For a few years now I've needed glasses for long distance purposes (driving, not confusing a fire engine for a bus...that sort if thing) and quite happily wore, lost, broke and forgot my spectacles on a near daily basis. Not so long ago, during a routine eye check-up my optician asked if I had ever considered contact lenses for ease and the answer was no. A very stench no.Yes I may be forgetful but as it goes my eyesight is fairly good (I wear one prescription up from glass) and contact lenses seemed so permanent; unlike glasses, throughout the day I can not pop a lens in and out of my eye when I wish, well not without running the risk of infection at least. Needless to say after much deliberation, I decided at least try lenses to see if they were for me and a year later, on occasion I do wear contact lenses - normally when I've got no other choice. Glasses break so easily don't they?
In my mind, I'd go to the opticians they'd hand me a two boxes of contact lenses, briefly explain how they work and send me on my merry way. Nope, not even close. For no less than three appointments (over three days may I add), I had to attend what is best described as a contact lens workshop, in which I was to demonstrate not only the proper hygiene required but both the correct application and removal of the fiddly lenses.
I personally know a lot of people who opt for contact lenses over glasses but at no point did anyone mention: a, how tiny and tricky the lenses can be to place in the eye and b, just how one little plastic disc can be so malleable is beyond me. The first time I was handed a pack of lenses, I sat bewildered staring at the little round gel shape - they are far softer than you may have imagined and there certainly is an art of application, an art that did not come easily to me.
You may want to pop the little clear circle on your eyeball for perfect vision but I have news for you, your eye isn't that keen. To apply, you all but have to hold both your top and bottom eye lids in a vice like grip and then gently place the lens on to your eye. An optician will make it sound and look easy but I'm here to tell you it's not; it will fall out, it will be irritating and generally make you wonder if 20/20 vision is all it is cracked up to be. Once you do get that first lens in place, it's all fun and games until you realise that what goes in, must come out. For me mastering the removal process was the most daunting and something I'm still not overly confident about - it involves a pinching manoeuvre and in my instance a whole lot of flinching and lost lenses. However with practice comes perfection...or at least a little less blinking and watering eyes.
Once you have mastered, y'know stabbing yourself in the eye, the world really is your oyster - you can choose normal clear lenses or natural, fun or bold coloured choices. I will be entirely honest in saying that I have yet to be fully convinced by coloured contact lenses - especially when applied to dark coloured eyes, up close they don't look all that convincing but hey to each their own.
The one thing I can not recommend enough is adhering to the correct hygiene methods when applying, trying or removing contact lenses - nobody, and I mean nobody wants a nasty eye infection. Rather surprisingly, my optician didn't explain that if sporting monthly lenses you do have to change the solution within the storage case daily, as well as rinsing the actual case each day too. Luckily my sister informed me of such necessity but if signing up for lenses do ensure that you ask all the questions you can think of during your appointment, and of course take care of both your eyes and the physical lenses.
If you have any other nuggets of advice in regards to contact lenses, I'm all ears...or should that be eyes?
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