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Correcting Vision Without Surgery

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BARCELONA, Spain, April 22, 2010 — There is now a contact lens that is capable of correcting mild to moderate vision defects without surgery. This innovation has earned Jaume Pauné, a graduate of the master's degree program at UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) — Barcelona, a national award from The Spanish Association of Opticians and Optometrists.

The lens uses orthokeratology, a technique that reshapes the cornea to correct mild to moderate vision defects.

Pauné’s contact lenses are capable of correcting hyperopia without refractive surgery by means of corneal reshaping, also known as orthokeratology or ortho-K. This technique uses rigid gas-permeable contact lenses to reshape the cornea to correct vision defects such as myopia, stigmatism and mild to moderate hyperopia (farsightedness) without surgery. Each patient is fitted with unique lenses that are custom-made for his or her eyes.

Perfect vision, without surgery

For the sake of comfort, the patient wears the contact lenses only at night. The lens works by applying pressure to the tear film that coats the outside of the cornea. This pressure changes the shape of the cornea by about 20 µm, or about half the width of a strand of human hair. In the morning, the patient removes the lenses and is able to see perfectly. The results are the same as with refractive surgery, but are temporary.

Optician and optometrist, Jaume Pauné, is the creator of contact lenses capable of correcting hyperopia without surgery.

These new contact lenses, developed as part of a master's thesis by Pauné, are being sold at an initial price of €1000 (roughly $1300), which includes the cost of designing unique lenses to fit each cornea, and €400 ($530) for annual replacement lenses. The lenses are being marketed in collaboration with Atenas Vision, the distributor for Spain and Portugal, and the French laboratory Precilens, which manufactures the lenses under the name PauneLens.

Development process

Pauné developed this innovative new contact lens using existing ortho-K technology. In 2005, at an international contact lens conference in the United States, Pauné saw the presentation of the first ortho-K lens to be developed for hyperopia, which ultimately was never introduced on the market. His interest piqued, Pauné began experimenting with the idea of manufacturing such a lens. In 2008, he enrolled in the UPC-Barcelona Tech's Master's Degree in Optometry and Vision Sciences, which required him to complete a master's thesis. In the course of his research for the thesis, he reviewed the literature and decided to design and manufacture a new model of contact lens, which he tested on ten people. One of these patients, an individual determined to find a solution to ongoing vision problems, tried six different models of the lens, each for a period of one week.

With this patient, Pauné found the key to developing the first effective contact lens for hyperopia. In the process, he discovered that his technical and scientific principles were different from those of contact lens models used for myopia.

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Apr 2010
The transparent front layer of the eye. Light entering the eye is refracted (converged) by the outer surface of the cornea.
A vision defect commonly referred to as farsightedness. Results when the image of a distant object is focused beyond the retina by the relaxed eye. The condition can be corrected by introducing a positive lens in front of the eye.
A vision defect commonly referred to as nearsightedness. The defective condition results when the image of a distant object is focused in front of the retina by the relaxed eye. It can be corrected by introducing a negative lens in front of the eye.
Atenas VisionBiophotonicscontact lensescorneacorneal reshapingEuropeFrancehyperopiaindustrialJaume Paunélensesmyopiaopticsortho-KorthokeratologyPauneLensPortugalPrecilensrefractive surgeryResearch & Technologyrigid gas-permeable contact lensesSpainstigmatismtear filmThe Spanish Association of Opticians and OptometristsUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaUPC-Barcelona

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