Getting Used to Contact Lenses

The weirdest thing happened today. It took me 45 minutes again, total. Left eye first, then right eye. But once the right side was in, that eye started hurting, and I could see clearly with it only in the exact middle while the surrounding area was a blur. After a few minutes, half the contact suddenly stuck straight out from the eye! I pulled it out and got another one, but whereas I was resigned to spending another 20 minutes or so putting it in, it slipped right in! Go figure.

Another confirmed glasses wearer. I’ve been wearing glasses full time since I was 16. I started wearing them when I was around 14, but as I only need them for distance I used to put them on only during class time, but once I started driving it was just easier to wear them all the time.

I have a weird thing about sticking things in my eye (I was almost 30 before I’d let them do the glaucoma air puff test) and can’t even put drops in. Still, when I was in my early 30’s I thought I’d try contacts. I’d always had a suspicion that putting them in wouldn’t be the hard part for me, it would be taking them out.

I managed to get them in and out and back in again at the store under supervision, and off I went. Like others have mentioned I could feel them in my eyes and didn’t like it, but figured I’d get used to it. After a couple hours I thought I’d try to take them out on my own. It took my 45 minutes for one eye and then another 20 for the second. My eyeballs felt bruised after and were definitely red. Never again. I threw out the trial pair of lenses immediately and went back to glasses.

My latest attermpt took only 10 minutes total, with most of that for my left eye, as the one for my right eye slipped right in on my first try. Yay! I’ve found wearing them does not bother me, but there are issues with my reading glasses. Certain fonts I just cannot see very well at all. That prescription may need to be tweaked. And maybe the contact prescription as well, as I’m getting an odd mix of clear and fuzzy. But I’ll see the eye doctor again in March. Maybe it will have settled down by then.

Again, I’m traveling upcountry for New Year’s and do not feel like lugging all the accoutrements of contacts around with me – contacts, reading glasses, extra glasses etc. I’ve been wearing them every day this week, and when I return I’ll use them daily right up to March.

All in all, nothing, not even the new pair of regular glasses, seems as good as my old nine-year pair.

Well, I’m pleased to report that I can pop them in in under five minutes total now and am getting to like them. Even though these are Western-made Bausch & Lomb lenses, there is absolutely no writing on them to tell me which is the correct side. The few times I’ve put them in backward, they’ve hurt and distorted my vision enough that I knew. Those times, I’d been taking it out and throwing it away, unsure if I could use it again even though I’d only just popped it in a moment before. This morning I did reuse it. I had to put it in three times before I got the correct side, but all seems well now. I see the doctor again in March, and I suspect there may be some adjustment needed to the prescription or even to my reading glasses. My big complaint is that I cannot see certain fonts with my reading glasses, especially if lighting is not optimal. But I think I’ll be sticking with contacts.

I’ve also found a one-handed technique works best for me, pulling down the skin below my eye with the finger next to the one on top of which the lens is perched while my free hand holds up a mirror. They tried to teach me to pull up my upper eyelid with one hand, but I’ve found my hands and fingers are so big that they just get in the way.

Someone asked me why I don’t get progressive contacts. I thought those were just for regular glasses such as bi- and trifocals. Are those for contacts too or will the eye doctor laugh at me if I ask about them?

Some contacts don’t have writing, if you put them in inside out, you can take them out, flip them around and out them back in. But I’ve found that after that much handling, they need a drop or two of saline in the concave side before putting them back in. Once the concave side is on your fingertip, it’s just to dried out to ‘suck’ itself onto your eye comfortably.

As for the adjustment, it should be pretty close to your regular glasses prescription, in fact, it’s usually the same script. Most lens come in different sizes. I’ve learned over the years that getting the right size is one of those ‘it’s an art not a science’ thing. The doc measures your eye, but only has a few choices in size so he might have to go up or down a bit. If one is uncomfortable, you might try the other. Or another brand. I’m in the middle of switching brands as well. I tried one brand out for two weeks and couldn’t wear them for more then 12 hours. Well, I could, but around that 10-12 hour mark I really wanted to take them out since they were starting to make my eyes tired. At the two week checkup I let the doc know and he has me on a different brand. 14-16 hours…no problem. I’ll give them another week and then order a couple boxes of them.
Assuming they just gave you a trial pair, you should be able to ask for something different. At least that’s how it commonly works in the States. If you’re trying a new brand, most of the the doctors I’ve worked with won’t even let you order until you’ve worn them for two weeks and then come back in for a followup so they can take a look at your eyes and make sure they’re fitting okay (or if you’ve been wearing them all your life you can tell them that they’re comfortable).

I always dip it back into the solution in the case it came in.

My eyesight is 9.something, but the contacts are 8.0. The doctor said that will allow me to see middle and far, and he’s right. But I need reading glasses to see near including this computer.

Update: I saw the eye doctor again after three months, and the contacts are doing well. Looks like I need to tweak the reading-glasses prescription a bit. But I can put the contacts in fairly easily now and prefer them over glasses most of the time.

I’ll try two-week or even 30-day lenses now. But he’s not sure I’m a good candidate for progressive contacts. We’ll discuss that more in six months when I go back.

As for progressive contact lenses and bifocals, we’re going to make sure I’m satisfied with my reading-glasses prescription before exploring that.

Glad to hear things are going well! Wish I could wear contacts all day again, I miss the option when going out and for special events.

After wearing daily lenses for a few months, my first experiment with the 30-day ones has not gone well. I have really gotten good at putting the lenses in and no longer feel the least bit squeamish about touching my eyeballs. I have thoroughly enjoyed the daily lenses.

On the doctor’s suggestion, I asked my eyeglass shop about two-week lenses last month. They said Bausch & Lomb did not make those in my prescription, but they did make 30-day lenses. So I bought a pair to try. Started using them on June 1 but after only five days tore one of them while cleaning it.:frowning: So now I’m wearing the other 30-day lens in one eye and a daily lens in the other. That seems to work okay. I just have to remember which eye has which lens.

I don’t think I’m very impressed with 30-day lenses. Sure, they’re cheaper, but then you also have to buy cleaning fluid. I forget what I paid for a couple of 60-milliliter bottles, but based on how much I’ve used these past few days, I’ll end up going through three or four of those a month. And then there’s the hassle of cleaning them. I may stick with the daily lenses permanently.

There’s also the feel. The daily lenses noticeably feel better. Maybe I’ve just not cleaned the 30-day ones well enough, dunno. But I cleaned them well enough that I tore one!

Does anyone have any tips or recommendations regarding the care and cleaning of 30-day soft contact lenses?

Things were going well until something happened to my eye, the right one. It’s been hurting so much for five days now that I’ve not been able to wear my contacts. Not excruciating but there’s a strong burning sensation there. However, the eye is not the least bit red, and you’d never tell anything was wrong just by looking at it. Could I have scratched my cornea or something? :frowning: Usually I need to take a day’s break from contacts once a week or so, otherwise they’ve been doing well. But over the past month, I have noticed I need more of a break each week until this.

I’m seeing my eye doctor next Tuesday anyway for a previously scheduled checkup, but I’m bummed. I really like wearing the contacts and got good at popping them in.

EDIT: These are the daily lenses I’ve been using. The 30-day ones didn’t work out well (tore one, lost another while cleaning it!), so I went back to the dailies. And my hands are always clean when I put them in or take them out. So it’s not a question of not being sanitary.

On the one hand, maybe (don’t rub your eyes with contacts in, ever). OTOH, the two people I know that scratched their corneas wound up in the ER because they were in so much pain.

I occasionally will put my daily wears in backwards. I can see out of them but they slowly irritate my eyes. Once I reverse them they are fine though. I have also touched my eye taking a contact out, so maybe you did a slight scratch on the cornea?

I can always immediately tell if I put them in backward. Mine won’t let me see straight, there’s some weird visuals on the sides, and they’re uncomfortable as hell. But that doesn’t happen anymore since I’ve become so good at putting them in. It did when I was still fumbling around with them but not recently.

I think I generally do touch my eyeballs when taking them out. I’ve become quite comfortable touching them, something I never would have thought could happen.

I’ve been wearing contacts for 17 years and I still put them in inside out sometimes. Depending on the brand, it can take me three or four hours to go from ‘this is annoying’ to ‘I bet it’s inside out, I should flip it around and see if it’s any better, it should have stopped bugging me by now’.
Some brands do hurt right away though.

With the Clear Care system, the case makes it a lot harder to put them in inside out though.
BTW, you might want to look into that. You mentioned that you still wash your contacts. Honestly, I think you’re in the minority. I did that pretty religiously for the first year or so and then gave it up. With the Clear Care system, you don’t have to. you put it in that case and fill the vial with a Hydrogen Peroxide solution. The hydrogen peroxide cleans the lenses and reacts with the metal disc you see at the bottom of the holder. By morning (at least 6 hours later) it’s neutralized and they feel great. The downside to this is that once you put them in, you can’t put them back in your eyes for at least 6 hours and you still need to have regular contact lens solution on hand.

Oh, that’s another thing. What brand of solution are you using. I used to just use cheapest generic stuff I could find and when I started having problems, my eye doctor told me that all the generic stuff is made by the same company and it’s different the Opti-Free. The generic stuff doesn’t jive with lens made with hydrogel (which many/most are) so I needed to switch back to Opti-Free. That’s actually when I made the switch to Clear Care. But she felt that using the generic saline was causing some of the eye problems I was having (blurriness, not pain). FTR, I looked all this up and it’s true, she wasn’t just saying it.

I’ve been using Bausch & Lomb dailies, so whatever solution comes in those little plastic cases. And believe me, you can tell immediately when they’re in backward.

But again, I’ve been using the dailies, having tried the 30-day variety only that one time in June. But even then it was Bausch & Lomb, and the solution was their Re-Nu solution.

Not sure of the Clear Care system is available here, but that’s something I’ll check into, because the monthlies are a lot cheaper than the dailies.

Thanks for the info.

Re-Nu, that’s the name I was looking for. All the generics out there are rebranded Re-Nu and that’s what isn’t compatible with Hydragel. Looking online, B&L Dailies aren’t Hydragel, so it’s moot.

Do you’re eyes still hurt when your contacts are out or do they feel better then?
If they hurt 24 hours a day, then there’s probably something going on with your eye (a stye maybe? Blink ouch, blink ouch, blink ouch, but no redness, it’s like a little red zit on the very edge of your eyelid, very hard to see it). If as soon as you take your contacts out your eye feels better, then it’s a contact issue, but since you’re using dailies, that’s probably not it.

If these weren’t dailies, I’d say it was just time for a new pair.
For most people that wear 2 week or 30 day lenses, they don’t really pay attention to the calender and just swap them when they start bothering their eyes. You get a pretty good feel for it after a while, but it’s probably about 50% longer then the box says you’re supposed to wear them.

When I first started wearing contacts (1998 or so) I had a lot of problems with them for the first year. But I was stubborn and stuck with it. After a year or so it was time for a new prescription. I mentioned the problems to the eye doctor and he asked what solution I was using. I said ReNu. ‘Well, there’s your problem. Change solutions.’ Turns out ReNu is a bit lackluster (though for some folks it’s fine). Perhaps it is better now in 2013, also. He switched me to Optifree and the problems went way, way down. I have switched again since then, but mainly because I don’t have easy access to my old brand anymore. But for me anything is better than ReNu and I won’t go near it again.

Just my 2 cents.

Sounds like you’re getting into presbyopia, and you’re certainly in the right age range. I was worried about getting bifocals, too, but honestly, I found them to be a relief. I guess I really needed them or something! Yes, there is an adjustment period and be careful going down stairs until you get used to them but as I said, they were a relief because I could read and do close up work again. Just wanted you to hear something positive about them.

Dailies FTW! Changed my life, no more fiddly, blind rubbing of invisible little contacts. Stick with the dailies, is my advice. You couldn’t pay me to go back, and I’ll only change for “laser eyes” now. (My friend had laser eye surgery, and assures us all that he now has “laser eyes” and can see us all naked.)