Things You Only Know If you Wear Contact Lenses Every Day
The Debrief: For starters, there's the sheer horror of pinching your own eyeball
My contact lenses and I have a complicated relationship.
Some mornings they glide on to my eyeball and feel great, others it takes 10 attempts, a lot of swearing and an irrational hatred of the tiny packets that are so tricky to open without exploding cleansing fluid all down my outfit.
Despite their tricky ways and the many fun ways they find to ruin my morning, I cannot give them up or go back to wearing glasses all the time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hate them occasionally. Like I said, it’s complicated.
There’s nothing quite like the horror of pinching your own eyeball
In the first awkward stages of learning how to put them in things are bound to go wrong. My first attempt involved being watched by a stern optometrist and getting so nervous that I scratched my cornea, with sharp nails, shrieked and then cried. Not going to lie, it hurt like a bitch.
I got a disapproving look and an eye patch because my pathetic attempt left my eye so red and watery that I couldn’t see for three days. Brilliant. When I did get the hang of them it was the proudest day and I told everyone that I’d done it. Unsurprisingly very few people actually cared.
Things get stuck on your eye and you won’t notice
Midway through a sentence people will look at you in horror and point out that you have a massive glob of mascara/an eyelash/general grime on your eyeball and will freak out that you haven’t noticed. You feel a bit baddass knowing that it would reduce them to a teary mess if the tables were turned, but then you remember that it’s bloody annoying to get anything off your tiny, see-through lens without losing it.
You are so used to touching your eye it’s no longer remotely gross
The amusement of someone massively freaking out when you touch your eye never fades. You have become so used to it that it’s like brushing your teeth, but people will shriek or turn away because they can’t bear it. Again, proving that contact lens wearers are tougher(ish).
Fake nails are absolute nightmares
So you’ve finally nailed (see what I did there?) putting in contacts and taking them out, so you’re feeling so smug that you decide to get a manicure because you’re confident that you can still manage it.
Alas, that is not the case and you are sent straight back to the early stages of poking your eye, tearing straight through the lens and generally failing. Even when you do manage it, you still have the lingering trauma of the first attempts and the whole thing becomes terrifying.
People assume you suddenly have super powers
‘Oh, you’re wearing your contact lenses, please can you read that sign that’s like 2 miles away.’ Well actually no, no I can’t. I bought contact lenses not developed laser vision.
Wearing glasses feels bizzare
Presumably you’ve been wearing glasses for a few years or even most of your life before you opt for lenses but once you go there you can never go back. They suddenly feel weirdly heavy on your face, you lose your killer peripheral vision and you have to clean them far too often because the slightest smudge now bothers you.
Dried-up, crusty old lenses stay in your carpet forever
If you happen to wear daily lenses then you’re far more likely to drop and lose the flimsy buggers everywhere. After spending half an hour desperately looking for it you will give up and admit defeat before feeling the familiar little crunch on bare feet hours later – and it’s gross.
Falling asleep with them in is a nightmare
Waking up to find your eyes so dry that you have to blink a thousand times, splash them with water while you’re desperately trying to take the lenses out, even though they feel like they’ve been superglued to your eyeballs, is one of the more unpleasant ways to start your day.
Despite this, you’ll never learn, and will do this far too often and hate yourself each time.
Horror stories terrify you
‘One time, the contact lens went to the back of my eyeball and I had to go to A&E to get them washed out.’ STOP TELLING ME STORIES LIKE THIS. Until it happens to me I don’t want to know because when you tell me I worry every time I blink for like an hour, so don’t be that guy and keep your cautionary tales to yourself.
Despite the drawbacks, you’re hooked for life
They might be a complete nuisance every now and then but it’s too late to give them up. Once they’re in, you rarely even notice they’re there so you can pretend you were born with 20/20 vision. Basically, once you’ve fallen in love with them you’ll never go back.
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