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Contacts Correct Vision by Reshaping Cornea

Contacts Correct Vision by Reshaping Cornea

Posted - Mar. 25, 2004 at 9:33 p.m.



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Ed Yeates ReportingSome people don't like the idea of surgery to correct their vision. Now they can correct nearsightedness in their sleep.

Jenn Baird is among a growing number of consumers now who goes to bed every night wearing special hard contact lenses which reshape the corneas of her eyes while she sleeps.

Jenn Baird: “Took about three days on my initial wearing for my vision to be great all day. And now I just wear them every night and my vision I good during the day. I don’t need any correction during the day.”

While Jenn sleeps, the hard contacts compress the cornea, flattening it out for better focus. In the morning she simply removes the lenses and goes about her daily routine.

Before the correction, without wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses, Jenn could only read two large letters on the vision chart. But after two or three days of wearing the nighttime lenses, she could read the third line down on the chart.

Jenn: BAIRD: "The number was like 2100 – 2200 without my glasses. Now it's perfect vision - 20/15 every day."

The correction works well, but it's not permanent. If you stop using the sleeping lenses the corneas will slowly revert back to their original shape. But then, Dr. Harold Olafsson at the University of Utah's Moran Eye Center says for many, that's what so appealing.

Dr. Harald Olafsson, Univ. of Utah Moran Eye Center: "It's primarily for someone who might be a little gun-shy of a permanent surgical procedure. It's for those individuals and it might be for a younger person who may not yet be a candidate for a more permanent solution."

The lenses do require careful mapping and placement. And the eye doctors who do them have to be specially certified. "Corneal Refractive Therapy" or CRT, as it's called, is about half the cost of laser surgery.

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