View Full Version : When do you quit contacts?
I'm new as of today; see my (lengthy) story under the "Introduce Yourself" column.
Would be interested to see how many of you out there reached a point where you just chucked contact lenses and went back to glasses.:confused:
I used / abused contacts for the better part of 20 years which is what is responsible for my DES now. Will admit though it is still tough to give them up completely, which is what I've been trying to do for 2 full years now. I still wear them one or two days a week. Deal with DES in one form for contacts, another for glasses 24-7.
I already had DES when I tried contact lenses. My eye doctor informed me that I would have absolutely no problems if I wore them for less than 8 hours and use artificial tears. Instead, it worsened my condition. I first wore them last April, kept wearing them until September when I started having serious problems. I switched to new brands and solutions from September till Januray to finally realize I am not capable of keeping lenses in my eyes. I occasionally (once a month) wore daily disposable ones till May. And lastly, I tried again monthly ones with the new Biotrue solution this July and my eyes stung so bad I admitted my eyes cannot handle them and I will never-ever try contact lenses again. It really has left me a bad experience and I wish I never tried them. Sometimes though I am jealous of people wearing them. My cousin has been abusing them for about 8 years (sleeps in them, keeps them in her eye for DAYS, doesn't disinfect them). I talked to her and she did not listen :(
I was on contact lenses for exactly 2 weeks. I had DES already too but my doctor didn't check for it because I did not complain about symptoms prior to adapt those lenses. So I used up the test pair, purchased additional lenses for 6 months and never got to wear them :(
I know the exact dilemma you are having. I have been a religious contact lense wearer for 9 years, I think it's hard for people to realise how much they affect you. I'm recently diagnosed with dry eye also, although having read your story I don't think mine is as bad as yours. My schirmers score is 11 & 12 and TBUT is over 16 seconds.
My opthamologist said I must reduce my wear or my eyes will get worse, pretty quickly. This was very daunting for me as I have really bad eyesight and my glasses lenses are pretty thick even with the maximum thinness but I am starting to get used to it, but still wear my contact lenses sometimes.
I really hope you can find a healthy balance and get things to a good place as if you're anything like me wearing glasses is a daunting prospect and I have a lot less confidence when I'm wearing them. I'm hoping to get more used to them!
Good luck :-)
I gave them up completely when the discomfort became greater than the convenience of having them, just before I was diagnosed. I had worn them for probably 15 years or so, was never entirely comfortable due to mild dryness. I chucked them when my DES escalated to the point of moderate to severe symptoms.
My story is just like kitty's. I also have Sjogren's (inflammatory auto-immune) so the soft lenses were activating my own immune responses---because they retain the tear debris--and this was causing lots of inflammation/dryness. My eyes at least felt moist in the lenses, which was why is took me so long to give up on them. Each night after I took out my lenses, though, the dryness and irritation were horrible.
After I went back to glasses full time, it took about a month for all the inflammation to clear up and my eyes felt 95% better. I'm still doing fine 4 years later, and even with only a 2 Schirmers score, I can keep comfortably stable as long as I use gel, Oniyx goggles (at night), and drops now and then.
I wore them for 23 years and gave them up when I could only wear them for 2 or 3 hours. They became "bandage lenses" on me per my eye doc. Once my eyes sucked all the moisture out, then the dryness and pain was horrible - felt like suction cups on my eyes. It took me a full year to get used to wearing glasses 24/7 but now, even if my eyes weren't so dry, I don't think I'd ever go back to contacts.
the last few times I wore my contact lenses I got pink eye. So, I may try a little experiment at the end of this month and see what happens when I wear them again - this time just for 2 hours. I don't know for sure that my pink eye was caused by contact lens wear. These will be a new package of contacts.
I flirted with wearing contacts a little bit after the onset of my DES. However, I ended up getting GPC (giant papillary conjunctivitis) from the contacts, which I just posted about elsewhere, and that was probably the worst time for me symptom-wise. After that, I stopped wearing contacts completely. My DES has been really good all year, but even at my best times I couldn't picture putting contact lenses on my eyes.
You are lucky if you still have the option of wearing contacts. If your experience is anything like mine, I think the less you wear contacts, the longer you'll have them as an option.
I would be careful about getting GPC if you have DES and wear contacts. I don't know what you would do to prevent that though, other than flushing your eyes out with Unisol and dropping a ton when you have contacts in.
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