Do you prefer contacts or glasses? The Contacts

That’s a silly question. After all, it’s not an either / or proposition, but there are many times when glasses are much more convenient than wearing contacts. This is most obvious these days when many of us are working from home due to Covid considerations.

As far as contacts go, I wear dailies by Acuvue. They were top of the line when I got my prescription, but that also means that they’re expensive and I hate using and throwing away a pair when I really only need them for one or two hours. Some people I know will store dailies and reuse them again the next day. While there’s an obvious financial benefit to doing this, it’s no surprise that every medical expert would tell you not to do this. Also, with Covid, even if I would like to use contacts today, it doesn’t mean that I’ll have a need for them tomorrow, or the next day, or even five days from now, so even if I try to save them for another day, I’ll almost certainly keep them in solution so long that they will definitely be unusable the next time I want to use them.

My brother has similar considerations, he will only open a pair of contacts if it’s early enough in the day to get enough use out of them to make them financially worthwhile.

I know what you’re thinking, why not get contacts that last two to four weeks and are cheaper? I guess that’s a good idea, but have you ever tried asking your optometrist for two different prescriptions?  Remember that the prescription is based on the brand and type of contact lenses that your doctor wants you to use, so you’re basically locked into the brand ecosystem that is the most profitable for your optometrist. They can totally give you multiple prescriptions, as they do when you want colored lenses. However, I don’t know about your experience, but in mine, the doctor doesn’t seem to want to give a prescription for both dailies and monthlies or bi-weeklies and it gets awkward if I even bring it up. I’m also given a metaphorical pat on the back for okaying the most expensive product. My left eye also has a slight astigmatism. I remember being given the option of having a prescription that corrects for the astigmatism or one that doesn’t since those contacts would be so much cheaper. At the time, I didn’t know that I would be choosing my contact lenses forever. I thought that I would try the toric lenses this time, while I was feeling rich, and then if I wanted to go back to using a non-toric lens, that I would be able to. Nope, and lenses for astigmatisms are not only much more expensive, but they’re sold in packs of 30 while regular contact lenses can be purchases in packs of 90. Although, it’s not the end of the world, it reminds me of the days when hot dogs were sold in packs of ten and hot dog buns in packs of eight. Just, why?

Because my contact lens prescription is only good for one year, I suppose that asking for two products will make many optometrists want to do some math, as in, allow you to buy 180 dailies and 13 biweeklies to get you to one year’s supply and to your next optometry appointment. Again, in my experience, this is more than optometrists want to do, and my optometrist will definitely charge a premium for the extra prescription.

In practical terms, I prefer to wear contacts when I’m working or working out, including playing sports. I teach college classes, so I work a couple of hours at a time. Similarly, I don’t usually work out for more than an hour and a half at a time. Wearing contacts all day get tricky though. We know that we should moisturize with eye drops every couple of hours, but I just can’t get myself to do it. I always buy the Refresh Tears drops in a box of single use containers from Costco when they’re on sale. Even though I will carry them with me when I go out, I still can’t get myself to use them and they always expire on me. These days, I think the toric contact is giving me a lazy eye that gets redder and lazier as the day goes. One thing that’s for sure is that that contact lens is going to dry out at some point before I’m ready to take it out and throw it away.

Oh, something that has also stayed with me was a friend who went to have her eyes checked at the University of California, Berkeley, she mentioned how all the optometrists wore glasses – not contacts and definitely, no one had corrective laser surgery. The concern was that we didn’t have great data about the long-term effects of contact lenses or the surgery and the safest thing to do was to wear glasses. What about your optometrist? Does she or he wear glasses? What has been your experience with contact lenses? When do you wear them and for how long?