Monday, 6 October 2014

Why I Prefer Contact Lenses over Glasses

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I started wearing glasses when I was about 11 years old. It wasn't a pleasant experience as it wasn't well fitted and the frame itself was fairly heavy, so there was a constant discomfort on my nose bridge and above my ears, plus the migraines that comes after several hours of wearing them as well. Another problem is that I can see from the corner of my eyes the edge of the frame, and everything just seemed to be much harder to focus on. There was also the issue with how I looked in them. Like others, I was very conscious about my looks, and me in oval shaped lenses just didn't look right, no matter what the optician said!

I knew about contact lenses as some of my family were wearing them, so I requested for them when the optician told me that I needed glasses. But he claimed that children under 15 years old aren't ready for them. I wasn't a happy bunny for the next few years of course (and even more annoyed now as the ACUVUE team I met at Britmums Live told me that children as young as 5 could wear them!), and the pain and the worry about how I look (in my defense, I was being laughed at quite frequently. In Hong Kong they call those wearing glasses "4 eyed" dude/ lass) has become part of the reason why I was distracted from my studies.

As soon as I turned 14 and a half, I told the optician that I had enough of waiting and I will be having those contact lenses no matter what (in Hong Kong your choice regarding your own health do count a bit more). I went through the contact lens trial, and passed with an honour. The pain on my nose bridge and above my ears were gone, and I hardly got any migraines. I could finally see things more clearly without an edge constantly hovering around my eyes, and focus on what I wanted to focus on.

Since then, I have been wearing contact lenses most of the time. I did have a pair of glasses during the years, for the times when I had to remove my contact lenses (most lenses are only good for 10 to 12 hours wear). I must say though, as the distance from a contact lens to your eyes and the distance from glasses to your eyes are different, every time I change back to glasses, it tired my eyes out to adjust to the difference, and my nose bridge will start to hurt again. In fact, I have a permanent mark on one side of my nose bridge now because of many ill fitted glasses!

When a 30 days and night lens was first released, which claimed to allow a constant wear for 30 days, 24/7, I quickly went for it. I was dying to stop using glasses! But it was too good to be true, and my optician has advised me to take them out every night. I stuck to them for another few years because i thought, if I accidentally fell asleep in them, they would still be better than normal monthly lenses.

However, as I'm working in front of the computer for longer hours, I started having lots of problems with the lenses. My eyes get tired easily, and irritations/ conjunctivitis has become a frequent issue for me. I guess I'm really getting old! Instead of risking my eye sights, I had no choice but to go back to wearing glasses most of the time. I'm just waiting for an opportunity to buy a new pair of frame that is lighter and better fitted than my current ones. With most frames in the UK fitted for locals with higher nose bridge, I'll have to wait until I go back to Asia next.

I did notice that I'm more grumpy as I can't really focus on things. That edge around my eyes is really distracting and I keep feeling like the area I can see has shrunk, like you are looking through a binocular with blurry edges. My nose bridge and area above my ears ache by mid day, and it's a pain to be wearing glasses during a hot Summer day too. I welcome the times when I put my contact lenses back on (I have now changed back to my favourite dailies as it's of better quality and the 30 days and nights aren't fit for purpose anymore), like my eyes are refreshed and I can suddenly see more. I also think that things seem smaller when I wear glasses, because of the distance from the glasses to my eyes. Things are always brighter and clearer when I wear contacts. So whenever I don't need to sit in front of the computer all day or when we go out, I'd always put my contact lenses back on.

During a "just in case" check up, the opticians found that Clay needed to wear glasses as one of his eye isn't being developed. We were heartbroken of course, and to put him through the pain with wearing glasses upsets me a lot. If what the ACUVUE team said is right, Clay should be able to wear contact lenses when he's 5, even if he has astigmatism. But we'll see how he feels with his glasses then.

For now, to prevent him from suffering what I have in the past, I've gone for the more expensive glasses that are made in Korea - the Tomato glasses. They are highly flexible to avoid breakage, and its design prevent possible injuries to the child during activities. It's very light weight, and comes with 3 different nose pad sizes. Clay has accepted his glasses within days and there is no sign of pain or discomfort. We are really happy with these glasses, and every optician/ eye specialist who has seen him only have nice things to say about them.

The only problem is that the design can be a bit childish, so when he gets older, we will have to find other glasses that doesn't cause him any discomfort. I wouldn't want him to be distracted from his studies, and if he refuse to wear his glasses due to whatever reason, it can be bad for his eye development as well. So eventually I'd still prefer him to wear contact lenses when he's old enough. Fingers crossed!

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in an influencer campaign on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate