By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Approximately 70 million people are near-sighted and the numbers are growing.  That’s millions of people depending on glasses or contacts or having laser surgery to correct their vision.

3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on a little known treatment that some say has changed their lives.

Devon Wiley has trouble seeing distances.  It’s called myopia.  But at recent checkup, her eyesight was just fine.

“I just love that it’s no worry at all, but it’s still perfect vision,” said Devon.

That comes from a contact lens that she wears only at night while she’s sleeping.  In the morning she takes them out, and her vision is corrected.

“It works amazing,” said Devon.

It’s called Orthokeratology.  The surface of the eye is measured to be fitted with the special lenses.

“What we do is we’re reshaping your cornea, just like Lasik would do.  But it’s without the surgery,” said Curtis Frank, an optometrist.

Devon says it takes a little getting used to, but now she can’t imagine what playing lacrosse or field hockey would be like if she had to wear glasses or contacts.

“In the summer when it’s really hot out and you are sweating you want to be able to touch your face, but if you are wearing contacts then you are scared that one of them is going to fall out,” said Devon.

Some optometrists say there could be another benefit for children with myopia.

“Kids are getting more nearsighted all the time, and what these lenses do is they slow down the progression,” said Frank.

But Cornea Specialist Dr. Ula Jurkunas isn’t so sure.

“Studies so far are not convincing that the actual myopia progression diminishes from Orthokeratology,” said Dr. Jurkunas.  She doesn’t offer the treatment, mostly because of the risk of infection.

“The majority of infections that were published were really severe effecting the central vision,” said Dr. Jurkunas.

Eye doctors say there is a risk of infection with any contact lenses.  Good hygiene is very important.

In three years, Devon hasn’t had a problem, and she says she’s never going back.

“I love the easiness of not having to wearing anything during the day,” said Devon.

The effect of Ortho-K lenses only lasts for one day, so if you forget to put them in at night you’ll need to wear your glasses the next day.  They run between $1,500 and $2,500.

For more information, visit the link below:

Orthokeratology Information-

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