First time wearing contact lenses. Help.

So, to give a brief history. Five years ago, I went to the optometrist for an eye exam. My vision was okay, but the doctor suggested that I wear glasses and gave me a prescription. Once I got the glasses, I put them on and could see a bit better, but my vision was still a bit blurry. I felt that my vision should have been better, sharper. So, I went back to the doctor and he gave me a new prescription, but my vision was still not the best. Honestly, I could see better without the glasses. I ended up never wearing the glasses.

Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed that my vision has been getting worse. Nothing significant, just normal vision change (per the doctor I saw this weekend). This weekend, I saw an optometrist and had an eye exam. She said my vision was pretty good for a 43 year old guy, my left eye is 20/40 and my right eye is the one that needs help (I can’t remember the exact number). Anyway, I decided to try contacts and got my prescription. When I tried them on, the girl handed me one and said, “put this in your left eye”, which I did. Then, I put the other one in the right eye. After I had them in, I noticed that everything was blurry, and my vision was much better without the lenses in. I asked the lady who helped me if it was normal for vision to be blurry, and as I suspected, she said “no”. She went on to say that it might take my eyes a little while to adjust. Two hours later, my vision was so bad I took out the lenses and as soon as I did, I could see a lot better. I put them back in the next morning and wore them for about an hour. My vision was so blurry that I couldn’t even function. I took them out again and go to thinking about something. When I got the lenses, the lady who helped me told me to always put in the right lens first, to avoid putting in the wrong lens in the wrong eye. But, when I put them in (under her supervision), I put the left in first. I decided to flip flop the lenses and noticed a big improvement in my vision, althought it was still a bit blurry. Although my vision was better, it still was not as clear as I think it should be.

I tried to wear them again today, but had to take them out due to blurriness. Since I took them out, my vision is still bad. It’s almost as if I have a film over my eyes which is preventing good vision. I never had that before (the film feeling).

Am I a freak of nature and there are no glasses or contacts that will correct my vision? Is it normal to get a bad prescription and have to return for another eye exam? I do have another appt for this coming saturday. Am I doing something wrong? It’s just frustrating that this is the 2nd time I’ve tried to do something about my vision and both times have failed.

Are you putting them in inside out (scroll down for a pic)? That will make them blurry, I did that a few times when I first got them.

They shouldn’t be blurry if you’re wearing them correctly, though - I can actually see much better with my contacts than with glasses. Also, what are you storing them in?

It could be a bad prescription, or a bad fit with the lenses. Different brands make a difference, too, as they can be shaped differently. If you’re sure you’re putting them in right side out, call your doctor.

That was the only thing I could think of too. Love my contacts!

In my experience, the other simple cause for blurriness is that they’re too big for your eyeball, allowing a small air bubble over the top of the pupil. I reckon you should get a second opinion.

Me, I have 30-day ones that I sleep in too. Don’t even know I have them in. Love 'em.

These are key. I swear by Focus Night & Day. Sometimes I forget to change them; that’s how comfortable they are.

They shouldn’t be blurry at all. It may take time for them to feel comfortable but your vision should be 20/20 the moment they are on.
Normally the optometrist should give you an immediate eye test once you’ve popped them in. If your vision is blurry something is definately wrong.

Are you going to a sort of generic place or to an eye doctor’s office? It sounds to me almost as though you may have some sort of condition that is more complicated than plain old glasses or contacts will address. You might like to head off to an ophthamologist and talk about your entire history.

(IME the generic places have often overlooked more complex cases.)

So, hey, we have that in common. Wanna have dinner?

Whiskey counts as dinner, right?

There has been one time when I got really different new glasses that every looked… “off.” not specifically blurry, not specifically warped, just odd and hard to focus on. The eye doctor said it could take up to 3 days of continuous wear for the brain to adjust to the new input, if they still felt wrong after 3 days to come back. But within a couple of days everything adjusted.

Did your eye doctor do the “is this better or worse” lens flip thing? Did they measure the distance between your eyes to make sure you are looking out through the right part of the lens?

the contacts do seem a bit big. i asked the lady who helped me put them in and she said it was the normal size. it’s almost as if i have to really stretch my eyelide a LOT to make room for them.

and, it was a generic place. it was a new place that just opened up.

The first time I got contacts, I went through 5 trial pairs before my doctor and I got the prescription just right. Hampshire is right, there should be no “getting used to them” period. The prescription is either right or it’s wrong.

Depends if you have your teeth in or not.

Yeah, I forgot about this but the pair you have now should be a pair you are supposed to wear for a week or so, then you go back to the doctor and they look at your eyes to make sure the lenses are the right fit. They shouldn’t just give you a pair and send you on your way.

Also, this quote:

is weird. Contacts come in more than one size. They’re not “normal sized”, your eyes are measured and then they choose a brand that comes in the correct size for you.

I have two brands at home, since I wear colored contacts sometimes - even though I’ve been wearing contacts for 15 years, my doctor still had me wear a pair in the same size as the colored contacts for a week before they’d order them for me, since they’re a different brand than my regular ones, and don’t come in exactly the same size. I can wear them, but they are noticeabley bigger than my regular pair.

The optometrist should be looking at your eyes in great detail to be sure that the contacts fit right. It sounds like the don’t or you might have astigmatism.

If she didn’t do that, find another optometrist. There are some that specialize in fitting contacts and some that don’t. Been to a few that didn’t specialize myself and had a terrible time seeing with anything they gave me.

You should feel like you see better with contacts, not worse. The peripheral vision is just awesome.

When you were first fitted, you should have been instructed how to put them into your eyes, watched while you did it, and then the doctor should have sat you back down in the exam chair to check the fit. This usually entails the doctor looking at your eyes with the magnifier and sometimes even moving the contact around on your eye with their finger, and then having you read the eye chart at the level you should be able to read with correction. If the doctor didn’t check the fit of the lenses right after you put them in, you were not properly fitted for the contacts and you might not have gone to a place that’s very good at fitting. You should not have been allowed to walk out of that place if you couldn’t read the eye chart!

I’m hard to fit, besides astigmatism in both eyes that requires toric lenses, I have a steep “slope” (I forget what it’s called), meaning my corneas are shaped more like the end of an egg rather than a sphere. Contact lens manufacturers make lenses that fit me, but usually the doc has to order them as they’re uncommon enough not to be worth keeping in regular stock. I also have mild dry-eye, and can only wear lenses daily. I use the 30-day extended wear lenses because of comfort with dry eye, but am only allowed to wear them while I’m awake and have to disinfect them nightly.

I usually just wear the glasses nowadays, after 20 years of daily wear contacts and the dry eye getting a little worse. The contacts are for days off, going out, and special occasions.

I’m telling you all this so you can see I have some experience with wearing contacts and that it sounds like you really weren’t fitted properly. While it does sound like initially the lenses were switched and you had them in the wrong eyes, it still sounds like they didn’t pay very good attention to your initial fitting. The doctor should have been able to tell you had them in the wrong eyes if you were checked properly.

The first time I put a pair of “trial” lenses in, they slid ALL OVER my eyeballs. It was crazy. I’m seconding what dangermom said - go to a real opthamologist, and be examined by them. Also, be sure you see an optometrist that specializes in doing contact eye exams and such - my “contact” optometrist put my contacts in the first few times for me, so that I could just get used to the feeling of them, and then taught me how to put them in later. They should feel very natural, but they should feel like “something” is there, for the first month or so, but that something should be comfortable.

The best way I can describe properly fitting contacts is like having a snug shirt on - it’s comfortable, but very present.

Good luck!

You say you are 43.

Do you have presbyopia? This commonly manifests as age related loss of near focus.

I am trying progressive contact lenses for this, although the results for me are good (left eye) and satisfactory (right eye) they are definitely a compromise with slight loss of accuity at distance and very close near focus is still fuzzy. ( but at least I can sit closer to my laptop and my arms are now long enough to read my watch!)

The reason I ask this is that if your lenses correct for distance and you have prebyopia then ordinary lenses will do nothing for your near focus.

It onsets generally between 40 and 50 years of age. Me It hit at 47 over a period of 6 months and was really confusing as I didn’t expect it or initially understand what was happenning.

Can I come too? I loves my Night and Days. Although they are now Air Night & Day – now with more air!

To the OP, it’s standard for the optometrist to have a follow up with you to see how the lenses are doing. But if you weren’t seeing well immediately, there’s something wrong. If it was the correct prescription, your eyes wouldn’t need to adjust that much. You might want to try somewhere else.

Are your eyes moist enough? I got contacts as a kid, and had the blurry problem too. As I was talking to the eye doctor, he realized I hardly ever blinked, and the contacts were drying out. Ask about some good eye drops to keep your eyes moist, and make sure you blink!

FWIW, I hated the Oasys (or whatever the weird-ass spelling is) contacts that are supposed to help keep your eyes moist. They’re the only contacts I’ve not been able to wear.