Intracorneal rings are plastic inserts placed in the cornea. The rings flatten the central cornea to correct low levels of nearsightedness (myopia). Unlike other refractive surgery procedures, intracorneal rings can be removed. When the inserts are removed the cornea returns to its preoperative shape and one is again nearsighted.
The procedure is generally performed on an outpatient basis using drops for an anesthetic. It is a quick procedure and can take less than half an hour.
Research is being done on intracorneal rings to correct farsightedness and astigmatism.
Complications with intracorneal rings are rare, but include undercorrection, overcorrection, induced astigmatism, infection, glare, haloes and extrusion of the insert. Minimal scarring may also occur in the area of the rings.