Contact Lenses

Parent Q&A

  • Mascara for Contact Lens Wearers

    (4 replies)

    I've never worn mascara on a daily basis, but was able to wear regular brands fine when using it occasionally. Recently though, I've found that when I do wear it on occasion, it never fails to get onto one or both of my contact lens and then I end up having to throw the lens away because I can't get it off. Please let me know if there is a mascara that you love and can wear comfortably without ruining your contact lens! Thank you.

    Hiya! Fellow contact lens wearer here. You need TUBING MASCARA! It's great, it creates little plastic tubes around your eyelashes and comes off easily by rubbing them with water at night. I use Blinc's tubing mascara,, you can easily get it on Amazon, Sephora, etc. There are others as well.

    I have used only these two for many years now, and I wear my contacts about 12 hours a day. I think the secret is using waterproof mascara and to take your time applying it! Hope this helps!

    Tarte- Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof mascara

    Maybelline- Great Lash Mascara, waterproof

    Try a tubing mascara. They don’t budge. Thrive Causmetics makes one as does Trish McEvoy and Blinc. I think there are others as well. You remove with warm water (water has to be warm). 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Contact Lenses for Kids & Teens Advice about Contacts Related Pages

Best online contact lens site?

April 2009

Recently got back into wearing contacts. Anyone researched the best place to buy online? I assume the product is the same everywhere and it is all about price, no? Thanks Bryan

Hello! Actually, if you start looking at these things very carefully, the difference between places is pennies per box. The following advice only applies if you have no vision insurance. 1) If you are in a Vistakon product (Acuvue whatever) Costco is usually the cheapest. 2) If you are in anything else, then there is usually no significant difference in price. AND, be very careful of hidden costs like handling charges or shipping charges. Rebates that you see on line are usually available no matter where you buy the lenses from. Some rebates are only available from your doctor's office. Contact lens companies sometimes give better rebates to docs because they can't compete price wise with chain stores like Costco or Wallmart. I've also heard horror stories about companies that go belly up before they send out the contacts and after they take your money, so make sure that you don't just go with the cheapest on-line company--make sure they've been around a while and will stick around a while. Eye Doc

I use Coastal Contacts and am very happy with them. I don't know how they compare to others, as I've never used anyone else. They're reasonable in price and quick with delivery. You fill out your prescription online and then fax them a current prescription from your doctor. Linda

We like Good prices, nice customer service. Anon

Bifocal Contact Lenses

Feb 2009

After 15 years and failing to meet criteria for surgical vision correction - I am thinking of ditching the glasses and going back to contact lenses. This time I would need bifocal lenses. I am interested in your experience with these. Have you been happy? Is your vision (both near and far) acute with these lenses? I have read about both gas permeable and soft lenses. Any recommendations and advice would be most appreciated! Considering Contacts

I have used bifocal contacts (gas permeable) for at least 10 years and they offer me much better vision than I can get with glasses, so I wear them almost constantly. Got them through Kaiser so don't know brand. I highly recommend them! 20/20

Contact lense allergy?

Nov 2008

Contact lenses irritate my eyes, but I really miss wearing them--it's a challenge to play with my two active sons and toddler who loves to take them off of my face. My dr. said I am allergic to the lenses, and I am wondering if anyone can advise me on brands that you have found to be especially gentle. I'm not ready for LASIK yet and would love to avoid it completely. Thanks for any ideas! anon

I too was allergic to contact lenses. I would get little white dots on the inside of my lids. So come to find out that it was not the lense, but the solution they came in. The Dr. suggested that instead of wearing 2 week lenses that I needed to clean every night, I should use disposables and for wear them for no more than 12 hours (+/-). So I use 1-day Acuvue disposable lenses for most of the day - and wear my glasses in the evenings to read or watch TV - and not a single allergy in years. AJ

You might just be allergic to the preservative in the saline solution. Try plain saline (we get ours from Walmart - can't find it anywhere else - it comes in a tall can - much cleaner that way). Good luck! Jean

I had something similar, but it really was that my body was depositing protein (or some other substance) on the contacts, and then I'd have an allergic reaction to the built-up deposits. So I switched to daily wear disposable contacts. I can wear a pair for two days (taking them out at night) before throwing them away. Since my vision is really bad, I also have to wear glasses on top of the contacts, but the glasses are a lot thinner and cuter than they'd be without contacts. -Yana

Getting contact lenses for an 11 year old

March 2007

Last year my (then) 10 year old daughter decided to try contacts (many of her peers had switched from glasses to contacts). My husband took her and the experience did not go well.....the optometrist was not used to working with children, and although he was kind and gentle, it was too much, too fast for my daughter. Poor thing ended up passing out (she was fine with the contact in her eye but when he asked her to take it out she fainted!) and then when she came to she threw up everywhere. Talk about traumatic for everyone.

Since then she has insisted that she will NEVER wear contacts, that glasses are just fine. About a week ago she came to me and said she thinks she is ready to try again. She plays soccer and really wants to not wear glasses during games, and also she is 11 1/2 now and is a little more self conscious about her glasses. SO, I really want it to go well this time. I would love recommendations for a good, child friendly optometrist who can fit contacts. Any other tips? I don't wear glasses (or contacts) so am eager to hear from those who do or have children who do. Thanks! Karoline

I went to Rockridge Optometry when I was a little kid (and still go today) They were patient and gentle at helping me learn to take the contacts in and out. The only problem is I got hard lenses and never wore them because I never got used to them. I would only put them on for checkups and my eyes were red and teary and my optometrist and parents never seemed to notice. so if your child gets hard contacts (not sure if they even still have them) beware of that problem! happy soft contact wearer

My husband is an optometry student at the UC Berkeley Eye Center and he said the optometry clinic often fits children with contacts. Try to set up an appointment with Dr. John Corzine (available on Thurs.). Since this is a teaching clinic, there is plenty of time spent with the patients. If you want direct patient care (no students) request a resident. But even if a student starts the appointment, Dr. Corzine oversees everything. He is very compassionate, knowledgeable, and patient. UC Berkeley Eye Center 510-642-2020 Shelley

I've an excellent optometrist for you and your family - Dr. Susan Link, located at 1613 Locust St., Walnut Creek (925) 932-4362 (within Dr. Carl Hirsch's office). She loves kids and is enthusiastic, energetic, patient, caring, fun and knowledgable. She also works in a corneal surgery practice. I am also an optometrist and I go to her for my exams!

By the way, I sympathize with your daughter as I had a lousy childhood experience with an impatient ophthalmologist the first time i went to get CLs for soccer.. Tell her to have patience and it'll work out!

Dr. Link takes many insurance plans including VSP. Dan H

Contact lens for 6.5-year-old?

August 2006

Has anyone had any experience with contact lens for a young child? We are considering contacts for our 6.5 year old daughter would be interested in hearing about other people's experiences. Advice on a particular optometrist with experience with contacts for children would also be appreciated. Thanks! -tired of broken glasses

I started wearing contact lenses when I was 8 years old. The theory back then was that because gas permeable lenses hold the eye in a particular shape, they might prevent a kid's vision from worsening quickly. So basically my parents did it for my health. I hated wearing contacts. Learning to put them in my eyes was traumatizing, and led to nasty fights with whichever parent was supervising the process. I kept losing them (you think broken glasses are a pain, try looking for a contact lens on a soccer field once a week!), which annoyed my parents and stressed me out. I eventually got to the point where I would pretend to have them in and leave the house blind, then put my glasses on when I got to school. Bottom line: even if you're thinking disposable soft lenses, do not underestimate the difficulties of contacts! They are no fun for little kids! If you want to talk about this more, feel free to get in touch via email rlave

i got my contacts in 6th grade. I think it takes a certain level of maturity to deal with getting them in and out of your eyes, cleaning properly, etc. they are quite delicate. good luck jss

Personally, I don't think such a young child has the emotional maturity to wear contact lenses. Contacts take a lot of management, hygiene, and thoughtfulness to care for properly. And I certainly wouldn't be motivated to choose contacts as a way to prevent loss! Quite the contrary: contacts are fragile, expensive, and easily torn. It takes skill to manage contacts successfully and let's not forget that eye-sight is involved here and mistakes could be very costly. I began wearing contacts at 14 and think that was just about right; too much to ask of someone younger unless the issues were more compelling than loss reduction. Glasses for now

I got contact lenses as a 10-year-old because my vision was deteriorating rapidly and the optometrist felt that hard lenses would slow it down. That turned out to be true, but I lost more contacts between age 10 and age 14 than I have in the 20 years since. Contacts are harder to take care of than glasses, so even though times have changed and there are a lot more options in terms of disposable lenses etc, contacts are still more complicated than glasses, no question. If you're looking for something lower- hassle, contacts aren't it. Jennifer M

There are some medical conditions that require babies to wear contacts, so there is no such thing as too young from the doctor's perspective--I can fit any aged person in contacts. But, contact lenses in children is a tricky for other reasons, and I count on parents to help decide whether it's a good idea for their child at whatever age based on the following criteria: 1) parents have to feel that child is mentally mature enough to handle them 2) child should be able to remove them from their own eyes.

What if they are at school/daycare and there's some sort of problem--dust under lens, or something sprays in eye? Then child needs to take lens out themselves! Then, as a bonus--if one of the parents wears contacts themselves, it's much easier. At 6.5 parents will be a large component in putting the lenses on, at the very least.

The last criteria is that the prescription has to be OK for contacts. For example, if the child has a high astigmatism, they will get the best vision out of glasses. Contacts would be bad, because a child that young can still become amblyopic (lazy eye) if they have a poor image constantly (contact lens not quite sitting correctly).

The other consideration is that you have to be very diligent about making sure the child is wearing the contacts. It's easy to see if glasses are off--but contacts are easy to forget.

In general, I must say, when I consult with my patients, most feel that their 6 or 7 year old is not ready for contacts based on my criteria. But, I have fit quite a few as well. Parents usually judge girls as ready sooner than boys. Those that I have fit, I generally recommend one-day lenses if possible. The risk of contamination, etc. is far less. But, they are also more expensive for a year's supply. Rigid lenses are a very good option as well, but take some getting used to. Many parents get concerned about this adaptation time, and don't want to consider rigid lenses, but they provide great vision, are cheaper, and healthy. You might also consider Flexon frames--less easy to destruct. Optometrist

I don't know if an optometrist would even consider doing this, but as a very long wearer of contacts (all kinds) and a parent, I would NOT do this. Contacts carry all sorts of risks for corneal scratches and infections if you don't know what you're doing. They can pop out unexpectedly if you pull on your eye. I can't imagine teaching someone this young to wear them and take care the way you have to. Just my two cents. Leslie

I got contacts when I was a very near-sighted 7-year-old (23 years ago), and have worn RGP or soft lenses ever since. I have never had problems with eye health. Initially my parents helped me put them in, but I quickly started doing it myself. The worst problem I had was when the lens would get knocked out of place, and had to be shifted back, which is a bit painful, and scary for a little kid (but not a concern with soft lenses). Also, I was always getting things in my eye, which meant stopping doing whatever I was doing until the thing cleared out by itself, or removing the lens, cleaning it, and putting it back in. It's definitely harder and more of an ongoing bother than glasses. But I also remember how thrillingly clearly I could see everything on the drive back from the optometrist's that first day with contacts. And as I entered adolescence, I felt strongly that I looked more attractive wearing lenses, and it made me feel more confident. So I would say that it's probably wise to wait a few more years, and then go for it if your kid is game. You will need to provide a lot of support, though, in helping your child get comfortable with the lenses, ensuring that the child is wearing and caring for the lenses correctly, and making sure the child and caregivers/teachers are properly prepared to deal with lens emergencies. Practically Blind

13-year-old is interested in trying contacts

Nov 2004

My 13 1/2 year old son is, like both my husband and myself, fairly nearsighted (i.e. sees fine close up but needs glasses for distance). He\x92s a good-looking, athletic kid and glasses just don\x92t fit with his self-image. It\x92s been a struggle to get him to wear them when he needs them, especially in class, despite his teachers\x92 and his parents\x92 best efforts. (I did the same thing as an adolescent when my eyesight started to change, so I\x92m somewhat sympathetic.) My concern is that while he\x92s been able to get by at his small independent school, this won\x92t work at Berkeley High where he will be starting in the fall and will definitely need to have full use of all his faculties. He\x92s expressed an interest in contact lenses; can I please hear from folks whose kids have tried contacts (boys especially; he is I suspect fairly typical in that hygiene is not a high priority); what age they got them, what were the issues, has it been a success? Sarah

Both of my sons began wearing soft contacts at early ages-around 11 or so and are now 16 & 19 respectively. They both are quite responsible and one is very festidious. As they've gotten older, they actually have been a lot more comfortable wearing glasses outside the house. However, generally speaking they have always worn contacts to school after a brief period of adjustment. Their parents also wear contacts, but gas permeable. Shelley

my 13 and 15 year old kids (boy 13, girl 15) are both nearsighted, and they got soft contacts last spring. the optometrist had a contacts training appointment, where they taught them about hygiene--washing hands before putting them in, etc. they are very careful when putting the contacts in, we have had no infections or any other problems. they both managed their contacts while at sleepaway camp this summer, and do fine on overnights. they both totally love having the contacts. plus, they both remarked on the added bonus of having their peripheral vision back!

My 13 1/2 year old son just got contacts and really likes them. He's worn glasses since 1st grade so is really happy to be getting rid of them. He just got them....the kind that are disposable...he wears a pair per day. He's still learning how to put them in and doesn't wear them all day yet, but he really likes them and likes how he looks and feels without glasses. We go to the CAL optometry clinic for our family eye exams and glasses. (we're Kaiser members, but prefer CAl opt. for eye exams). Tell your son to go for it...enjoy the new look. anon

My very athletic and active son needed corrective lenses when he was in second grade. My husband and I are both myopic (I am off the charts) and we have both worn contacts since we were teens. We soon discovered that the glasses either didn't get worn or else he sat on them, stepped on them, lost them, stuck them in his backpack and broke them. We finally caved in and tried contacts when he was in fourth grade. I was really worried about his ability to keep them clean and lubricated, but he was really motivated and he did just fine, even at that age, with the process of cleaning and storage. We switched to disposable lenses a few years ago and have found them to be really easy and relatively cheap -- they last about twice as long as advertised. I would definitely recommend contacts for a teen, especially an athlete. My son plays lacrosse and I can't imagine how he could wear a helmet with corrective goggles or glasses -- his peripheral vision would be terrible. mother of near-sighted athlete

To answer Sarah about the contact lenses for kids/teens issue, my son needed correction for only one eye beginning in early elementary school. The opthamologist wanted him to wear a contact lens for medical reasons. It took time and effort to learn how to put it on, clean it, etc. but has been well worth it. Your optometrist can do all the training, which takes the burden off you. They can also emphasize the importance of thorough cleaning and care of the lens. He may also be able to use long term wear lenses, which are less maintenance but can be more expensive. Ellie G

My daughter was the same: 13 1/2, good looking and athletic, the glasses just kept getting smushed in the backpack. She asked to try contacts and voila! What a success. She took to them immediately (and proudly!), and takes fairly good care of them. If he is expressing interest, I think it's worth a try. Lori

My son, now 22, started wearing glasses at 8. When he was 12 he begged for contact lenses and we told him he could try them on a provisional basis, but if he got infections due to hygiene, we would take them away. He always was a good hands washer, and never had any problems at all. Getting rid of his glasses made him a lot more self- confident at a very difficult age. Since he has allergies, I consulted his allergist who recommended disposable contact lenses, to minimize longterm buildup of allergens and bacteria. His lenses are supposedly good for 3 weeks, but they usually only last about 2 weeks. Daily disposables are now available, but they are pretty expensive. I say go for it. Your son will thank you. Nancy

My very athletic and active son needed corrective lenses when he was in second grade. My husband and I are both myopic (I am off the charts) and we have both worn contacts since we were teens. We soon discovered that the glasses either didn't get worn or else he sat on them, stepped on them, lost them, stuck them in his backpack and broke them. We finally caved in and tried contacts when he was in fourth grade. I was really worried about his ability to keep them clean and lubricated, but he was really motivated and he did just fine, even at that age, with the process of cleaning and storage. We switched to disposable lenses a few years ago and have found them to be really easy and relatively cheap -- they last about twice as long as advertised. I would definitely recommend contacts for a teen, especially an athlete. My son plays lacrosse and I can't imagine how he could wear a helmet with corrective goggles or glasses -- his peripheral vision would be terrible. mother of near-sighted athlete

Teen's contacts are always getting scratched

March 1999

My 13 yr old wears contacts and there hasn't been a problem with them for 7 months. But recently, one got scratched when it fell so we had to replace it. Soon after, the contact for the other eye was terribly scratched. My son swears that it didn't fall (I believe him) yet it was badly scratched. Because he has been so conscientious I paid to replace the two contacts for a total of $300.00. He has astigmatism so his contacts are VERY expensive. And now this morning when he went to put one of his contacts in, he found it scratched. Again, it wasn't due to the contact falling, but we are at a loss as to how his contacts are getting scratched - I can't afford to replace this one. He is going to pay for it himself out of his savings.

My question is to the contact wearers out there: what could be causing the scratches, is there a step in the process of handling contacts that one has to watch for that we are missing? Please help, with all the sports he plays the contacts have been fantastic for him, but if the scratches continue, he'd really have to go back to glasses because of the cost.

Re. scratches on contacts: As a long-time wearer of gas permeable hard lenses, I can offer suggestions based only on this type of lens: Scratches can occur if the lenses are stored in a dry lens case; they should always be stored in conditioning fluid. Also, check to be sure your son is using the cleaning fluid that is specifically recommended for his brand of lenses, and that he washes his hands before handling them. Finally, his optometrist may be able to polish the lenses if they get scratched, rather than replace them. My optometrist has done that to mine on occasion and it has improved the comfort.

I asked one of the contact lens doctors here at the Optometry Clinic and he said, especially if your son is due for an exam, he could come to the clinic at UC and bring his lenses and we could evaluate the type of lenses he has and the care he is giving them and assess what the problem might be. There may be a handling problem or a storage problem or there may be another type of lens that would work better for him.
Barbara Shayesteh, Patient Services Analyst, Optometry Clinic at Minor Hall

I know that contact lenses can get beat up if they're not cleaned properly. Make sure he's using the daily cleaner, and soaking them, taking the appropriate care. Good luck (been wearing contacts since I was 15)

I suspect that the case may be the problem with the contact lenses that keep being scratched. I wore contacts for many years without scratching any of them (I'm extremely cautious in handling them); then suddenly I had several scratched contacts in a row. I told the optometrist that I suspected it was the case: I use the AOSept system, and the first scratched contact occurred shortly after I began using a new case. I had noticed that it was harder to remove the contacts from the new case--as though they had kind of a tacky surface. I asked the optometrist whether perhaps the case hadn't been sanded as well in the factory as it should have been. (It felt smooth, but the contacts were definitely harder to remove from it.) Because the case felt smooth, the optometrist was sure this couldn't be the problem, and just cautioned me to handle the lenses more carefully. After spending lots of money replacing several lenses (I too have expensive, astigmatic lenses), I bought a new case and--presto chango!--problem solved. I have never scratched a lens in the ten years since I tossed out that case.

Some possibilities for the scratches: 1. Could have been caused by his fingernails when he handles the lens, like when he takes it out from the case. Make sure he has short fingernails and that side of his finger does not touch the lens. 2. Could have been caused by the lens being caught by the lid of the lens case when he closes it. Make sure the holder is big enough. 3. If there are grooves inside the lens case, make sure they are smooth. I hope this helps. I wore contacts for a while, and currently have a pair that I only wear for performing (3 or 4 times per year). I never had trouble with scratches, but I did have trouble because one of them tore. I would postulate that the scratching comes either in the process of taking them out (he grabs them with his fingernail) or more likely, when he is cleaning them. His hands must be scrupulously clean, and there should be no rough spots on the fingers or palms. If his hands are rough from the sports, perhaps he should file them with a pumice stone, and moisturize them on a regular basis. Have you considered either: a) purchasing the lenses through the mail? There are several services that can provide them via mail. With your son's difficult prescription, this might not be possible, but if you haven't investigated, it might be worth a try. These services undercut the walk-in stores by as much as half. b) purchasing through CostCo? some locations have eyecare facilities. Might be worth a try. c) using disposable lenses? Some are now available for astigmatism. The advantages would be a smaller cost per lens (so when one gets damaged, it's not as financially painful), and fewer times to be cleaned, lessening the likelihood of damage in the cleaning process. You'd have to get your son refitted if he wants to try a new type of contact, unfortunately. All are not the same! So far I have not been able to wear disposables, though there have been changes even in the past 4 years, so I may be ready to try again. Good Luck!



Have you switched from RGP to soft lenses?

Oct 2005

I've had rigid gas permeable contact lenses for about 18 years now. For the past few years, I've had trouble with the RGP on and off, not being able to wear them part of the time. I have been repeatedly to the UC eye clinic where they have spent lots of time trying to figure me out - they know part of it is a fit issue. We discussed a switch to soft lenses about a year ago but they weren't sure that soft lenses would work for me either. Now I need to go back in but first thought I'd see if anyone out there has switched from RGP to soft and were you happy with the switch or did you go back to the RGP lenses? I really dislike wearing glasses full time so am anxious to find a solution that allows me to continue wearing lenses. Thanks! Kristen

I switched from RGP to soft contacts after having worn RGPs for about 15 years. I was tired of the discomfort and the times when the RGP would slip into the corner of my eye if I blinked the wrong way. Because of astigmatism, I used toric soft lenses and had to put up with less clear eyesight (impossible to completely correct strong astigmatism, even with toric lenses).

I was living in a city where I didn't need to drive, so the worst that would happen is I would squint to see the numbers of approaching buses. After 10 years, I moved here, where you can't survive without a car. As I drove around, squinting at street signs, I realized that I could no longer manage with less-than-perfect eyesight. Reluctantly, I decided to switch back to RGPs. During my eye appointment, they discovered that my poor eyesight with soft toric contact lenses was due to keratoconus - a condition where the cornea is uneven, causing astigmatism-like symptoms. I now wear special RGPs designed to reshape the cornea. My eyesight is crystal clear, which is wonderful for driving, but I wish I could go back to soft contacts. They were SO much more comfortable! cclocke

I used RGP lenses from age 7 to age 27, and then switched to soft for no particular reason. I used the soft lenses for a year and a half and then switched back to RGP. I loved my RGP lenses before I switched, and never had any trouble with them, wearing them on average 12-16 hours a day. The soft lenses always seemed like more of an object in my eye - I never could forget I was wearing them, and my eyes were MUCH drier, requiring use of daily rewetting drops. (With that said, my new RGP lenses aren't as perfectly comfortable as I remember them being before - my eyes are still a bit drier than before.) The optometrists I've spoken to say that RGP lenses are healthier for your eyes, and they definitely FEEL healthier to me. ProRGP

I switched from hard (RGP) to soft lenses at the recommendation of an optometrist a few years ago. I had tried soft lenses before but couldn't see well enough with them, so went back to hard. After 2 years with soft lenses, still unable to see as well as I could with hard lenses, I decided to switch back. Alas, it was no longer possible to go back to hard lenses because the shape of my eyeballs had changed so much without the hard lenses to mold them. I had also switched from the aforementioned optometrist to the UC Optometry School, which I have found to be a great place when you need to experiment with different possibilities. They explained everything to me, tried to find me the best possible lenses given my particular vision parameters, gave me a pair of contacts for free once when I needed them, and finally performed laser surgery when I decided I could no longer stand the soft lenses. They also told me that hard lenses are actually better for your eyes than soft ones, which was the opposite of what the previous optometrist had suggested. I recommend that you talk to your optometrist about different types of lenses before you make the switch. I have, or had, pretty severe astigmatism, which soft lenses simply cannot correct. I'm also old enough to need trifocals at this point, and with only 2 eyes neither Lasik nor monovision contacts can correct for everything. Good luck with your decision. Been there

I switched from RGP to soft years ago, when they finally started making soft lenses that could correct for astigmatism. I would never go back to RGP. The vision may not be quite as sharp but I don't even notice any more, and the comfort level makes up for everything. You should definitely give soft lenses a try if you're having troubles with the rigid ones.

I started off with RGP and switched to disposable soft contacts after I developed a recurring problem with corneal abrasions. I have to say, I never liked the soft contacts as much, and as a result, I've gone back to glasses (but that also speaks to laziness on my part). My vision was better with RGP, and I never got good at putting the soft lenses in and especially taking them out. On the other hand, soft lenses don't scratch (although you have to clean them really well to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria, which isn't as much a problem with RGP), and you don't have to ''break them in'' and get your eyes used to them like with hard lenses. Another plus is it's no big deal if you lose them, and it's nice to have a fresh pair every couple of weeks (or whatever length of time you have). I'd say that if you can make RGP work, it's better but if it's causing problems, soft contacts take some getting used to but are totally doable. good luck!

I wore rigid gas permeables for 15+ years because of severe astigmatism and myopia. However, I got tired of having them ''seize up'' on me when a dust particle would get in my eye. (You know, where you stop cold in your tracks while your eyes water and you blink uncontrollably to make the pain stop). They also made my eyes tired at night. I switched over to (expensive!) attractive glasses and figured that was it.

Two years ago, my eye doctor got me to try soft lenses for people with severe astigmatism and I was hooked within 5 minutes of wearing the samples he had on hand. I now wear soft lenses everyday and I LOVE them. Not once have they ''seized up'' on me because of a speck of dirt!!!! I've been told the prescription isn't 20/20, but I've never been able to tell, even in the eye chart tests. I'm Converted!

I switched from rigid gas permeable lenses to soft, (weekly) disposable. I never did go back to the gas perms after giving birth to my first child. My eyes were too dry while I was nursing. Six months after I gave up nursing, I found myself pregnant again, but I managed to try the disposables during that six months and liked them. I wore them throughout the second pregnancy. I don't see as well with the soft lenses, but they are comfortable. Now that I'm back to nursing, I'm back to wearing my glasses full time, but plan to keep wearing the soft lenses once the dry eye problem goes away. anonymous

I wore gas permeable lenses for years, but always had trouble with them, including numerous incidences of scratched corneas from my eyes drying out. I never went to soft lenses because I have an astigmatism and thought they wouldn't correct my eyes well enough. However, after I had my baby, I couldn't wear the lenese at all, and out of desperation, I went in for soft lenses. First of all, it turned out that now soft lenses can correct for mild astigmatism such as I have. Second, it took trying a bunch of different brands, but eventually I used one that was larger than the average size, and I have never looked back. I can't believe I didn't switch years ago.

All my problems with lenses are in the past. I can wear these for 14 hours or more, I haven't had a single scratched cornea or any problems at all beyond eye allergies that have nothing to do with the lenses. I wear the kind that you discard every two weeks, and it still feels like a miracle after 6 years. I HIGHLY recommend giving them a try-just make sure you have the right brand that feels most comfortable (by the way, there's almost no ''getting used to them'' time at all--they are fairly comfortable the first day, and feel as if they aren't there by the the third). Good luck, and happy seeing! Susan

Thinking of switching to soft contacts

Dec 2004

I've worn hard contact lenses all my life--they're not uncomfortable for me & the maintenance is easy. But they're expensive & easy to lose so I'm thinking of switching to soft lenses. I don't know anything about soft lenses--what are the best kind to get? Can I get reliable ones from Costco or is it better to go to a private eye doctor? How much do they cost? Thanks much! valerie

you first need to see your optometrist see find out if soft lenses are even an option for you. switching from hard to soft may not be that easy. plus there are thousands of brands and modes of wear to choose from. take it from me, go to your doctor to find your answers. eye doc

One thing to be careful of: soft lenses may actually be MORE uncomfortable for people accustomed to hard lenses. At the advice of my optometrist, I switched -- and almost went crazy! They wouldn't stay positioned in my eyes properly, I had to clean them many times a day, and they itched -- after a week, I ordered a new pair of hard lenses and have never gone back. Just make sure they work for you before you throw away the hard lenses. Karen

I have only used soft contacts. I find them easy and the two week Acu Vue seem to me a good balance financially and hassle- wise between completely disposable and longer lasting. My optometrist clued me in that if I clean them well I can wear them for a month. But since they're only supposed to last two weeks, I don't feel too badly when I lose one. That said, it's my understanding that different lenses are more comfortable for different people, so it's worth trying a few. My recommendation is that you go to an optometrist and ask to try a few. My optomestrist charges extra, maybe $10 for the contact lense exam and prescription -- I think whether or not I buy from her. I bought the AcuVue lenses at Costsco and they're fine. In the past I've gotten them from 1-800-contacts which was fine too. The latter, and my optomestrist when I get them there, will replace flawed contact lenses. I don't know about Costco as I haven't had that issue with the lenses I got there. At the time I got them I got a huge amount (like a 6 mo or year supply) because that was part of the deal and I've had the same prescription for awhile so I'm not worried it will change. Good luck!

Foggy Contact Lens

Dec 2003

I have worn Rigid Gas Permeable contact lens for over twenty years and have never had this problem. I have had the same Optometrist for the twenty years and he is completely baffled and does not know what to suggest next. A short time ago, I lost my left lens. I ordered a complete set. When I got the new set, as soon as I put them in, both lens became foggy. No matter how much I clean them or soak them. At first they thought the lens were defective. Since then, I have gone through five or six sets of lens. They all do the same thing. The lens become cloudy and impossible to wear. My old right lens is still perfectly fine, so it can't be something wrong with my eyes. Please help! Sarah

I have had similar experiences, but never in only one eye! There are a number of very scary things that can cause an increase in the protein deposits on the lenses, so an evaluation by an opthamalogist may be a good idea, but in my case I found that the problem was pretty much solved after I either (1) got a new pair of lenses, or (2) stopped wearing the lenses for a few days and then went back to them. (I wore disposables, which I use for camping trips, swimming, etc., on a weekend trip and when I returned, no more cloudy lenses. Totally accidental.) Try wearing a different brand or type of lenses for a few days. Can't hurt, might help. Oh, and in recent years, I've had more problems with my lenses when I've stopped taking the pill, and fewer after getting pregnant. So I figured hormonal changes might be causing it somehow. Anything like that going on for you? Holly

Need help learning how to get soft contacts in

Sept 2002

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for getting soft contact lenses into and out of the eyes. I've now made five attempts with three different contact lens fitters and still can't do it on my own. The last one watched very carefully and couldn't figure out what I'm doing wrong: I'm no longer afraid to touch my eyeball (that was the initial problem) and seem to be getting the lens in about the right place, but it folds or just sticks to my finger instead of going into my eye. The different people all had somewhat different techniques, so I'm hoping someone out there has yet another that might work for me. I've never been known for great manual dexterity but I'm not a hopeless klutz, either, although I'm beginning to feel like one! Thanks. All thumbs, apparently

if the contact lens sticks to your finger rather than your eye, try drying your fingertip just before putting the lens on it, and then putting a TINY drop of wetting solution in the contact (or in your eye). the contact lens is hydrophilic (likes water). once the lense makes contact with your eye, pull your fingertip away while still holding the eyelids and release your eyelids slowly. do not squeeze your eyelids shut. just gently close them. most of all, practice, practice, practice. also there are some contacts that are easier to handle than others. you may need to be refit with a thicker lens. contact -lens-free -since-LASIK

Soft contact lenses are hydrophilic (they like water), so the most important thing is to make sure your eye is wetter than your finger to try to entice the lens to move from your finger to your eye. First, squeeze some lens-wetting solution or saline into your eye. Next, get the lens out of its case with one hand and shake any excess solution off of it. Then transfer the lens to a dry finger before trying to insert it. It may also help to put a little drop of solution onto the inside of the lens just before inserting it (but not so much solution that it spills over and wets your finger, or distorts the shape of the lens). Good luck! June W.

When I put on my contacts I make sure they are very moist. I start by placing the first contact on my right index finger, and then I add 1-2 drops of the solution you clean with(like RENU or Opti-free) or just plain saline. I then pull up my top eyelid with my eyebrow or eyelashes with my left middle finger and then I pull down the bottom eyelid with my right middle finger balancing my contact. Then I slowly place the contact on my eye. You can then pull your upper eyelid over your eye and move your eye around until you feel it lay completely flat. Then you move onto eye number two in exactly the same way. Good Luck!

It sounds like your finger is too wet. If there's too much moisture on the finger, I find that the contact will stick or fold onto itself. Anita

The contact lense will stick to the wettest surface. So if your finger is too wet it will tend to want to stick to it, instead of your eye. Since I take the lense out of the case with my index finger and thumb (therefore wetting these fingers), I use my ring finger or pinkie to place it on the eye. Also, make sure you don't tap too hard. Good luck. lourdes

Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but do you need to wear soft lenses? Rigid ones take more getting used to at first, but they're a lot easier to put in and take out. Holly