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I have high myopia in my right eye (~7.00). I've noticed that unsystematically applying pressure onto certain areas of the eyelid onto the eye can actually bring the power down to about 3-5.00 (by comparing it with my left eye), enough to read. It makes the vision a bit darker though (probably because the eyelid partially covers it), and can shift it a bit.

Since myopia is basically the elongation of the eyeball, this shouldn't be a surprise. But I'm wondering, surely applying specific continuous pressure (perhaps via some eye cover mould contraption during sleep) has been thought of as a possible treatment option? Has it been dismissed due to some obvious reason?

Applying pressure over time can definitely deform the body, at least in some areas. Fitbit and watch users have complained about noticeable indentations left by their watches, which don't seem to go away even after not wearing them. Even spectacles can leave indentation marks. Is the eyeball any different?

Update: As jf1 answered, orthokeratologic contact lenses already exist, which can reshape the cornea to slow the progression of myopia. Just to probe further for completeness, have methods for reversing the physical elongation of the eyeball (not just the cornea) via pressure been studied before?

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Actually this is done, despite a little bit different:

So called orthokeratologic (ortho-K, OK) contact lenses are worn over night and during this time reshape the cornea. Its main focus however is slowing myopia progression in children. It does not help reverse myopia, once aquired. And one has to wear them every night.

See e.g. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721542/ or https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26310255

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  • Interesting, from what I've read, it works by reshaping the cornea and not the eyeball itself. I wonder whether the latter option has been explored too? I'll update my question. – user17176 Nov 24 '19 at 7:49

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