News and Advice on Myopia and General Eye Care for Patients and Professionals

Space Age Lenses: How NASA Helped Us Develop Paragon CRT®

Paragon Vision October 10, 2019 Nearsighted, CRT Lenses, Contact Lenses, Orthokeratology, Myopia, Ortho-K, research, corneal refractive therapy, CRT, vision, nearsightedness, eyes, health

Space Age Lenses How NASA Helped Us Develop Paragon CRT®

Experiments are often hindered by the powerful interference of gravity. But away from its constraints, chemicals, liquids, and gases behave differently. That’s why conducting experiments in microgravity often gives researchers new insights and enables them to find innovative answers to previously unsolvable problems.

The cutting-edge material for Paragon CRT® overnight contact lenses were pioneered in just such a way. From 1993-1996, Paragon scientists teamed up with NASA’s Langley Research Center to conduct several experiments on board the Space Shuttle during three separate missions.1 On board the Endeavor and Discovery, they sought to study and improve the high-performance plastics used in contact lenses and hoped that the effects of microgravity could help them better understand how polymers (the large molecules plastics are made of) are formed. They hoped that by studying the materials in space they could better understand their chemical composition, and thereby engineer a better contact lens.

Interstellar Collaboration

Paragon’s mission was to create a gas-permeable lens material that would tick all the boxes: safe, easy to wear and care for, comfortable, durable, and highly effective.

Thankfully, Paragon’s venture with NASA was a resounding success that led to material advances such as the hyper-purified delivery system (HDS). Utilizing these advances, we created the Paragon HDS® product line (Paragon HDS®, Paragon Thin™, and Paragon HDS® 100).2

Paragon HDS® 100 — a revolutionary contact lens material is cleared by the FDA for up to 7 days of continuous wear. Paragon Vision Sciences’ work with NASA moved the dial forward for the industry as a whole and brought a new level of comfort, ease, and safety to contact lens wearers everywhere.

Out-of-this-World Innovation

Using the materials developed in space, Paragon scientists engineered the groundbreaking Paragon CRT® contact lenses. This isn’t the only innovative thing about the lenses. Paragon CRT® are specifically designed for orthokeratology. Also known as Ortho-K, this method treats nearsightedness through the use of overnight contact lenses.3

Orthokeratology relies on a technology known as Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) to reshape the cornea, so it focuses light properly onto the retina and allows the patient to see faraway objects more clearly after wearing the specialty lenses. ³ Paragon CRT® was the first Ortho-K lens to be approved by the FDA for the overnight treatment of nearsightedness.4 This treatment is non-invasive and safe.

Paragon CRT® lenses are worn while a patient sleeps. In the morning after the lenses are removed patients have improved eyesight throughout the day without the need for glasses or daytime contacts. There are no age restrictions for Paragon CRT®, so the ease of Ortho-K can extend to the whole family. ⁴ Imagine your child being able to play on the field without worrying about losing a contact or going on that vacation without having to bother with glasses. If you want to find out if you or your child are a candidate for Paragon CRT® contacts, you can do so by visiting a Paragon CRT® certified eye doctor.

These game-changing overnight lenses give wearers improved quality of life, free to see without daytime vision correction. Thanks to boundary-pushing research and smart collaborations, Paragon Vision Sciences and NASA produced safe, remarkable technology—pioneered in space to make life better here on earth!



[1] Dunbar, B. (n.d.). Overnight Success. Retrieved from

[2] Lockney, D. (n.d.). ‘CONTACT’ IN SPACE LEADS TO NEW LENSES. Retrieved from *NASA Spinoff, NASA Technology Transfer Program 

[3] Mukamal, R. (2018, October 24). What Is Orthokeratology? Retrieved from

[4] FDA Approval Letter