Monday, 19 January 2015

My Experience: Getting CONTACTS!

Home girl has been wearing glasses since she was in Year 3 and has hated wearing them ever since. I tried my hardest to wear them as little as possible and it was difficult because my eyesight is absolutely awful.

I am short-sighted. I always struggled with reading the board in Primary School and small things like seeing friends in the street and watching the television was proving very difficult. Something happens to me when I wear glasses, I become a social recluse and avoid eye contact with people - needless to say I am slowly getting better at it but I'll never forget those years that I remained blind because I was too embarassed to wear my glasses. If I could tell my younger self anything it woud be to "wear those dang glasses and maybe your eyesight wouldn't be as bad as it is now".

When I found out that contacts were a thing, I was so excited. I went to my Dad all happy and ecstatic at the prospect of there being a chance of me being able to see clearly everyday and feel confident at the same time but unfortunately Pop shot me down and told me I wasn't responsible enough to wear contacts. Which, I guess is kind of true - I can be the world's messiest person at times and I would definitely misplace them. Also, there was the fact that my Dad would've had to pay for them and if I was to go on losing them all the time there really wouldn't be any point in getting them.

So for another 2 or 3 years I remained wearing my glasses only in class and at home behind closed doors. UNTIL the summer before University, I had been earning my own money for nearly 2 years and I was ready and feeling responsible (kind of) to get contacts myself. So I did, I went into Specsavers not because they had the cheapest contacts deal at the time (but really it was) but because I was a responsible adult (or not).

What I got given:

  • 3x boxes of contacts that each held 3 individual contacts. (to change every 3 weeks)
  • 3x cases (to change every 3 weeks)
  • 3x 250ml solution
What I bought seperately:
  • My glasses which I bought on sale with the contacts for £10

I'll go through the run-down of what I had to do before I was able to use them properly.
1) First step, I booked a contacts appointment/consultation where I had to have an eye test to check if I was able to get the contacts. When I found out I was able to get them they had to find my lenses. The lady only had a prescription for my left eye so I was called back a few days later when they were available.

2) Second step, I had to practice putting them in. I struggled so much with this because I obviously don't poke things in my eyes that often. I was worried she would get frustrated with me because boy was I frustrated with myself. I must have said "I CAN DO THIS" more times than I'd like to admit to myself but she told me to have patience. Once I practiced putting my contacts in and taking them out around four times I was able to take them home.

3) I did all of this on a very tight schedule, I was due to go to university 2 weeks after my first contacts check-up and normally it takes that amount of time to wear them in and get used to them so they were very lovely to me and told me that I had to wear them everyday for a week. The first 2 days I had to wear them for 6 hours and the other days 10 hours (or something like that).

The day after I brought the contacts home I had a reaction to the solution. How did I know this? Because my eyes watered constantly and stung after putting them in. I stuck it out for 1 or 2 more days and then I had to phone them just in case this wasn't supposed to be happening. Turns out, it wasn't so I had to collect a different solution from them which turned out to be a lot better.

When I went in for a review of my contact experience I mentioned that my right eyes contact always felt like there was always something in it. I had read on the internet that it might be a scratch in the contact. The optician took this in and told me that it could be the fact that the contact was too big for my eye. They were able to change it and I was allowed to take them home along with 3 other packs of contacts and 3 big bottles of solution. I sorted out my direct debit and it worked out to be around £17 a month. I had to pay for 3 months before I started paying £17 so that was around £45 which I was totally fine with. Also because I was at University they wanted my contacts and solution sent to my house back at home every 3 months because they said that from experience the packages get damaged really easily.

Problems I have run into while having contacts:

  • Running out of solution - it's easy to go into my nearest optician and ask for more solution however you do have to pay for it. They normally give you enough solution that to make you have excess of but I think that because I was new to the contacts every time the contact wouldn't go into my eye I would pour solution on it so I ran out quite fast.
  • My contacts falling out while I was out - this was a very bad moment. I was just scratching my eye which I KNOW is not ideal to begin with but it was a harmless scratch okay?! I scratched my contact off of my eye. I found it easily  BUT I didn't have any solution with me and I cannot put my contacts in normal water. So one of my friends gave me a box to put it in which dried up my contact (it was inevitable) and even though once it had enough solution on it went back to normal it was evidently weaker and more flimsy than my other contact.
  • Put them on inside out - I was told that the contact, when it is the right way makes up a perfect bowl shape and with my left eye that is much harder to tell. All it does is feel uncomfortable, it doesn't affect the eye so this problem was easily resolved.
  • Slept in them - I wouldn't recommend this. Your eyes get all sticky and you struggle to blink. The opticians don't recommend it either plus the possibility of all of those scary contacts stories happening in real life is just too hard to bear.
  • Went through the day with my contacts in the wrong eye - I only did this for the second time today, the first time I resolved it but I was in a terrible rush this morning and I didn't have time. That felt so uncomfortable and very blurry at the edges, also my eyes couldn't focus on anything and I found myself squinting at the board in my seminar.
A Tip to Remember:
  • Pay attention to the cleaning processes that the optician gives you. I have to spend 15 seconds on either side of the contact with clean hands massaging the solution into it .Then I have to put either one in the corresponding side marked "L" and "<3". Then I have to fill the case with solution up to the line. 
  • My confidence improved immensely. I could now see, not only that, I could see really well and far as well. I am able to look people directly in the eye when I engage in conversation and spot my friends across the street without them thinking I'm ignoring them and I can also search for things more effectively in shops. Not only that but I can fully appreciate a beautiful sunset. 
  • I'm still getting used to slipping them in and out of my eyes quickly and effectively. 
  • It's also effort when I have had a really long day and I have to go through the cleaning process before going to bed.
  • Sometimes when I'm tired it can get really blurry. 
  • My contacts have dried up two times now and at the end of this month I will have to get another right-eye contact.

CONCLUSION: Contacts, in my opinion, are completely worth it. All of the cons that I mentioned can be easily resolved in time. The fact that my confidence and ability to see improved dramatically is a wonderful excuse to get them. In a way I feel like I missed out on huge parts of my life because of my embarassment that came with wearing glasses. I would've been able to enjoy my tour to Prague if I was able to see all the beautiful sights in all its glory. I know that a lot of you guys might be thinking that I should've just bitten the bullet and worn the dang glasses but it was hard for me and I tried to surpass it but it proved very difficult. Now I have a process that I'm getting used to and I am a lot more happier and confident.

I hope you guys find this post somewhat helpful!
God bless,
All my love,

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