Contact Lenses and Laser Eye Surgery

We are both aware that insurance will not pay for it, and there’s no way I could afford it.

Rigid Gas Permeable lenses. Nearly indestructible, and easy to work with. All you do to remove them is pull the outer corner of your eye sideways, and they pop right out.

I loved my RGPs for about thirty years. But in my mid fifties, I suddenly couldn’t wear them anymore. Doc said my eyelids weren’t secreting enough lube. So I had to switch to soft. Definitely trickier both to insert and to remove, but not too bad. Hang in their, molten, it will get easier.

Unfortunately, not a trick, but something you should know. The act of putting contacts in takes an incredibly long time to master. It’s hard to remember now, but I think it took about five years of daily use before I could pop my contacts in pretty easily. In the first year of having contacts, it would sometimes take as long as half an hour to get them in. While you do eventually get to the point where putting both in takes under a minute, for your lifestyle, set aside a good amount of time specifically dedicated to putting contacts in if you want to commit to this.

(Taking contacts out, on the other hand, was something I mastered quickly. I just squeezed at the edges and they popped right out. I’ve heard some people mention something about sliding them to the side or something, but I never did that maneuver.)

Oh, actually I do have a tip!! Did anyone show you the difference between a lens that’s inside out versus the right way? If not, Google it. No one showed me until a follow-up visit. As a result, I spent the first few weeks finding contacts insanely uncomfortable, because contacts that are inserted inside out will still adhere to the eyeball, they just feel a lot worse when you wear them.

I suppose I need to offer a caution here. When my wife needed cataract surgery, she went all-out and had the vision correction as well. Now, one of the things my wife was proudest of is that she never needed reading glasses. The surgeon didn’t explain very well what he was going to do, and wound up correcting her distance vision (to 20/40) but at the same time messing up her near vision. Now she needs reading glasses, and since she spends more time doing close-up work than distance, she considers that to be a loss.

So before you decide on LASIK, you and your surgeon need to be exactly on the same page about what to expect.

When I first got contact lenses, it took me weeks to override the natural tendency to blink when something gets close to the eye, whether it be a contact lens or the fingers to remove the lens. It just takes time. and patience with yourself. Now, 13 eye surgeries (12 of which did not involve general anesthesia) and innumerable stitch removals later, I can master the tendency to blink no matter what’s coming at me, which says nothing about me and a lot about human capabilities.

Ironically, in my casethere’s nothing more that can be done. I’d love to have the choice of Lasik or contact lenses–NOT a bid for pity, just a reminder that it’s good to have the choice.

I am thinking to just do PRK (as it is safer than the other one), but I read that you have to wear soft contacts to recover… Although a doctor will place and remove them.

For those of you who had trouble with contacts, how hard is it for the doctor to place and remove the contact bandages after the PRK surgery?