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When I was a little girl I always wanted to wear glasses. I can remember “borrowing” my fathers glasses and parading round “looking” at my distorted image in every mirror around. At the age of thirteen I can remember being disappointed when my optician sent me away saying I had perfect vision. At the age of 17 I got my wish! I was learning to drive and found it hard to read a number plate at the require distance, at last I could have glasses.
It’s true what they say you always want what you can’t have. When I didn’t need glasses I wanted them and when I got them I hated them. I purchased two pairs of glasses at the same time and wore them as often as possible for a few months. Then I got bored with them and just wore them occasionally until they ended up stored away in a drawer and taken out as little as possible.
A few years on I knew my eyesight was deteriorating and that I should really be wearing my glasses a lot more often than I was. I visited my optician again to be told that I should really be wearing my glasses for driving and watching television as well as or any other distance work. I spent some more money on new glasses which I wore only when I had to. I had seen adverts for contact lenses at the opticians but really didn’t fancy poking myself in the eye every day.
Then when I was out one night I was chatting to a friend and I noticed something different about her which I couldn’t quite put my finger on. When I asked her she told me that she was wearing coloured contact lenses. That was it – I wanted some. I enquired in my local Boots opticians about coloured lenses and was told that I would need a fitting appointment which would cost around £15.00 and a lesson on how to insert and remove the lenses. I arranged the appointment for a lunchtime later that week. I turned up for the appointment which started with the optician inserting lenses in my eyes. This was where I nearly changed my mind. Its very hard not to flinch when you have to look at someone’s finger as they “poke” you in the eye!!! After a few attempts the optician got the lenses in and sent me around the shops for half-hour to test the comfort. The lenses felt fine but I had trouble getting them in myself. The lenses I bought were monthly lenses which cost £20 a pair. I managed to break or damage a lens every week. I was purchasing about 3 pairs of lenses a month which at 18 is a lot of money so I gave up and went back to wearing or not wearing my glasses.
A couple of years later I found myself at a different optician asking about contact lenses again. I was given some daily focus lenses to try as the optician felt that daily disposable lenses were easier for new users. I took these lenses home and found that my eyes felt very dry wearing these lenses and rather uncomfortable as well as the lenses being rather flimsy. I went back to the optician and explained how my eyes felt in these lenses and he suggested I try some monthly lenses as these were often more comfortable. After a couple of different trials I found that I was most comfortable in lenses with a high water content. I settled on some monthly lenses which cost me around £20 a month. I found these lenses to be comfortable and affordable. I could wear them for a full day in comfort.
So what was my problem with lenses. Well it wasn’t really the lenses it was my social life! After a few drinks I found it difficult to easily remove my lenses, clean and store them correctly. If I managed to remove the lenses then I managed to damage or lose them when trying to put them away. I decided to enquire with my optician about daily lenses, which I could buy in addition to my monthly lenses to be used solely for when I was out for a night.
I explained to my optician that I had tried some daily lenses in the past and found them to be very uncomfortable. She advised me to try J&J 1 day Acuvue as they were one of the most comfortable lenses on the market and had a high water content. She then explained that because of this the lenses were £43.50 for 30 pairs. More than double the cost of my monthly lenses.
The lenses come in boxes of 30 (15 pairs). They come stored in saline solution in small plastic pods which are generally used for the sale of contact lenses. The lenses themselves don’t appear to be as flimsy as the other daily lenses that I have tried instead appearing to be more like monthly lenses. The lenses have a very slight tint which makes them easy to see in the solution or on your finger. The lenses have also been designed so that they stand up on the end of your fingertip in quite a curved format. They also have “123” printed onto the lens which enables you to easily check that the lenses are the correct way out. This “123” does not affect your vision but can be very useful for inserting lenses.
So what did the lenses actually feel like? Well, more comfortable than my monthly lenses. I was aware that I had the lenses in but they felt but they felt very comfortable in my eyes. My eyes did not dry up during the day and I did not suffer from itching or irritation. On top of that these lenses are the only daily type on the market that have a UV blocker. This does not eliminate the need to protect your eyes by using sunglasses but it does provide some protection from the sun.
Other benefits which relate to daily lenses rather than the actual brand is that you do not need to clean or sterilise at all. You just need to check that you have clean hands when handling the lenses. As such they are very handy and convenient to carry around when travelling.
In all the time that I have been purchasing these lenses I have not had any lenses which have been damaged prior to putting them in my eyes. I have been successful in inserting every lens into my eye and removing each lens easily. As the lenses are supplied for daily use you do not receive any solutions with them. I would suggest that you purchase some saline solution which can be inserted into the eye if you are having trouble removing a lens. The lenses can then be disposed of in a normal bin. On some drunken nights I have forgotten to remove the lens before I have gone to sleep. The leaflet in the box advises that it is safe to do this but it is not recommended. If you accidentally sleep in these lenses you may find that they dry up in your eye slightly and become uncomfortable to wear and difficult to remove. Alternatively you may find that the lens moves in your eye and you will need to find it and remove it. You cannot lose a lens in your eye, although it may move upwards behind your eyelid. If you have any difficulty or are unsure if you have a lens still in your eye I would recommend seeing your optician straight away. Most will not charge for a quick check if you are a regular customer.
I have read reviews online of daily lenses which recommend that you do not dispose of the lenses but store them and reuse them in order to save money. I do not recommend this. Lenses which are made for longer use come with cleaning solutions to sterilise the lenses. The material used to manufacture the lens have been testing with these solutions to check that they do not damage the lenses. If you do not clean the lens and just reuse them then you are risking an eye infection. If you clean the lenses using unsuitable solution then you risk putting unclean lenses into your eyes and again the risk of infection. These lenses work out at about £1.20 pair less than the price of a glass of wine. Is it worth damaging your eyes for?
I don’t wear these lenses every day as they are over double the cost of my monthly lenses. However I use them whenever I am out for an evening or I am travelling.. These lenses cost me £42 for 30 pairs from D&A opticians. As I bought these as a one off purchase it does not include any aftercare and check-ups. If I purchased these through a monthly direct debit scheme for the same price every month then I would be entitled to an aftercare appointment once a year. I do not need this as I have this service through my monthly lenses,
There are cheaper ways of getting daily lenses. Many companies offer contact lenses online. You can get 90 pairs for £105 on www.contactlenses.co.uk and I have seen them as cheap as £14.95 for 15 pairs on American websites. You will need to have an up to date prescription for this type of lens and have had an aftercare appointment within the last year to order online.
Available at most high street opticians
Prescription range - for those with prescriptions up to -12.00D (short-sightedness) and up to +6.00D (long-sightedness)
Very well written and so informative too! Gosh i didnt know they were so many differents types! Think i'll stick to my specs tho.....dont think i'd be able to put in and take them out!! Great op, all the best yvonne
coolcam7 27.10.2003 16:05
I don't nedd glasses but a great op for those that do. xxx
mdstone 07.10.2003 17:16
I don't have any problems with my sight - YET, so i'll keep these in mind if anything does happen.