Revolutionary new contact lenses are helping to improve the eye sight of a sports-mad teenager from Chorleywood.
Michael Davis, 13, has been wearing the clear lenses at night for the past two years, which help to give him clear vision during the day. They could also be responsible for slowing the future deterioration of his eye sight as he gets older.
When Michael, who is near-sighted, wears the lenses at night, they apply pressure to the eyeball to help restore it to the shape of a person with normal vision. Then, when he takes them out, he is able to enjoy perfectly clear vision for more than two days. In adults, the reshaped cornea returns to its original shape more quickly, which means they must be worn every night.
Michael said: "I put them in at night. They're hard lenses so while I'm asleep they shape my eye. For then next couple of days I can see with perfect vision."
The teenager, who goes to Watford Grammar School for Boys, said the lenses helped him enjoy his hobbies without fear of losing or breaking his glasses, while he can go swimming without having to remove normal contact lenses. Michael, from Little Hill, is a brown belt in karate, plays baseball and rugby, and skis. He also plays violin in two school orchestras.
He said: "Because I play a lot of sports, it helps a lot instead of having to wear glasses. It means I don't have to think about breaking them or losing them. If I wore normal contacts, I would have to take them out if I was going swimming. At first when I started to put them in it could be a bit uncomfortable but now I have got used to them I forget to take them out in the morning."
Michael's father, Ward, added: "He's gone a couple of days without wearing them so that's the really convenient thing about them. Eventually, it could somewhat slow the change in his eye sight but they will be testing that for the next few years."
The lenses, which have been available for adults for several years, are being used in a five-year study with children in America, to determine what any permanent effects may be.
Shelly Bansal, Michael's optician from First Contact Opticians in Eastcote, said the reshaping a person's eye was "not a new idea". He said: "We've known that certain types of contact lenses can change the shape of people's eyes temporarily. What's unique is we can now control it. Given the right type of shape and measurements, you can control it to such a degree you can change someone's eye sight so they can see clearly."