'Braces' help reshape corneas to improve vision

Doctors can now literally 'reshape' your cornea to get 20/20 vision, and all while you sleep
February 21, 2014 4:55:59 PM PST
Ever heard of "braces" for the eyes? It's the latest thing for people who hate wearing glasses. Doctors can now literally "reshape" your cornea to get 20/20 vision, and all while you sleep.

"It was cool, I could actually see my alarm clock, 10-year-old Lilly Hurysz said.

Hurysz was seeing without her glasses because of a strange new type of contacts lenses that she wears at night and takes off in the day.

"If it does work where she's 20/20 without glasses, it's definitely worth it," her dad, Steve Hurysz, said.

The contact improves vision by reshaping the cornea while you sleep. Take it off in the morning and many people have close to 20/20 vision. It's like braces for the eyes.

"It will last one or two days at a time, then you have to wear the 'braces,' the contact lens again, so it can reshape the eye so that you can see up close or at distance," optometrist Dr. Allan Panzer said.

So how does this differ from a regular contact? It's smaller and it's hard. Many people wear soft contacts now. And it's a little harder to put on.

"Sometimes we have to do it over and over again," Lilly said.

Cris Castro has a little trouble putting them in too.

"It took me almost 30 minutes to try to ge it in there it was challenging but as time goes it was quicker. It's a learning curve but it's worth it," Castro said.

Dr. Panzer prescribes them for children like Lilly whose vision keeps getting worse.

"We keep spending money getting more toward the coke bottle lenses thicker and thicker," Steve Hurysz said.

"My real goal is the children because it has been shown to slow or stop the progression of nearsightedness," Dr. Panzer said.

They cost about $2,000 and last a couple of years. For Lilly, who is a swimmer, being able to see in the pool is worth it.

"I like them a lot," she said.

Find Christi on Facebook at ABC13-Christi Myers or on Twitter at @ChristiMyers13

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