There are types of contact lenses worn only during sleep that reshape your cornea. After taking them out in the morning, your vision is as good as it would be while normally wearing contacts or glasses. Studies also suggest the lenses slow or stop myopic progression in children
“Doctors discovered the reshaping phenomena of glass lenses as early as the 1940s. This history of orthokeratology includes contributions made by Jessen, Ziff, Nolan, Paige, Gates, May, Grant, Fontana, Tabb, Freeman, Shed, Kerns, and Binder to the use of contact lenses for myopia reduction.
George Jessen created what was probably the first orthokeratology design in the 1960s made from PMMA material, which he marketed as “”Orthofocus””. These early designs had generally unpredictable results, leading to the belief that applied orthokeratology was more art or luck than science. Many groups and individuals claim to have been the first to develop modern orthokeratology solutions. However, Dr. Richard Wlodyga and Nick Stoyan, in particular, are generally credited with developing the first reverse zone lens design in the 1980s.
However, it was not until computerized corneal topography became available during the 1990s that it became possible to apply the theory to create designs with repeatable results through being able to accurately map the surface curvature of the cornea using a non-invasive, painless imaging procedure. Additionally, the development of new base materials for rigid gas permeable lenses which provided much higher levels of oxygen permeability opened up the possibility of orthokeratology becoming an overnight procedure rather than being used for daytime wear alone. Finally, the introduction of computer-controlled precision lathes meant that lens designs could be manufactured to sub-micron levels of accuracy thereby offering the prospect of high volume production becoming commercially viable.
In the summer of 2000, at an educational meeting of optometrists in Toronto, the Orthokeratology Academy of America (OAA) was formed to support, promote and advance orthokeratology. By providing quality education and scientific information on the subject of ortho-k to all interested practitioners, the OAA provides an unbiased forum for the free exchange of ideas and concepts relating to all aspects of orthokeratology. Its membership has the opportunity to advance their role in the field by applying for and passing comprehensive exams in order to achieve Fellowship status in the Academy. In parallel, the British Orthokeratology Society (BOKS) was established in the UK with similar objectives to promote orthokeratology as a new procedure to correct myopia.
In 1994 the FDA granted the first ever daily wear approval for a lens indicated for Orthokeratology to a type of lens called the Contex OK-Lens. A significant milestone for the United States market occurred in June 2002 when the FDA granted approval for overnight wear of a type of corneal reshaping called “”Corneal Refractive Therapy”” (CRT). This forms the basis of the “”Paragon CRT”” product backed by Paragon Vision Sciences Inc. Subsequently in 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a design from Euclid Systems Corporation (“”Emerald””). Each FDA approval has a Premarket approval (PMA) number. The PMA number of the FDA approval for Paragon CRT is P870024; the PMA number of the FDA approval for Emerald is P010062.
However, nightwear ortho-k solutions were available to consumers in many countries outside the US much earlier as a result of different regulatory controls and bodies.
In 2005, Bausch & Lomb acquired the PMA for the Emerald lens design from Euclid (which is marketed in Europe as ‘i-GO OVC’) and created the “”Vision Shaping Treatment”” (VST) program to collectively market a number of ortho-k lens designs which were manufactured using Bausch & Lomb base material. This program currently comprises five lens designs in addition to Emerald.
In 2006 and 2007, papers presented at the British Contact Lens Association and the Global Orthokeratology Symposium indicated the possibility of orthokeratology slowing or stopping myopic progression. This was found to be effective in children in Hong Kong and is the subject of wider study to verify this data. More recently, the first year results from the SMART Study (Stabilizing Myopia by Accelerated Reshaping Technique) – a five-year longitudinal study currently underway in the Greater Chicago area – show a statistically significant difference for children in the treatment group wearing orthokeratology lenses who exhibited no overall prescription change against children in the control group wearing conventional soft contact lenses for whom there was a mean increase in myopia of 0.40 diopters.”