Sunday, 9 February 2014

Contact Lenses

Hello you!

I've had pretty awful time poking my eye over the past week, so I thought I'd come here and tell you about it.

As I told you in November, I've had glasses since I was 2, but only recently started wearing them more often. I had an enjoyable glass-free decade, but it's gone now. 

To be honest, I find glasses fairly annoying now. They slide down my nose when I read, and they get dirty all the time, and it makes me feel like the world looks blurrier than it does without my glasses. If I was rich, I would buy those amazing disposable glass-cleaning wipes, but they are really expensive and I also hate cumulating rubbish. One day soon, when I'm less annoyed with my eyes and more annoyed with rubbish, I will tell you ways how you could cumulate less rubbish too.

Occasionally I leave the house looking like this.

But anyway, the time for me to try out contact lenses is here.

Emphasis on the word try.

It hasn't been easy.

And I'm sorry but this might end up being a bit of a long post. But unlike in the last post, this time I am angry.

I went to Specsavers to ask about contact lenses, because that's where I got my glasses. They checked my eyes, and the optician asked about my life and what I do and in what kind of situations I was planning on wearing contact lenses. Then she concluded that my eyes are a weird shape and that I need special contact lenses ordered for that and because of my difficult eye sight they don't make daily lenses that would allow me to see as well as I need to.

They ordered me the cheapest lenses that I could wear, so that I could try them. They phoned me when they arrived and booked me an appointment to try them on. 

1st appointment

I went to my appointment on Tuesday. And there was this bloke who was supposed to teach me how to put them on. He told me to wash my hands first, which I could do perfectly well. However, after that I completely sucked at everything else I was supposed to do. 

Next the bloke asked me to take my glasses off and took out the case where my lenses were held. He opened the lid and told me that there was some saline liquid where my lenses were soaking. Guess what? I couldn't see the lenses. He asked me to put my finger in. Then he told me that there it was, I had got it. Apparently the lens had stuck to my finger but I couldn't feel it. He must have thought that I was some sort of an idiot because it took me several minutes to identify the lenses that he was trying to show me. I had no idea they were so tiny! And so very transparent and hard to see. I did think that maybe I should have gone for some neon-coloured lenses instead of normal ones. Surely it would be easier to see them?!

Did your mum ever tell you not to touch your eye or pull your eyelids? Well mine did, and I listened and didn't do it. That made trying on contact lenses very difficult. It was very difficult to even get my eye open wide enough for the contact lens to fit in. Not to mention my very healthy blink reflex that would slam my eye lid down when the finger holding the contact lens would get anywhere near it so that my lashes would make the lens fly somewhere where I wouldn't be able to see it again. Fortunately, the bloke was there to stare at my every movement very carefully and was always able to point me out where the lens had flown this time. I asked him many questions about contact lenses and he answered the best he could, but didn't give me any tips how to do it better. I have a feeling that he's never even tried to wear contact lenses himself. After 20 minutes my eyes were very sore and I gave up. He suggested that I come back on Thursday to try again. He also suggested that I go home and watch YouTube videos of people putting contact lenses in. I felt that this was a bit of a strange advice to get from someone who works at optician, but didn't mind it since that's what I was planning to do anyway.

Picture from here.

2nd appointment

Before my next appointment I had watched a couple of YouTube videos and quizzed my flatmate and her boyfriend about techniques they use when they put their contact lenses on. Both of them are very experienced in it and had some pretty good tips!

I felt more prepared when I went to my second appointment. This time my teacher was a young woman. She was a lot chattier and tried to give me some advice, which unfortunately didn't make putting the lenses on any easier. I also felt like she may have been a more successful primary school teacher. I didn't feel the need to hear her cheer: "Oh, almost there!! You were so close! Well done! You're doing so well! Just try again!" every time I dropped the lens.

After failing at it for 20 minutes, I gave up with the technique she tried to teach me, because I felt that it required a lot more acrobatic skills and motor co-ordination than I was ever going to have.

If you're interested in learning more about this technique, it's the one this guy is teaching in this video:

1:30 - 2:30 is the very acrobatic bit.

Then I started experimenting techniques I found more natural and pulling my eyes differently and tried using my middle finger instead of index finger to get the lens in. In the end managed to get those stupid things in. My eyes however were not happy with what just happened to them, and felt irritated. But it's understandable. I would be irritated too if someone had been poking me for a half an hour.

Then I got my eye sight tested with the contact lenses on, and the optician was hopeful that I might start to see more than I did then. Everything was blurry and my eyes were not happy. She said that we could try better lenses after my 2-week contact lens trial.

Then I had to take the lenses out. And man, that was difficult! Mostly it was difficult because my eyes were in so much pain after all the poking. Every touch hurt, which didn't really make me feel like I wanted to roll the lens against the edge of my eye to get it off. The cheering lady didn't look sympathetic, and when I finally got the lenses out she said that I had to come back for another teaching session.

WHAT?! Why did I had to go back? I had been promised that once a staff member has seen me put them in and get them out again, I can take them home with me to practise with. And I had just done it?!

The lady started to sound even more annoying and explained that they have a duty of care, and that they are worried that I might go and sleep with my lenses on if I can't get them out at home. This made me feel like she thought I was an idiot. I tried to explain to her that I can look after my eyes and that I would carry on trying to get them out until I would manage. And that I understand that sometimes things can get stuck, but that I understand now how to get them out.

But she said no, that I would have to come back. I didn't understand how that would help, because surely it would take me a long time the next time too, if I wouldn't get to practise before then. I was pissed off, but went and bought a new pair of shoes and felt a lot better after that.

I had been prepared to come home with a pair of something new, so obviously I had to get a pair of something.

3rd appointment

On Saturday I went to my 3rd teaching appointment. I was so irritated and angry, that I can't even remember when was the last time I was so annoyed. Again, I got a new teacher. She asked if I had been practising at home. I stared at her wondering what on earth she thought I could have practised with when they had refused to give me the lenses last time so that I could practise at home. I told her that.

This new lady was really strict with teaching "the method they find the best" – the acrobatic way of making the lenses jump into your eye. I felt very rude but I thought that it was best to ignore her. I was too annoyed to try and explain to her, why I didn't find that technique successful for me. So instead, I just started doing it the same way I had managed to do it the last time. She interrupted me and said that she thinks that it would be easier if I used my index finger rather than my middle finger. I was very tempted to tell her to shut up and say: "I'm a lesbian, I know how to use my fingers".

She kept complaining about all the bits of technique that I was using, but then something amazing happened and I managed to get the lens to touch my eye enough that it stuck to it. My lashes tried to make it fly away again, but I somehow managed to violently jam it underneath the lid while it happened. Unfortunately the lady noticed this and complained. But then she realised that the lens had actually stayed on my eye. It was a happy miracle.

And then another miracle happened and a member of staff came to talk to her about another customer's glasses, which gave me a long enough moment of peace to get the other lens on to my left eye. Funny how it's easier to concentrate when someone isn't staring at you intensively.

Right, lenses on again. And again I couldn't see anything and I just wanted to keep my eyes closed. But the lady wanted to teach me important things about taking care of my lenses and was showing me a leaflet. I pretended that I could see what she was showing to me and promised that I wouldn't lick my lenses nor rinse them under a tap.

Then the moment of truth arrived and I had to get the lenses out. The first one came out surprisingly easily. It was probably an accident, I didn't expect it to be that easy. Then the other one was tricky. The lady said that it's not easy to get them out and that it does require practise. I really didn't want to come back and practise there, so I thought it was time to be as violent as possible. Violence worked and the lens came out.

Then the lady taught me how to put the lenses back into a weird cage I was meant to keep them in. This was extremely difficult without my glasses on. I couldn't see any of those small things. "There's an R here where you put the right lens, and a little love heart where you put the left lens. And see these little clips here?" No. I couldn't see any of those things, because I wasn't wearing the lenses or my glasses. I understand that most people are short-sighted, but I'm not. I can drive a car without glasses, but I can't see those clips or the lenses. I don't understand how none of those people teaching me couldn't understand that. They even asked me if I can see far away, when I got the lenses on. I was able to see far away before the lens went on, but not after it was on, because my eye was sore and full of tears and everything looked crazy.

The "love heart".

Okay, fortunately after that 3rd appointment I finally got the lenses with me, so that I can practise properly. 

I however realised that I didn't get the traditional lenses case with me although they were using one in all the teaching sessions. So I was foolish and phoned them! They explained that I was only meant to be given the cage case, but that because I sound so unsure and confused, it's properly better that I come back for another teaching session so that they can go over the things with me again.

I hung up. I'm definitely not going back.

My contact lense solution and contact lenses in the cage case.

Um, has anyone tried Boots Opticians? Are they any better? I'm tempted to try and see what their contact lens service is like. I'm really not impressed by Specsavers' at the moment. I understand that I may sound a five-year old in this post, but I'm just really upset for being treated like a 5 year-old by them. This beginning has been difficult, and I'm not sure if I'm just a complete loser who finds this more difficult than other people, or whether it's just my lack of experience in poking my eye. But I wish I had been given a bit more space and time to try and learn how to do it.

Do you have experience of contact lenses?


  1. Mä kävin Aberdeenissa Duncan & Toddilla Trinity Centressä eikä kyllä ole valitettavaa, paitsi että ensin sanoivat piilarisovituksen olevan ilmainen mutta myöhemmin kävikin ilmi, että se oli maksullinen. Setä oli todella mukava ja asiantunteva. Ja hei ei kannata lannistua, mulla meni aikanaan tunti ekalla piilariharjoituskäynnillä, saavatpahan optikot tehdä töitä palkkansa eteen :D Onhan se kuitenkin niin epäluonnollista tunkea tavaraa silmään, että hetki menee ennen kuin ne refleksitkin siihen tottuu. Ja ei siihen todellakaan muuten kuole jos nukkuu ne linssit päässä. Kunhan ei liian usein sitä tee.

    1. Ooh, kiitos vinkistä! En tiennytkään tuollaisesta paikasta. Ja niin, eniten mua tosiaan ärsytti, etten saanut ottaa niitä mukaan, että olisin voinut harjoitella ja että ne kohtelivat mua kuin pikkulasta. Jotenkin tuli tosi ammattitaidoton olo niistä työntekijöistä.

  2. Hyi että, piilarit! Mulla on siis silmälasit ja käytän niitä kyllä aina kun tilanne vaatii, mutta en koskaan huvikseni lähde ne päässä mihinkään. Kuljen vähän heikkonäköisenä kaikkialla ja piilarit ois tietty mahtava vaihtoehto, mutta en varmasti ala tökkimään silmiäni. Mulla on jokin järkyttävä silmienkoskemisfobia. Toivottavasti tulla rupeaa toi homma sujumaan!

    1. Haha! Mullakin tuli kyllä monta vuotta pyörittyä suuri osa ajasta ihan vaan ilman laseja, vaikka mulla sellaiset olitkin. Jotenkin hölmöt härpäkkeet. Mut nyt oon kohta vuoden käyttänyt niitä joka päivä. Jännää, kun näkee jotenkin paremmin tällä tavalla.

  3. "I'm a lesbian, I know how to use my fingers" Hahaa, olis ollut aika loistava näpäytys! :D

    Mä olen aivan vannoutunut silmälasi-ihminen ja tämä kertomus ei yhtään vähentänyt mun piilariennakkoluuloja... Jo ajatuskin siitä, että pitäisi sormella tyrkätä jokin muovinpala silmään aiheuttaa kylmiä väreitä :s

    1. Haha! Aika ihmetouhua tämä piilarien tunkeminen silmään kieltämättä. Onneksi sitä silmämunaa ei tarvitse koskea suoraan.

  4. Boots are way better. I've been registered with them eyes-wise since uni, including a brief spell registered in London and now up here. Their contact lens set-up is really good too (all my friends recommend Boots for contacts), and they're actually useful.

    1. Thanks Beri! I might have go and see if I can sign up with them next. Maybe they will give me a trial too, after I finish this trial. I would really like to start avoiding places where I don't get good customer service. And I really like Boots for everything else.

    2. omg I just typed out a really long reply and then it vanished. I'll see if I can be bothered to retype later. damn technology!

  5. Huhhuh, kuulostaa kyllä niin ikävältä puuhalta. Ihan varmasti opit kuitenkin, ja jossain vaiheessa se menee helposti, jos vaan harjoittelet tarpeeksi. Mä en edes meinaa saada kostutustippoja silmiini, kun laitan vaan silmän kiinni joka kerta.

    1. Siis mähän en tosiaan ole laittanut edes silmätippoja itse silmääni ennen tuota ekaa kertaa. Ei sinällään siis yllätys etten saanut niitä silloin heti silmääni. Mutta suuttunut olen vieläkin siitä, etten saanut niitä torstain jälkeen mukaani.

  6. Tämä on yksi niistä syistä, miksen halua piilareita: en uskalla mennä sovittamaan niitä. Vihaan tuollaisia tilanteita, joissa pitää tehdä jotain itselleen vaikeaa ensimmäisiä kertoja ja joku samalla vahtaa vieressä. Autoakin ajoin paremmin heti, kun sain ajokortin eikä ollut enää autokoulunopettajaa kyttäämässä.

  7. Have been toying with the idea. Looking for info. Great post :)

  8. Give fresh look to your eyes by choosing from a large variety of lenses. like halloween contact lenses and blue contact lenses