Re-Shape Your Eyes While You Sleep?
September 26, 2002 6:59 AM   Subscribe

Re-Shape Your Eyes While You Sleep? Wow - I don't know about you, but if I could wear contacts during my sleep that I *took out* when I woke up and didn't have to wear any all day, and I could see, then I'd do it in a second. When will it become reasonably priced?
posted by djspicerack (25 comments total)
This sounds amazing! I have (I think, it's been awhile) amblyoplyia -- I'm extremely nearsighted in one eye, and even with glasses it's so bad that my brain just tunes out the input, so it's like I only have one eye. If I had two -- oh, think of the things I could do!
posted by tweebiscuit at 7:30 AM on September 26, 2002

I remember hearing about this a while back; something about Asian countries wanting to use this, not only as described in the article but also as a preventative measure - apparently if you used this on kids you might be able to 'cure' shortsightedness.
posted by adrianhon at 7:32 AM on September 26, 2002

Mmm, stereoscopic vision is great tweebiscuit, you can like judge depth and stuff. Isn't amblyoplyia the same as 'lazy eye'? If you're above 10, I think the only way you can rectify that is sugery as you need to tweak the muscles on your malfunctioning eye, its not a problem with eye shape normally.. Of course, you could be severely myopic in that eye and not have amblyoplyia at all, but that would be kinda odd. I think. Have you tried to have it treated? You should be able to get either improved at any age.

Back to eye-reshaping, I always hate sticking in contact lenses in the morning before cricket/football matches and stuff (I wear my glasses aside from sports cos it makes me look intellectual, yeah), I'm just completely malco-ordinated before 11am for some odd reason. And too squeamish (and a year too young) for laser eye.

It'll become reasonably priced once lotsa people want it, supply and demand..
posted by Mossy at 7:46 AM on September 26, 2002

Ortho-K didn't work for me, so be careful of assuming this will work wonders. All I got was a scarred cornea (now can't wear contacts at all, and am ineligible for lasic).
posted by dwivian at 7:49 AM on September 26, 2002

My optomitist (wow, that was spelled wrong) has been doing this for a few years now - even been intervied on several news shows about them.

My eyes are too far gone to e able to use them, but I have known several people that have been testing them and LOVE them... it feels like you are wearing the old hard contacts when you go to bed, then you just pop them out in the morning... results were seen very very quickly, within a week or so.
posted by niteHawk at 7:53 AM on September 26, 2002

I never understood the appeal of contact lenses in the first place. If I couldn't wear my glasses, I wouldn't know what to do with myself.

Now, those weird Harry-Potter looking glasses intended for use in third world countries that have soft liquid-filled lenses where you adjust the pressure with little knobs and can change the prescription at will, those are cool.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:01 AM on September 26, 2002

Personally, I don't see the advantage to these over just wearing contacts during the day. My main beef with contacts is the daily putting in / taking out routine... having them in doesn't bother me. I guess an advantage would be not having to worry about them popping out, but that's rarely a problem for me.
posted by reverendX at 8:05 AM on September 26, 2002

Same problem with these contacts as I have with regular ones...

You want me to touch my eyeball? Ewwwwwww!
posted by grum@work at 8:10 AM on September 26, 2002

I saw the words 'rigid gas-permeable' and my eyes watered at the memory.
posted by Summer at 8:13 AM on September 26, 2002

whoa, yes, gas permeable lenses. forget sleeping in them.

can sort of see the point, cause it looks like it takes a while for your eyesight to go back to normal. Great for those suprise big nights out where you wake up in a hotel room in the middle of London, dressed in a john travolta style white suit and platform shoes and somebody else you discover in the room has accidentally drunk the lenses you left in a glass of saline by the sink.

maybe that just happens to me.

oh, and grum@work, you soon forget about it. peeling dry lenses off your eyes after you've slept in them (again, presumably after some alcohol related event) however, remains unpleasant after a number of years of having them.
posted by jonvaughan at 8:30 AM on September 26, 2002

There are other advatages, reverendX. I have issues with wearing contacts when I read or I'm doing computer work - my eyes dry out because I don't blink enough. It's bothered me so much that I've switched back to glasses after 10 years of wearing contacts.
posted by kelperoni at 8:47 AM on September 26, 2002

Years of computer use have left me farsighted, so I have to have reading glasses at the age of 24. I'm still waiting for a solution to this, besides having to carry around my glasses, which is a severe pain, because unlike people who need them all day and just put them on, I can't do certain things with them on, because it hinders my normal vision.
posted by benjh at 8:49 AM on September 26, 2002

They use the phrase "proprietary technology" like it's a good thing. Harrumph.
posted by abischof at 9:21 AM on September 26, 2002

The laser treatment is something I was toying with for a long time, but eventually I learned enough about it to dissuade me from the idea:

As you age, you naturally grow more and more farsighted -- so if you're nearsighted now, and relatively young, a LASIK treatment would just be setting yourself up for bifocals and farsightedness when you start to get wrinkly. If you leave it alone, your eyes will gradually improve on their own. Some doctors try to accommodate this by undercorrecting one eye, so that on average over the course of your life at least one eye will be okay... but that means the other one will always be a bit blurry, so some patients end up being dizzy and headache-y all the time, or wearing glasses anyway.

And of course, if you're shortsighted, there's nothing they can do about that.

So this contact lens thing sounds a lot better: it's temporary, so changes you make now won't end up screwing you in the long run. Except that hard lenses are pretty uncomfortable. And I'd feel like I was back in junior high, putting my retainer in every night.
posted by ook at 9:32 AM on September 26, 2002

I just sleep with my normal contacts in, just like having real eyes (i.e i can see when i wake up), and after a month or two I pop em out and put some new ones in, and before you say that's not good for your eyes the doc just examined me and said my eyes are fine and appear to be getting plenty enough oxygen.
posted by zeoslap at 9:39 AM on September 26, 2002

like those extremely pointy shoes, i vowed to never again wear gas perm lenses again for as long as i lived. if braces and headgear ever come into fashion, it'll feel like i'm 12 years old all over again. [ on preview: ook - i remember watching school movies in the dark with the gas perm lenses - every time you blinked, they would float around your eyeball making all kinds of light reflections! ]
posted by nyoki at 9:41 AM on September 26, 2002

zeoslap, the issue with not taking lenses out is less to do with oxygen than with the amount of bacteria that build up in this time. Certainly in the UK there was a 'fashion' a few years back for lenses you left in for up to a month, then got rid of, but they found much higher incidences of infection in these. Might have changed now, though

I already wear Gas Permeable lenses, and i don't understand what all the fuss is about. Granted they are horrid if you sleep in them, but they are much tougher and hard wearing than soft lenses. Generally my prescription will need changing before my lenses do, unless i do something dumb like rinse my case out while they are still in it.

Personally, I like the sound of this idea. I've flirted with the idea of laser surgery but thought it to drastic without guaranteed results, as well as the aging issue that ook mentioned. I also saw a program about the negative effect it has on night vision, which has stuck with me.
posted by barnsoir at 9:55 AM on September 26, 2002

I saw the words 'rigid gas-permeable' and my eyes watered at the memory.

Surely you meant 'gas-filled dirigible'?
posted by madprops at 10:03 AM on September 26, 2002

Lasik has a whole series of possible complications that you never hear about.

I'd love to ditch my contacts / glasses, if for no other than economic reasons but there is no way in hell I'd try laser just because its invasive.

And yet every ad I've ever seen implies the opposite.
posted by Mutant at 10:25 AM on September 26, 2002

Ciba Vision has a lens (Focus Night & Day) that's supposed to be able to be worn for up to 30 days. At my prescription (-10), though, I found that it just wasn't sharp enough; the prescription was right and I could read the eye chart fine, but every sharp edge had a fuzzy halo around it. Also, I never managed to wear them more than three days before I had to take them out to rest my eyes. But the material it is made of does apparently have an ionic charge that discourages bacteria from growing on it, and lets six times the amount of oxygen reach the cornea compared to normal extended wear lenses. Give 'em a few more years, they'll get it right.

ook is totally right about your eyes getting more farsighted as you age. My prescription the last time I had my eyes examined, a couple years ago, was -10.5.
posted by kindall at 10:38 AM on September 26, 2002

What happened to those ring-like contacts that you can get installed semi-permanently? They slice into your cornea and fit them in. The benefit is that they can be removed altogether or replaced as your prescription changes. I think it was 2 years ago that this was still too expensive.

I've also tried the See Clearly Method, but the amount of computer work I do prohibits me from going all-out with the process (sitting 5-10 in. from my monitor wasn't comfy). Although I must say I did see an improvement each time I had to put my glasses back on in order to drive. I just couldn't keep going back and forth - they recommend getting a scrip that is slightly less powerful than you normally have and work your way down (up?) to it. They have different exercises for near- and farsightedness.
posted by notbrain at 12:06 PM on September 26, 2002

This is interesting but I'd hate to see things slowly get out of focus as the day goes on. I don't mind contacts during the day. Glasses suck.

I'm blind as a bat without my contacts or glasses. Back in the day I would wear my lenses overnight. Never had a problem but when I switched to accuvue 2 that had to end. I love having 20/15 vision with my lenses in, but hate having to put on my glasses to read the alarm clock in the middle of the night. It makes me feel so old.

I know a ton of people with laser work done and everyone raves about it. I don't mind sticking little pieces of plastic in my eye, but shooting a laser freaks me. Plus it is too expensive.
posted by birdherder at 5:17 PM on September 26, 2002

They slice into your cornea and fit them in

posted by Summer at 3:46 AM on September 27, 2002

reverendX: "I don't see the advantage to these over just wearing contacts during the day"

I'd love to wear contacts at night in exchange for clear vision w/out them all day. Downsides of contacts include hypersensitivity to wind and dust. My eyes water obnoxiously in a winter breeze. At any time of year I occasionally have to drop whatever I'm doing, pull off the road, whatever, to pop a lens out and blink away some tiny speck of grit that feels like a hot coal in my cornea.
posted by Tubes at 8:47 AM on September 27, 2002

Sometimes I think I would do almost anything to get rid of my glasses, but contacts are expensive for my particular prescription (short-sightedness plus astigmatism) and I share the concern of many about laser treatment. Having gone for three days without sight as a child thanks to an eye injury, I cannot bring myself to risk complications with this procedure.

If I could choose to wear contacts either at night or during the day, I would prefer to wear them at night by a long shot.

I have been told by my optometrist that the long-wear lenses are not a good idea due to risk of infection and that contacts can only be worn for 8-10 hours at a time, so I would need glasses as well, hence the extra expense. From comments above, though, people seem to wear them for much longer, so perhaps there is hope for me to get rid of glasses after all.
posted by dg at 7:17 PM on September 30, 2002

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