cataracts by age 65 no matter what they do. Some studies suggest ICL may cause the cataract to develop 5 -7 years earlier. This is apparently a fairly rare occurrence.


Any surgery involves some risk. For patients with myopia (nearsightedness) -3.00 and under… consider  CRT instead. This involves wearing a retainer lens at night to gently reshape the cornea without surgery. Sleep your way to great vision!

At your next eye check-up, ask if you are a candidate for any of these procedures. We will be happy to coordinate Lasik or ICL with some of Arizona’s top eye surgeons.  As for CRT, we are the only certified CRT provider in the White Mountain area.


A word about YOUR yearly eye examination and refractive procedures. Too may patients judge the need for yearly eye checkups based on how they see. If you have ICL, LASIK, or even the non-surgical CRT procedure MAKE SURE YOU ARE SEEN YEARLY. Besides vision, there is a long list of health-related issues that can not be ignored simply because you are “seeing good.”






Double Vision vs. Ghosty Image

True double vision is usually a binocular issue. Meaning both eyes must be open to see the double image; close one eye and the double image disappears. Diplopia can be either vertical or horizontal. Sudden onset of true double vision (diplopia) is a medical emergency. It could indicate stroke or some other neurological condition. Diabetes is another potential cause of sudden onset double vision.

A gradual onset of double vision may also be a sign of a serious medical condition (tumor, aneurism ) or it can be worsening of a long-standing high phoria, and sometime it can be artificially induce from something as simple as a “stye”.   Take no chances… CALL THE EYE DOCTOR !!!

A “ ghosty image “ is much more common and is what a lot of people think is double vision.

Take a close look at the image above. Note how there is a faint “ghosty” image of each letter. This ghosty image does NOT go away when one eye is closed.

Common causes of “ghosty images” are dirty or filmy glasses or  dirty or bad contact lenses. An incorrect prescription or change in prescription. CATARACTS. Sometimes early macular degeneration.  Tear layer disorders or corneal conditions can also cause “ghosty images”.

Try blinking and watching if the ghosty image changes. If it does it usually means the cause is external (outside the eye) most likely the surface of the eye. It it doesn’t change it could be your eyeglasses or internal issues (inside the eye).

An eye doctor can help determine the cause  and any health-realated issues that may be associated with the condition.


For our Dr Lee Eye Center patients, when you call for an appointment, please tell us if your symptoms have been gradual or sudden onset. And as always, you can also email your medical concerns directly Dr. Lee (if urgent, calling our office may be faster and if an after-hours emergency…  go to the hospital ER).

Omega 3

After a multivitamin, the second most important supplement
for most people to take each day is Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3, found in fish
oil, is made up of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which seems to have heart
protective effects, and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which seem to be of benefit
to the nervous system.

What is the preferred ratio of  EPA / DHA?

More EPA than DHA for Cardiovascular Health

If your objective is supporting heart health, you will probably be
better off with a product that contains about twice as much EPA as DHA. This is
the ratio used in most studies that found a protective benefit of fish oil
against cardiovascular disease.

More DHA than EPA for Nervous System Health

On the other hand, DHA is more important than EPA fatty acid for
the eyes and brain, especially in children. If your concern is supporting
recovery from depression, bipolar disorder, lazy eye syndrome (amblyopia), or
macular degeneration… then you are better of using a product that contains more
DHA than EPA. This is not easy since most fish supplements contain more EPA
than DHA.

Another way to think of it is…  EPA is for function and DHA is for structure.


How to buy Omega3  supplements

It is better to buy products that contain at least 600 mg of
total omega-3 essential fatty acids (EPA + DHA),
whether they contain more EPA or more DHA. When you buy a product that contains
at least 600 mg of essential fatty acids in a 1,000 mg capsule, there
simply is not a lot of room left for impurities.

Some low-quality products contain as little as 180 mg of omega-3
essential fatty acids per 1,000 mg capsule (that’s a total of only 180 of
EPA+DHA per 1000mg of supplement), making them three times as expensive (in
terms of available nutrients) and far more likely to trigger allergies or
stomach upset because of potential fillers.

For reference:  Costco’s Kirkland brand Omega 3 Fish Oil comes as a 1200mg capsule and contains 410 mg EPA and 274mg  DHA  for a total of 684mg of Omega three per 1200mg total capsule size.

Their “cheaper” version they call “concentrate”, which actually has far LESS total omega-3’s. It is a 1000mg capsule that contains only 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA (total of only 300 mg omega-3) making the“higher priced” product the BETTER VALUE! As with anything, know what you’re paying for. Often the “cheaper” products  actually cost more over time.

EPA and DHA are found in seafood, especially
mackerel, salmon, striped bass, rainbow trout, halibut, tuna, and sardines.
Supplements of fish oils that contain EPA and DHA are sold over the counter.
Salmon oil naturally contains more DHA than EPA (often several times more) and products made only from algal oil will contain only DHA. DHA can be
found by itself, these supplements are usually from an algae source

Note: Flaxseed oil contains ALA, which the body can convert into DHA (women more
efficiently than men). But each person seems to convert it at a different rate
so it’s hard to know for sure how much to take. Also, in one study, men with the highest
intake of ALA were about twice as likely as those with the lowest intakes to
develop advanced prostate cancer. And the risk was increased regardless of
whether the ALA came from vegetable or animal sources, according to findings
published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Vision and DHA

The rods and cones of the retina in the eyes are very rich in DHA. Hence, a deficiency in dietary fish oils will reduce the photoreceptor activity of retinal cells, and may reduce visual acuity. On the other hand, supplementation with fish oils (or flaxseed oil) could lead to visual improvement, enhanced color perception (as long as no cataract exist) and better macular health.

Since levels of DHA in the brain decline with age, it is likely that the levels of DHA also decline in the retina. Is it possible that daily intake of fish oils can improve vision in older individuals and has already been shown to aid in the treatment of macular degeneration?


Alternative Omega-3 sources

Two good plant-based sources of Omega-3 are walnuts and chia seeds (yes that’s right, the same seed used for the “Chia Pet”… yes you can eat chia seeds!)

Dry Eye Checklist


If you experience any of the symptoms below, you maybe suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome. Left untreated, your symptoms will most likely intensify, making your daily life unpleasant, or worse, deteriorate your visual acuity. Severity and frequency can vary by patient. Treatment can be as easy over-the-counter wetting drops and nutritional intervention. 

           WARNING: Do NOT use Visine® Murine® or ClearEyes® eye drops.

We can identify your type of dry eye and help you choose the best treatment option(s).

  • Red Eyes
  • Frequent tearing
  • Itching
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Sandy or gritty feeling
  • Light sensitivity
  • Watery eyes
  • Pain or soreness in or around eyes
  • Tire Eyes
  • Contact lens discomfort
  • Decreased contact lens tolerance
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Dry throat or mouth
  • Arthritis / joint pain