PauneLens: Image from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya via Science Daily
Before I knew that you weren't supposed to sleep in your contact lenses, I did. And boy, did it feel fantastic to open my moist eyes in the morning and see clearly without having to search for my specs. Now, a Spanish optometrist has patented a contact lense that can correct your vision problems. And he wants you to wear his lenses overnight!
Jaume Pauné designed a contact lense that is capable of changing the shape of your cornea to correct the most common vision defects like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), and astigmatism. Currently, the only way to permanently correct these problems is through surgery, like Lazik, a refractive keratectomy performed with a laser. Pauné's lenses use orthokeratology or ortho-K, a technique that 'mechanically' changes the shape of the cornea to allow perfect or near-perfect sight.
(Perhaps of note to some, it was also a Spaniard, Jose Barraquer who developed the Lasik technique.)
Patients are fitted with custom-made rigid gas-permeable lenses that they wear overnight, while the eyes are resting. The lenses are able to reshape your corneas by a slight fraction of a hair while you sleep. When you remove the lenses in the morning, you can see perfectly!
But, there is a "BUT." You have to wear the contacts every night. They do not provide permanent correction; only daily correction.
Ah, but who needs to see at night, anyway? At least you avoid going under the knife and the cost of surgergy. BUT, the PauneLens is not cheap either... €1,000 for the first year's pair and €400 for years thereafter.
Still, you avoid going under the knife. And having to locate your specs each morning.