Contact lens advice needed

I’ve been wearing glasses for about 7 years now, and finally decided that I wanted to try contact lenses. I’ve been wearing them for a couple of weeks now, but they’re less than perfect, and I can’t decide whether I should stick with it and how picky I should be about continuing to try new kinds until I’m satisfied with my vision.

I’ve always known that most of the correction I need is for astigmatism, but a little for nearsightedness too. I no longer have a copy of my prescription for my last pair of glasses, but as I recall, I had significantly more sphere than cylinder in both eyes, and significantly more of both in my right eye. I learned from searching past threads that the contact lense prescription is usually different from the glasses perscription because the contact lenses are sitting directly on the surface of the eye. Still, I’m a bit confused about my contact lens prescription. (I didn’t look at it until I walked out of the office; that’s why I didn’t ask the optometrist this question.) Here it is:

R: plano, -2.25 x 100
L: +0.50, -0.75 x 180

Now, as I said I understand why the contact lens prescription might be a little weaker than the one for glasses, but if I do have nearsightedness in my right eye, how can the right eye be plano for sphere? I know my glasses have some sphere correction. How can having the lens sit on the surface of your eye eliminate the need for nearsightedness correction altogether? Furthermore, I recall that the left eye in my glasses had a tiny bit of sphere as well–so why would the left contact lens be adjusting for farsightedness? (BTW, they measured my glasses at my first appointment, so I know they know what my glasses prescription is.)

I’m wondering about this because I feel my vision through these lenses is just a little unsatisfactory. I know that astigmatism can only be perfectly corrected with hard contacts, and that the worse the astigmatism, the worse soft lenses do. I’m just not sure whether it’s worth it to try to get it any better. Apparently the smallest line on the chart I can read through these lenses is the same as the one I can read through my glasses, so the optometrist feels these are OK. But the pair I have now is the 3rd pair I’ve tried, and while it seems to be the best so far, I’m still not quite happy with it. Text in particular is more blurry than it is through my glasses.

Could I really need some sphere in my right eye after all, and maybe he just missed it somehow?

Also, I still have a devil of a time getting these things in. My eyes are really deep-set, and so pulling my eyelids apart doesn’t accomplish much; they simply get pulled out rather than up or down, and so I can barely get them any farther apart than the diameter of the lens. Anyone have any tips for getting lenses into really deep-set eyes?

I would love to wear contacts, but my eyes are both allergic and dry, and that just isn’t going to happen for me. That said, any time I’ve tried to wear them in the past, I’ve noticed that my vision correction with contacts is significantly different than with glasses (in my case, damned near perfect with contacts). Maybe that’s what you’re noticing, that it’s just different. If you feel it isn’t right though, keep after your eye doctor. YOU know what things are supposed to feel like.

Sorry, can’t help you with your deepset eyes.

Try changing the angle: my eyes aren’t that deep-set, but with my long eyelashes they may as well be. I find that coming in from the bottom and letting the bottom of the lens touch my eye first I can roll my fingertip towards my eye a bit more and then suction/water tension slurps the lens into place. (This doesn’t work if your fingertip is too wet.) Doesn’t require prying eyelids open, just a relatively open angle of attack.

As for vision with the lenses… I have astigmatism in one eye, and even if the lens is perfect if it hasn’t settled into the proper position on my eye, stuff is blurry. The amount of blurriness depends on how far out of position the lens is: at the most subtle I can only really notice it when I’m looking at something that normally has rather sharp lines (such as text!). Perhaps that’s part of what’s going on for you?

Side note: I don’t currently wear a toric lens because the last time my prescription was updated we were unable to find a toric lens that fit properly. So I went for a regular lens and a predictable amount of blurriness in a predictable location. With the ill-fitting toric lenses I would have issues where there would be a rather blurry spot to one side of my vision, then it’d be relatively fine, then the blurry spot would be at perhaps the top part of my vision, etc.

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Toric lenses are much more picky than regular ones: they need to be perfectly centered and oriented in your eyes.

If it doesn’t seem right, I’d suggest going back to the doc again. I know my vision is much better with contacts than glasses and it was really weird at first, so don’t expect it to be the exact same, just good. If text is blurry, then that doesn’t sound good. I got lucky with my first type of lenses, but I know someone who tried four or five different types before he found something okay. Also, make sure your eyes aren’t drying out, because that can distort vision sometimes.

WRT getting them in, I have no specific advice, but some general tips. It will get much easier in time: when I first got contacts I had to get up an extra half-hour early in order to get them in, now it takes me at most five minutes.

Try to make sure your finger is not soaked with cleaning solution or anything; the drier it is the easier the lens will transfer to your eye. As Nightsong said, coming in at an angle can help. I still sometimes have a problem with flinching, and I find that focusing straight ‘through’ my finger at my eye in a mirror helps with that.