A Scratched Eyeball And The Woes Of Contact Lenses

Have you ever scratched your eyeball? My left eye currently feels like I scratched it. There is nothing quite like the discomfort of a scratched eye, especially when you wear contact lenses. All you fellow contact-wearers out there know what I’m talking about.

Last summer I went from wearing gas-permeable contact lenses to wearing soft, disposable lenses. I haven’t worn soft lenses since I was twelve years old. When I first started wearing contacts I had the soft lenses. But one day I dropped one, and when I found it a few minutes later it was shriveled and warped, and it never fit my eye correctly again.

So when I was around thirteen years old I went to the hard, gas-permeable lenses, which were much hardier. When I dropped one it could not be ruined unless someone stepped on it. If it needed a little moisture I didn’t have to use fancy moisturizing drops – I just popped it out, stuck it in my mouth for a moment to clean it off, and popped it back in. Ah, for the good old days.

However, this past year I’ve been having problems with my gas-permeable contact lenses. They kept getting these sticky, foggy deposits on them. I had to clean them about ten times a day, and sometimes I had to physically scratch the gunk off them with my fingernail. I suspect it may be because I went to one of those chain eye doctor stores for that pair, and maybe they were just cheap and more prone to problems..

At any rate, I decided I was done with that, and I gave the soft lenses another try.

You know how they say to change the soft lenses every two weeks? Yeah, right! I don’t have sixty bucks to be spending on new contacts every month and a half, so Derek and I make those babies last for about two months each. Maybe longer.

But soft lenses come with their own set of problems. My eyes seem very prone to scratching with those lenses – the gas-perms were better that way, because they were like a little shield for my eyeball. I have to be much more careful when I put on mascara now.

Maybe it’s not a scratch; maybe it’s a little infection going on because bacteria have started to grow on those over-the-hill soft lenses. Yuck! I hope not.

Either way, my left eye has been red all week, and today it was hurting me at work. If it’s just an infection from an old lens I’m hoping a new lens will make it all better.

If not, then my eyeball is definitely scratched, and I’ll have to wear glasses to work tomorrow. I think everyone at work secretly thinks I look funny in glasses. Sometimes I can pull it off and my glasses make me look sophisticated, but it’s hard to look sophisticated in scrubs.

Oh, for twenty-twenty vision! Or lasic eye surgery; lasic would work. I’m not opposed to artificially-induced twenty-twenty vision.

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~M~ said...

My eyes are terrible! I wear soft contacts and have never had a problem. I hope you didn't scratch your eye!!

Kara @ Just1Step said...

I get problems when I wear my soft contacts too long without replacing them. And it does feel like a scratch on your eye. So I'd recommend throwing away your current pair and getting out a new set! I also stretch my contacts for like two months, but by the end of those two months I usually end up with the scratched-eye, red, painful feeling. So it may just be your eyes screaming out for a new pair. :)

katie said...

I wear soft lenses, but started in gas perm's a long time ago. I am still in a soft lens, but a silicon one that I change once a month instead of every two weeks. But when I was wearing two week lenses, I would definitely stretch them to around six weeks.

And I always feel goofy if I wear my glasses anywhere other than my house. Not to mention that I just don't see nearly as well out of them.

Lasic would be so nice but it is so expensive. If you feel like you have a scratch, I would definitely try the glasses for a while just to let the eye heal. And if gets much worse, you might call a doctor.

Brittney Galloway said...

I've worn soft contact lenses for 12 years now, and I love them! I stretch my 2 weekers out to about 2 1/2 months, and can tell when they are wearing thing because my eye might become irritated, or, more likely, my vision gets a little blurry.

Hope your eye feels better soon!

Jessica said...

I have worn soft contact lenses for about 10 years and haven't had too many problems. Mine are also supposed to last for two weeks, but in the evenings I try to take them out as soon as my eyes start feeling dry, and I can make them last at least 2-3 months too. Maybe it's a problem with the brand you have? I've used Acuvue lenses for as long as I can remember, and haven't had too many problems. I would recommend that kind. I hope your eye feels better soon! Oh, and I just thought of something else...when Luke and I first got married I started buying the cheapest contact solution I could find, and I noticed that I started getting a film on my contacts and my eyes always felt scratchy. I told my mom about it, and she told me that contact solution is one of those few areas where you should always buy the name brand kind, because the cheaper stuff just doesn't cut it. I think I had been using the Equate brand when I was having all those problems.

Lasic eye surgery would be so wonderful! But the whole process really freaks me out, and even if I had the money, I don't think I would have the nerve to do it! I envy Luke who has absolutely perfect vision. He can see much better than I can with my contacts in! Hopefully our kids take after him.

cheyennerene said...

I totally know what you mean. Once, I could not figure out why my eye hurt so bad and it ended up that somehow I got a fingernail clipping in my eye! ouch!

Unknown said...

You poor thing! My Mum uses soft lenses which she loves but she scratched her eye last month on her mascara wand. It lead to full blown conjunctivitis. I hope you can get it sorted - it doesn't sound pretty! Have a good weekend x

Felicia said...

Oh goodness, poor you! I've never scratched my eye with my contacts, but my eyes get red and irritated really easily, even after only a couple of hours. I think I just must get the wrong brand or something. My current ones weren't cheap either, so I dunno what the deal is! I was better off with my cheap Wal-Mart contacts! They didn't irritate my eyes so much!

And I loooove Jane Eyre! It's so good! For me, it's easier to get into that book than Jane Austen's books.

Kate Craig said...

ahhh I HATED my gas perm lenses! My eyes would hurt all the time.

I definitely want to get lasic someday... it's got to be cheaper in the long run!

Jenene said...

Yes, I've been having some "fun" with my eyes and contacts recently. I've never tried the glass contacts. I really love my disposable ones. And I make them last a VERY long time.

I hate having to wear my glasses, but I'm just thankful that I have them to fall back on in case something happens to my contacts.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry! I don't wear contacts but I know how it feels to scratch your eyeball and that hurts!! I hope it gets better!

Ashley said...

I totally know what you mean - I've actually had a little rip in my contacts before that felt like a scratch. I also scratched my eye with an eye dropper shortly after we got married (we had just gotten back from our honeymoon actually..), and my eye turned blood red (although it didn't hurt very bad), so when we went to see our families for the first time since our wedding, I had a bloody eye and of course there were a few people who cracked the joke, "Jed, did you hit her in the eye?!" Anyway, I hope that your eye is not infected or anything bad, you'll look great in glasses if you have to wear them!

AmyK said...

Ack. I've had a scratch on my eyeball and it's notnotnot fun at all. Of course, that was when I was a kid; we were on one of our typical trips to the coast to go riding dune buggies, and I got sand in my eye... and since it was uncomfortable, I rubbed my eye. Sand is abrasive, ding dong! Scratched my eyeball, and I still to this day remember the discomfort!
That's why I didn't get contacts, though, when I went to the eyedoctor. I'd be terrified I'd screw something up and get infected or scratch my eye or something! Ack!

Hope you figure out what's wrong and get to fixin' it!

Kelley said...

I agree that you should let your eye rest from the contacts. As annoying as glasses can be, it's the best way to let them heal. I hope by now they are either better, or you have gone to the doctor (I'm really bad at commenting!).

My eyes were constantly getting so dry from my contacts and the dry climates I lived in so I got Lasik 2 years ago! It was a wonderful investment and I used my job's flexible spending account to pay for it!

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