Contact Lenses

Just wanted to share with you guys this wonderful brand of contact lenses I’ve been using for over four years. Might have even been five or six years but I can’t remember when I started switching to this brand, though I know it was definitely before my JC period. I guess what sparked off the desire to write this post was chancing upon the information that my lenses was actually suitable for 6 nights of extended wear due to its properties. No I’m not paid to write this post – not that famous. Naturally, this ain’t supposed to be taken as something (completely) medically accurate. I’m just sharing what worked for me and what I’ve come to know of this brand. I started wearing lenses when I was sec 1, mainly because of the inconvenience conventional glasses brought while dancing. I’ve tried two other brands prior to this – biomedics and acuvue. Both didn’t work out for me. I was prone to dry eyes, and I have rather high myopia (its at 700 now) as well as a significant extent of astigmatism (should be around 125 or 150 on both eyes). Naturally, my vision remains blurred, even with toric lenses.

While I was a secondary school kid, I never understood why my lenses could go “out of focus”. After all, there’s just that much of a surface area that your lenses are allowed to shift about in. Curiosity to got me when I found my current brand that worked so well. Oh yes, I almost forgot to introduce them. It’s the air optix range by ciba vision. Apparently, a Precision Balance design is used in the air optix toric lenses which explains why I’ve never had blurry vision (except when I wake up from a nap). It’s the second most important aspect for me, because it was the issue that caused me a great amount of discomfort during my early years of wearing contact lenses. Quite a few people have remarked that after a few years of wearing contact lenses, you’ll find yourself unable to wear them anymore because you simply can’t put them in. I’ve been wearing mine for seven and I have absolutely no problems with my lenses. I think that’s a very reliable indication on its own because I was suffering from dry eyes even before wearing contact lenses.

I’ll just do up this post by listing some factors or worries I have of wearing contact lenses. Definitely don’t wish to sound like a sales person but I’ve this habit of doing a check on the products I buy (skincare and food products alike). I actually did not know of these properties of Air Optix lenses until last year. So the placebo effect doesn’t really have a part in this. My opticians (which I’ve been going to since upper primary) only mentioned that this brand was better for dry eyes because it allows more oxygen to reach the eyes. So yes, here we go.

#Concern 1 

Ugly eyes. Yes. Vanity is a part. Ugly eyes are eyes with prominent blood vessels that develop as a result of a lack of oxygen. It leads to the whites of your eyes being rather discoloured and although they do go away if you stop wearing your lenses for a while, it may still cause scarring.

Air Optix supposedly allow up to five times the amount of oxygen, as compared to normal lenses, to reach your eyes. This means that you help maintain a healthier cornea too.

#Concern 2 

Blurry vision – as explained above, caused by the shifting of lenses while on the eyes.

#Concern 3 

Dry eyes. They’re a major discomfort but I’ve been wearing my contact lenses during camps for almost twenty hours and no, they aren’t dry. Back then, I didn’t realize that my lenses could last so long without bring discomfort because they were designed to for up to 6 days of extended wear. Nope, I haven’t and am not intending to wear them to sleep/any longer than I need to because I think it still is best to leave your eyes in its natural state as much as possible (read: When you don’t need to look decent).

There’s a protective layer of moisture on the lenses that prevents it from drying out. I think this is highly linked to the increased water content of the silicone hydrogel material used, as well as the higher level of oxygen permeability. My optician once told me that the lenses may be a little uncomfortable at the start because they’re a hybrid between soft and hard lenses. The initial discomfort is rather insignificant actually. The lenses are thicker and less flimsy than normal ones. Newly opened lenses tend to be a little stiff as well.

#Concern 4 

Stained lenses as a result of putting on/ removing eye make up. This is the least of my concerns because after secondary school, I hardly did dance performances/ wore heavy eye make up. However, it might be an important consideration for some girls.

Air Optix utilises some Smooth Technology magic which resists deposits and dirts. Tried and tested. Mascara is one of the most stubborn forms of eye make up. After all, they’re designed to be smudge proof AND water proof. Taking them off/ putting them on so close to your eyes often means there is a high possibility of getting some of it onto your lenses. It usually takes me a while (and a lot of lens solution) to get mascara off my lenses. However, its just a simple rinse or gentle nudge with my fingers with my current lenses. That’s all it takes to get any make up deposits off my lenses.

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I guess the biggest drawback of this brand would be the price. 6 months’ supply ( 7 months with the free pair I usually get) sets me back by $210. That’s more than $30 a pair. I do have astigmatism though, so lenses are double the cost of non toric ones. Toric lenses of other brands usually only cost 20-ish a pair or less. This brand is almost $10 more each month. If you don’t have astigmatism, it’ll be $100 for 6 months if I remember correctly.

I decided to do my research because one fine day, I realized that my lenses are costing more than a dollar a day. Which is rather costly for a student. In fact, $30 for a pair is very very expensive if you were to ask me. But I read about what makes these lenses so different, and I think back on the experiences I’ve had with these lenses. I honestly think that it is rather worth it. After all, you only have a pair of eyes and although lasik is available, these are invasive procedures that shouldn’t be considered as a first option. I play sports and I dance/swim a lot so glasses would be a major inconvenience.

If something (like air optix) was available to resolve my issues with contact lenses, why not? Its been so many years since I’ve put on this brand of contact lenses, and while I try not to, I wear them for way more than 12 hours on school days. I wouldn’t vouch for the safety of such a practice, but this brand of lenses has definitely brought me the much needed comfort in the midst of necessity.

I take frequent naps in the library between classes and studying too. It recharges me and sometimes I’m just so tired I know I can’t continue without getting a shut eye. It isn’t good to sleep in your lenses; it never is. I’d never wear my lenses to sleep over night even if they’re medically certified (yes, they are) as products safe to leave on my eyes overnight. But I’m reassured that my eyes would not be ruined by the much needed naps I take. Yes, snoozes on the bus too.

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