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Possibly no more contact lenses?!

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hurtbs posted 8/5/2013 19:58 PM

I've been having a rough month health and personal wise. I just moved 1500 miles for a new job. Because BF and I decided we didn't want to do the indefinite long-distance thing, we broke up. Then literally the day after I move in to my new place, I get sick with mono. Two weeks later, I get an eye infection.

Slowly but surely healing from the heart ache and mono. After I finished my eye medication, I started to wear my contact lenses again. Two days later, I see that eye infection coming back.

My new health insurance finally kicked in so I made an appointment with an optholmologist. This is actually the third time my eye has gotten inflamed and infected. My HMO is super limited with optholmologists. The doctor - terrible bedside manner but I'm stuck with him.

So he tells me that it's not infections - it's more of an irritation resulting from the contact lenses (I think that's what he said, he only spoke in medical jargon even when I asked him to explain what it was). He told me that I would need to stop wearing contacts all together.

Let me explain -I've been wearing contacts for literally 20 years. I *hate* how I look in glasses - hate it. Additionally, my vision is atrocious (and unstable so I'm not a candidate for Lasik) so without lenses, I see terribly. I mean, I'm legally blind without contacts (-7.50 scrip). Doing things like blow drying/styling my hair and putting on makeup without the aid of lenses is nearly impossible - and you can't wear glasses with your head upside down blow drying or while you're applying eye liner.

I nearly started crying when he told me this. I also said, "Look. I just got a new job. They are going to be doing the formal introduction of me to, well, everyone. I *need* to look good and professional." He finally agreed that I could wear lenses for a couple of hours at a time for absolutely key things (like work intro) but no more. In 3 weeks I go back and reassess my contact lense status. He said maybe he would be willing to try switching brands (but he said I wear the best ones) or type (go to hard, gaseous instead of soft).

Seriously. This fucking sucks. I know it sounds really petty and shallow, but it's awful.

The only plus side is that the eye tech was this super nice woman. She walked in and looked at me and the chart and went "ummm... hurbs?" I said, "Yes." She then proceeded to tell me how she thought she had the wrong chart because I'm 34. "You look 18!" I was like, "Oh, thank you. You're so sweet. I use sunscreen." she then went on and on, "Um, no... You're skin, you're figure. You're gorgeous. You look so good girl!" So... that was nice.

Ugghh.. This move has had such a rough start. I bought myself flowers and Chinese - even though I'm going to be forking out a ton of money I feel.

[This message edited by hurtbs at 8:10 PM, August 5th (Monday)]

purplejacket4 posted 8/5/2013 20:14 PM

So sorry. They do make frames now that are so thin they don't even look like you have glasses on.

Eventually though we ALL need glasses thanks to presbyopia! Yeah old age!

lynnm1947 posted 8/5/2013 20:19 PM

I also said, "Look. I just got a new job. They are going to be doing the formal introduction of me to, well, everyone. I *need* to look good and professional."

Ummm, is there something about glasses that makes one look bad and unprofessional? I've actually heard the opposite. People sometimes wear glasses when they don't need to so they'll be taken more seriously.

I quote from the above site:

Scientific research has shown that we do perceive people who wear glasses as more intelligent when compared to those who do not wear glasses. As an aside, we also view people who wear glasses as more competent, and more industrious.

hurtbs posted 8/5/2013 20:31 PM

lynm - because I only wear my glasses at night, I have a super cheap pair that looks absolutely terrible on and don't fit very well. I don't have the money or the time to get a new pair purchased and fit - they tend to run me $400+ when I buy them due to the fact that my perscription is so high. After my cross country move, I don't have that right now.

They do make frames now that are so thin they don't even look like you have glasses on.

My prescription is too high, the lenses wont' fit in those cute ultra thin frames. I've tried. With my vision, choices are limited.

It also doesn't deal with the vision and activity level. Have you worked out at the gym while wearing glasses? You can't do some of the work outs because they fall off. Can't do classes or activities becasue they fly off (literally cannot see without them). Even on a stair master or elliptical, you sweat so they fall down. No peripheral vision. Again, can't put on makeup or style hari effectively.

[This message edited by hurtbs at 8:31 PM, August 5th (Monday)]

jrc1963 posted 8/5/2013 20:37 PM

I get it... It's just one more in a long line of stresses you've had to endure these past few months.

I don't think you're vain... you just have a vision of yourself that you like and want to keep and also you're comfortable with how your vision is corrected in contacts.

I can't wear contacts... never tried. Been wearing glasses since I was 11. My DS now has my sucky nearsighted vision and will have to wear glasses all the time too.

I hope things turn around for you really soon... You're due for some good news now.

hurtbs posted 8/5/2013 20:48 PM

Thanks jrc. You are getting it.

I mean, my life really isn't just bad news after bad news right now. The new job is a promotion and a big career step. That's huge. The new company is really prestigious and well know. That's also awesome.

So largely it's been a few months of really big highs and lows - and none of my available coping outlets to deal. Because of mono, I can't work out. Because of the move, don't have my usual network of friends. Because of mono, can't make an push to build a new network. That kind of thing. It's driving me nuts.

Now that the new health insurance has kicked in, maybe I'll look at getting back into IC. Of course, with the wait list I'll be over the mono, back at the gym, and (hopefully) with a healthy social cirle by the time I can get an appointment.

[This message edited by hurtbs at 8:49 PM, August 5th (Monday)]

jrc1963 posted 8/5/2013 20:53 PM

I'm sure things will be looking brighter very soon.

alphakitte posted 8/5/2013 21:04 PM

Some of these "best" contacts are coated as with a substance that some of us don't tolerate well. There's enough of us that you can read about it on the internet.

Google your brand and your model of contacts to see if thereare complaints.

It is worth trying a brand that doesn't use that coating. It worked to switch for me

Good luck!

hurtbs posted 8/5/2013 21:46 PM

Thanks alpha. I just did that. You're right! I use the Acuvue Oaysis Hydraclear. Seems like those lenses in combo with the solution I use cause irritation. I'll bring it up with the doctor but he strikes me as the kind that would roll his eyes and get pissed. He was super condescending. If I had the option I would switch doctors.

ETA: Doing research on the gas permeables, they may actually be a good lense for me.

[This message edited by hurtbs at 10:10 PM, August 5th (Monday)]

Pentup posted 8/5/2013 22:30 PM

Completely understand! My Rx is stronger than yours and I have had friends and neighbors for 20 years that do not know I wear glasses.
No contacts would mean hiding myself in a cave. And do not get me started on buying glasses....

I second trying a different solution or lens. Also, allergy season causes my eyes to become inflamed.

Are you on new meds? See if they could be causing dry eye.

Hugs to you. Sending you healthy eye mojo.

caregiver9000 posted 8/6/2013 00:50 AM

Aren't some of the side effects of mono really weird? Could be a temporary irritation which doesn't solve the immediate problem but could be encouraging.

I would try switching brands, even look at daily's. The cleansing solution is a non issue then.

As for lasik, the not stable thing just means it won't be as "permanent" because your eyes will deteriorate from 20/20 (or better!) at the same rate your prescription changes. I had the lasik surgery and LOVE IT, but I have to wear reading glasses now...

(((hugs))) Kudos on looking so fabulous!!

Too_Trusting posted 8/6/2013 08:26 AM


I had the SAME problem. I also wore Oasis contacts and never had an issue UNTIL I ran out of my normal solution and STUPIDLY used a sample bottle of "ReNew" that I had under my sink for emergencies.

I ended up at the Eye Dr. and he said my corneas looked like they had been "lightly sanded".

From that day on, I had to switch to "Clear Care" disinfecting solution (peroxide based) and also changed my lenses to Avaira by Cooper Vision. These lenses are made from a different material and have not irritated my eyes at all.

I did have to wear my glasses EXCLUSIVELY for 4-5 days to let the irritation in my corneas heal. But, I've been going strong with this system ever since.

Sounds like you have a great lens technician. I love mine as well. The technician is the one that suggested the lens alternatives. She has been worth her weight in gold. Can you ask the technician to suggest a different lens???

Don't give up on contacts. I think a different lens manufacturer and solution may help you, just like it helped me. But, I would suggest giving the contacts a complete rest for 4-5 days. Then, try a different lens. It worked for me!

**Edited to add: I tried gas permeables, and OMG, I could not STAND them. After wearing soft lenses for, like EVER, those were like poking a stick in my eye and keeping it there. YMMV, but do NOT expect them to feel like a soft lens. They. just. don't.

[This message edited by Too_Trusting at 8:28 AM, August 6th (Tuesday)]

tushnurse posted 8/6/2013 08:49 AM

I wore contacts for many years as well, and developed a sensativity to them, and was only tolerant of a few kinds. Even then when allergies would act up I couldn't stand them for anything longer than a few hours. I too was nearly blind, and had thick glasses. My vision had changed rapidly (always getting worse) through my 20's, then it stabilized. I had lasik at age 29 or 30, and I am 42 now. I have been able to go without glasses that entire time. Weird thing is, my left eye sees far very well, but not my right, at this point Im getting away with not needing cheaters beacuse of ths two different distances I can see at.

I get not wanting glasses, believe me, I am an outdoorsy kind of gal, and swimming, hiking, all of that stuff is a PIA with glasses. Hopefully as you heal from the mono your body chemistry will reset, and you will be able to tolerate your contacts, or at least a different brand. (FYI the ones I did tolerate were dailys, but they were also waaaay cheaper).

sharim posted 8/6/2013 11:10 AM

hurtbs - I ditto the Clear Care as a disinfecting solution. A few years ago I thought I had to give up on contacts. Opthamologist was no help (just kept treating me for eye infections) - ended up switching to an optomotrist and she immediately had me switch to Clear Care and use Alaway (OTC) drops. Problem solved - ironically, I thought I was getting "better care" by going to an opthamologist. I have now switched to daily disposables which I absolutely love - so I don't need the Clear Care anymore but I still use the Alaway as needed.

JustAShadow posted 8/6/2013 11:41 AM

hurtbs - I second that Gas Perms would be my ultimate LAST choice in contacts. I'm told that they have improved in the last 20 years but no - they just can't be as comfy as the softs.

My scrip used to be -9.5/-8.75 and my optometrist has gotten me down to -8.25 / -7.75 in the last 5 years (thanks to the increased oxygenation in the newer lenses). I've also got an astigmatism so that does limit somewhat my choices. However, my optometrist tells me that there are significant advances in lens technology and maybe next year I can move to dailies (although I really like not having to put contacts in every day since I get to wear them for 2 weeks straight). So, all that to say, don't lose hope!

Hopefully your sensitivity is situational and not now an 'allergy' of sorts.

How are you with a fresh pair of lenses? The same? (for me, when I put in fresh lenses I use the solution in the 'container' to rinse off rather than a separate solution.)

Healthy eye mojo to you and YAY! on compliments to hurtbs!

Crescita posted 8/6/2013 12:19 PM

I would also suggest you try Clear Care. A friend had a lot of irritation from contacts, and her Dr. said it was from excess protein.

Also I wouldn't rule out your being sick as a factor. You might not have had an eye infection, but if you are tired and dehydrated, your eyes will likely be more irritable. I try to switch to glasses whenever I am sick just as a precautionary measure because once they get really irritated, it does take more time for them to heal.

TheHardWay posted 8/6/2013 13:52 PM

My vision is -6.00 and I cant see without contact lenses or glasses. I started having issues with my eyes becoming read and irritated this season - and have cut down on the time I wear them by taking them out for a few hours a day while at work. I put them back in to drive home and make all the stops on the way.

I then take them out as soon as I get home -

I completely understand not being comfortable with your appearance in glasses; I have wore contact since I was 18 or so and wearing my glasses even for a few hours is uncomfortable for me -

I did find a deal a while back at sears I think and bought 2 pair for under $250 that are nice/stylish enough to leave the house in.

Good luck!

simplydevastated posted 8/6/2013 14:06 PM

I'm so sorry hurtbs, I know what you're going through. My husband has horrible vision. He can barely see past a few inches in front of him without his glasses and his lenses are so thick on the outside it's shocking, maybe just shy of a half inch thick.

He's had such a hard time getting decent lenses and they are more expensive. We go to Lens Crafters and he gets the featherweights but they're still kind of thick.

I don't know what kind of contacts you wear, but there are tons out there now. They even have some that let your eyes "breath" in them and you can sleep in them.

I've found this site that offers a free trial. I'm not sure what kind they have, but it might be something to look into.

Also, I understand being limited to doctors according to you plan but is there someone else on the list you can go to if this is just being an ass? Someone else might have a different idea.

Good Luck

hurtbs posted 8/6/2013 14:36 PM

Thanks guys. I had read about the Clear Care. It seems that the multipurpose solution I use tends to have a caustic reaction with the Aucvue Oaysis lenses. When I'm cleared for sporadic wear, I'm going to try that solution and I"ll bring it up with the doctor.

I'm tied up with the optholmologist with the HMO, but once this initial reaction is cleared up I can go to an optometrist and have more flexibility on that.

This morning I was trying to put on makeup two inches from the mirror so I could see - but kept knocking the brushes against the mirror. This is horrible. I hate it.

Thanks for the warnings on the gas permeables.

Even if I could drum up the $400+ dollars for glasses, with the lenses I need it tends to take 1-2 weeks minimum to get the glasses in. The 1 hours have *very* limited options for lenses like mine.

ETA: Also, there's this confidence thing. Right now, I don't feel like I look good because I'm wearing my frumpy glasses and feel like I can't get my hair or makeup to look right. I know it feeds into my overall confidence. I hate this.

On the plus side, did I mention that my Eye Tech thought I was like 18 years old?

[This message edited by hurtbs at 2:37 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]

Cally60 posted 8/6/2013 16:01 PM

I've worn contact lenses for over forty years. I totally understand your distress at the thought of having to go back to glasses. One of my fears, as I grow old, is that I shall eventually be too uncoordinated to use my contact lenses. Glasses really suit some people, but - alas - I am not of that number.

I would definitely UN-recommend hard lenses. Unless they are completely different from the hard lenses I used to wear. I'm surprised that they're even being made now, as I don't think they're good for your eye health and don't really see how they could have any advantages over gas permeable.

I liked gas permeable lenses. To be honest, I think my vision was slightly better with the gas permeable lenses than with soft lenses. I switched because I've always had poor hand/eye coordination (hence the old-lady fear!) and so I often drop and/or lose lenses, especially if I'm tired or stressed. I buy double the normal amount of soft lenses each year and often end up having to order more. Losing gas permeable lenses is a real nuisance, because they're expected to last for some time and are not cheap to replace. So using them requires organizational ability. I had to (a) keep a spare pair on hand at all times and (b) remember to order a second replacement the very moment I used Replacement #1. (I rarely did.) I also had to remember to take that one precious pair with me whenever I strayed far from home and/or to remember at all times exactly where I stored it and be capable of locating it, or my glasses, without being able to see properly. Often on a morning when I had an important appointment and was already running late. Oh and for me, the Law of Murphy frequently applied and I'd have a second disaster before Replacement #2 came in. Your organizational mileage may vary.

On the plus side, a dropped gas permeable lens is easier to find, because it doesn't curl up into a ball, then shrivel up and die with lightning speed. If, in despair, you give up the late-night search for a gas permeable lens, on the following morning you may well notice it grinning smugly up at you from the floor. But for me, 'tis a wonderful and unstressful thing to be able to tell an escapee soft lens scathingly that "I ain't bovvered" and reach into that splendid six-pack for a new one!

I hadn't thought about the pain factor. But yes, when I started wearing the old hard lenses, it hurt a lot. But I really, really wanted to wear contact lenses, and was thus determined and persevered. As with everything, if you really want to do it, you'll have more chance of succeeding. I'd recommend starting off later in the day and working backwards, rather than starting off in the morning.

But, having said all this, I agree with everyone who suggested a change of lotion. There are some that I can't use at all. But I've also found that my eyes sometimes seem to get tired of a hitherto perfectly suitable brand and start to bother me. So then I switch to another.

[This message edited by Cally60 at 4:04 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]

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