The first refractive procedure was called Orthokeratology. This was invented in 1955 by Dr.Charles May, an optometrist in San Diego.
Orthokeratology is done using a contact lens. The contact lens is only worn during sleep and as you sleep it gently reshapes the cornea. In the morning upon awakening, the contact lens is removed and your distance vision is clear for the entire day without glasses. New technology is allowing us to not only treat nearsightedness(myopia), farsightedness(hyperopia) and astigmatism but also close reading problems(presbyopia). Lenses have to be worn as retainers ,but some patients may only need to wear the lenses a few times a week to maintain good vision.
Orthokeratology gives the same effect as LASIK without the surgerical risks and it is totally reversible. If you stop wearing the lenses your eyes will return to their original shape and prescription.
Orthokeratology is the best treatment for children who are nearsighted and especially if they are getting worse each year. This is because the eyes tend not to get worse while doing orthokeratology. It stops progression of myopia. These contact lenses are FDA approved and have proven to be very safe.
I have never had any patient with health problems from wearing these lenses overnight. These lenses are one of the most complicated lenses to design and most doctors do not know how to design them so they never tell their patents that this procedure exists. This is the reason why patients are not aware that this technology exists. It is a wonderful, safe and effective procedure and the patients who do it are very happy.