Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Few Tips

Today's blog post is going to be a little off topic in that it's not about my running (or lack thereof) or training.  In my other life, I am an optometrist and I'm sure many of you wear contact lenses so I thought I might share my view of what you should know about your contact lenses that your doctor may not tell you.

1.  When you come for your appointment do not change your lenses so I can see the clean ones.  I know what new ones look like.  I want to see what your lenses look like normally.  If they are dirty sooner than they are supposed to be, we may be able to change cleaners or lens brands to improve that. 

2.  The contacts from 1800 contacts and from my office are the same.  You can purchase them from whoever you wish.  The only difference is that the meager $2/box profit that is made either benefits your local provider or some big ass company in Utah.  You decide where you want your money to go.

3.  If you decide to purchase your lenses from some large box retailer (see #2 above), do not expect me to offer you free trial lenses.  Or exchange your old prescription boxes for new ones.  (My trial lens supply is based on the number of boxes I order.  Maybe 1800 contacts will send you a free trial......)

4.  If you are having an appointment for a contact lens check, please bring your contacts.  *duh*

5.  Tell me honestly how you wear/clean your contacts.  I will not yell at you if you wear them overnight.  I just need to know so I can recommend what is appropriate for you and your eye health. 

6.  Please, please, please, do not use spit to store/rinse/clean your contacts.  <gag>  If your choice is tap water or your mouth, tap water is better.  Your mouth is a cesspool of bacteria.  That you will then put on your eye.  (yes, people have actually done this.  In my office.  In front of me.  I almost blew a gasket.)

7.  No, not all cleaners are the same.  The generic brand is actually the old Renu (like 5-6 years ago) formulation.  Renu made it's product better for a reason, why would you want the old version?  Wal-mart, Target etc. buy the old formulation from Renu and mark it with their generic brand name. 

8.  Do not use Visine.  Please.  It sucks and doesn't fix the problem.

9.  Please do not get mad at me for telling you that you can't wear your contact lenses for 2 weeks while your eyes heal.  It was not my fault that you wore your lenses in the lake swimming and then wore them overnight and some god-awful nasty bacteria attached to your lens and gave you a red, inflammed (possibly infected) eye.  I want you to be able to wear lenses.  I make more money when you can wear lenses. 

10.  Yah, about wearing those lenses for 2 weeks straight......  You change your underwear daily, right?  Just sayin'.

11.  Those multifocal/bifocal contact lenses they advertise will not make your vision as it was when you were 20 years old.  What you are looking for is called the Fountain of Youth or a miracle and optometrists do not have access to either.  See your nearest religious provider. 

12.  I love fitting contact lenses to teenagers!  I love that confidence that shows up on their face once they have the lenses in.  They often follow my directions better than my adult wearers..... 

Do you wear contacts?

Do you have any questions you want answered?

The doctor is in--just until I get my running mojo back.  ;)


Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

If I ever get contacts I will try to remember this!

Unknown said...

I definitely needed to read this post. My 16 years son just started wearing contact lens this year. He absolutely loves them and is actually very responsible with them. When he puts in a new pair he puts it on his calendar in his iPhone. He is very diligent about changing them every month, not wearing them to sleep in them and if his eye is red or puffy, he'll take them out and wear his glasses for a couple of days. I will definitely have him read your post.

Carrie said...

Thanks for the tips. I am very bad and stretch the length of time that I wear my contacts. The last ones I got are the monthly ones, I got 12 pair, but that was two years ago and I have one pair left after the ones I am currently wearing. But I do only wear them on days that I run (3x week) and I wear my glasses the other four days because I am lazy. I'll be setting up an appointment with you in the next month or so!

Lisa said...

I tried contacts years ago, but after 45 minutes of trying to place just one in, I gave up.

Fortunately, I don't need my glasses to run - phew!

ltlindian said...

Carrie--that's not so bad. At least you take them out and clean them!!

Lisa--you could do it! We have had folks come back two and three times to practice!

Terzah said...

My granddad was an optometrist and he fitted me with my first pair of contacts when I was 16. It did wonders for my self-confidence--no glasses to make me look like the nerd I am!

I'm very diligent about cleaning mine--in dry Colorado, wearing them overnight or for weeks at a time isn't an option.

RunToTheFinish said...

i just went for my first eye apt in like 10 years because my vision was always about 20/40. I could tell my distance was getting I totally loved the optometrist... but having no eye insurance I was going to get my glasses from Oakley as an ambassador. They wouldn't give me my Pupil Distance at the eye doc because I wasn't buying glasses, it was a very frustrating experience until I realized I could figure it out on my own.

One of my new clients is the American Academy of Ophthalmologists and man am I learning how I need to take care of my peepers