Wednesday, March 26, 2014
I Will Never Wear Contacts While I Sleep Again....and here is why!
First - let me say - I have worn contacts for almost 30 years. I have worn many different brands - daily wear, extended wear, eye color changing, etc. I have been wearing this particular brand for 5 years. I have never really had trouble with them (that I was aware of) In fact, I really loved them and even made a YOUTUBE VIDEO about my experience and promoted them with a great review. They are the Night and Day day extended wear and made to wear over night for up to 30 days. I was always careful with mine - making sure my hands were washed well before putting them in or removing them. I would take them out at the 2 weeks level just to give my eyes a break and the contacts a good overnight cleaning. I feel like I did everything "by the book".
However, over the past year I started having severe eye issues. Bad enough that when it would happen I would have to remove my contacts for 5 days to a week and wear glasses. Sometimes it would be within a day or two of putting in fresh contacts, some times mid point and sometimes near to the end - very random. At first I thought maybe it was allergies, although it was never both eyes at the same time. Then I thought since I use make up remover disposable cloths, maybe I was getting them too close to my eyes and maybe that was causing irritation. I switched to hypoallergenic brands.
I had the irritated eye issue in December, February and now again this week in March. Twice with my right eye and then this last time with the left. The other times this happened I did not go to a doctor or have my eyes checked, because I thought it is just eye irritation - I put in eye drops and wear glasses and it goes away after a few days. This time was different - I went 5 days without my contacts - and on the 5th day my eye looked back to normal - so I put brand new contacts in and by the end of the day it looked more irritated than ever before and it wasn't just irritation, I literally could not look at light. The pain was so severe that I felt like I wanted to pluck my own eye out. It looked the same as all the other times, but it felt so much worse. I decided I better go check it out. I first went to a Minute Clinic since I thought it was as simple as doing an abrasion check and then maybe give me some eye drops and send me on my way. After waiting and spending $79 there - they sent me to the Eye Center of Texas - to see an opthalmalogist. After going through all the routine checks and dye in both eyes - they told me that I had a pretty severer ulcer in my left eye and scar tissue in both eyes from previous ulcers. After learning of my contact use (brand, length of wear, etc) I was told this was the worse thing I could be doing for my eyes. Yes, they are "made" to be able to wear up to 30 days overnight - BUT it still isn't healthy for your eyes. He explained how the contacts turn on the eyes in your sleep and one tiny grain of anything that gets under them can cause ulcers and that can lead to blindness or at the very least MUCH pain and infections that can get out of control. He explained that although I went the usual 5 days for this last time to clear up and my eyes looked nice and white again - they weren't totally healed and when I put the contact back in for the day I just "yanked a scab off a wound that was not ready"
So ---guess what? I have made the decision that I am going to be wearing glasses full time and that means that I will have to have glasses that are progressive lens ....UGH! My contacts were Monovision - Left eye for up close - Right eye far away. I HATE glasses - seriously! I want to have Lasik surgery - but that means saving up $4000.00 since insurance will not pay for it. (unfair!)
I say all of this hoping it benefits others who are doing the same thing I was - maybe you have had some of the same type of irritation - you may want to think about your contact wear routine. I could go into dailies, I know - but the whole purpose of the extended wear was to get away from that - I don't mind putting them in - but I hate taking them out. I have actually scratched my eye from doing that before.
So - next week I will be ordering new glasses as the ones I have now are only for near sightedness and I can't see with them close up so I am constantly taking them off and putting them back on. So annoying!
My glasses now are Coach frames and I really like them but I can't use the same frames since I didn't get them through my Optometrist and if I have them put new lens in they will not be under warranty. Glasses cost way too much not to have them covered.
**this is my opinion based on my experience. I did not receive compensation of any kind from any company.