I have recently been struggling with the sensitivity of my eyes which made me unable to wear contact lenses for nearly two weeks. I realised that I was no longer looking after my eyes as well as I did when I just started wearing my lenses.
I was twelve when I first started wearing contact lenses. I remember sitting in my optometrists practice next to a basin with a mirror and a towel on my other side. She was so patient which dramatically eased my nerves. (Putting an object into your eye can really be quite intimidating the first time.) She told me precisely which fingers I should use to make it easiest for myself to put in the lenses and gave me many booklets about contact lenses to read through. I then had to take them out and cleanse each lens with the solution I was given. I had to do this in circular motions for ten counts on each of the lenses.
I had never felt more liberated than when I first wore a pair of contact lenses. I could properly see what was going on in ballet and I could do whatever I wanted to do without the worry of accidentally breaking the frame or one of the lenses of my spectacles. Because I was so extremely happy with my new set of ‘eyes’, I looked after them meticulously. I followed my optometrist’s instructions down to the last letter.
More recently, however, I have become more complacent with my lenses and I stopped cleaning them as well as I used to, I started wearing them for longer than twelve hours at a time and the one I still can’t believe has happened more than once, I started falling asleep with them in. Anyone who has ever fallen asleep with contacts in will be able to tell you that you wake up unable to see very much, your eyes are puffy and the worst part of it all is that when you attempt to take them out it feels like they have been glued to your eyeballs.
We also under estimate the importance drinking enough water and taking in omega 3 is for eye-health. Water is especially needed to maintain ‘moisture’ in tissue and the moment eyes are dried out, they become susceptible to irritation. I am also on a daily antihistamine which has the tendency to dry-out mucous membranes and that includes the tear film. For that reason, my optometrist suggested I use eye drops before putting my lenses in. (Please note that you can’t use just any eye drops with contact lenses as they can be affected by certain chemical compositions. Rather consult a professional if you think you might need eye drops with your contact lens prescription.)
After spending days suffering from itchy, sensitive eyes, I have again taken an interest in following my optometrist’s instructions. We take our eyes for granted and forget how sensitive they are so we need to start looking after them.