As I renewed my vision prescription and chatted with the optometrist, it dawned upon me, the incredible nuisance proper contact lens care can be.
I’ve wore the contacts for the last twenty years. I’ve also wore glasses and interchanged between the two on nearly alternating days.
And perhaps this interchange has salvaged me from the numerous eye catastrophes I’ve miraculously managed to avoid.
For short of nighttime removal, short of storing them in fresh solution and replacing the monthlies within 30 days of opening, I’ve neglected nearly every proper cleaning and sanitation guideline.
I certainly don’t rub or rinse them: not upon insertion, not upon storage.
I don’t clean the lens case, not daily, not weekly. I definitely don’t sterilize it.
I don’t go the extra mile to avoid water exposure (everything involving the lenses or the storage case should involve nothing but the sterilizing liquid).
I store the lens case in the most humid environment imaginable: in the very bathroom, of course, right next to the sink, where not only the humidity, but plenty of water, toothpaste debris and voracious bacteria happily conglomerate.
Though I wash my hands prior to the handling, I don’t necessarily dry them, and even if so, usually not with a lint-free towel or paper.
I usually shower in the lenses and have nearly always wore them in every body of water conceivable.
Surely it could be worse. At least I replace my soiled case on a monthly basis and use fresh sterilizing solution. Some might do neither or improvise DYI methods of lens storage and cleansing.
And all I’ve suffered through these decades have been the routine consequences of occasional night-time dryness or the even rarer discomfort (usually due to a particularly dirty lens, in which case only would I extract and rub the culprit): symptoms which even the notoriously careful lens wearer experiences.
If this continues, I’m asking for severe punishment. Simple probability.
Conversing with the optometrist, naturally I began to pose such questions per my usual repertoire: “if faced with a choice between morning and evening, when would you opt to rub those contacts?”, or, “which of all these endless safety procedures do you consider the most crucial”?
She merely noted, “you’re talking about your eyes” …
And all my travels with these lenses, the six-month supplies, the travel-size solution containers (as I only practice carry-on), haven’t met my good graces.
Perhaps I’ll perform a year-long experiment and see how I fare with glasses only: also not a pleasure ride in the midst of sports, exercise, hikes (not to mention the lakes and the menacing waterfalls, which fortunately don’t surge too often).
For as far as aesthetics, contrary to whatever I might have conceptualized of my appearance at 19, now at 39, could I largely care less what rectangular, semi-open rims cover these suspicious eyes … provided they stay firm.
Questions, comments? Connect.