Sunday, 19 October 2014

A sore sight for eyes

I was recently told that I need glasses permanently. I chose to go down the contact lens route as I have an outdoor and quite physical lifestyle. Much to my horror, as part of the trial period (determining if my eyes could cope with contacts), I was given two weeks' worth of daily contact lenses. Here's the waste I've produced as a result of using disposable contacts:
Eeeeeeeeeek!
It's frightening to think that other contact lens users choose daily. That's an awful lot of waste over a lifetime of impaired sight.

I am now giving monthly ones a go. Any suggestions about where to go to from there? Can I get contacts that last longer?

10 comments:

  1. Hi Merren, I agree about the contact lens waste. I get daily lenses, but only use them for special occasions, otherwise wearing my glasses. I guess glasses are the waste-free answer. We visited Raglan recently - what a great place. I only wish we'd had longer so will be going back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anne, yes we are pretty spoilt with Raglan. Where did you visit from?
      I have gone back to wearing my glasses mostly and now just put the contacts in when glasses are going to be cumbersome. That way I reckon I can make my monthlies last four or five times longer.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Merren,

    I met Rob Greenfield this past summer. I read your interview with him, which led me here!

    My brother is an eye doctor and I get contacts and glasses from him. He sometimes will give me the daily lenses like you received. I told him that they create a lot of waste. His comeback was that the bottles of contact lens solution are really wasteful. However, a big bottle of lens solution lasts me at least a few months. 3 months x 2 eyes = 180 daily contact lens cases, which is a lot more waste than one of those bottles.

    I suppose glasses probably does the least amount of harm. Unless you had lasik (corrective eye surgery) and forgo the others. I enjoy the outdoors too and contacts can be so nice for that. You can for sure get contacts that last 1 month. There used to be, and may still be, yearly lenses, but the big problem with those is that a year of use with something that fragile is risky. They can drop, rip, get lost - stuff happens.

    My advice is to wear glasses sometimes, get monthly lenses, and keep your lenses clean and rinse them regularly.

    Take care and keep on doing good things!
    Sincerely,
    Cody

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the advice Cody. I am now wearing my glasses most of the time and only wearing monthly contacts when absolutely necessary, which means a significant reduction in waste.
      I wonder what purpose the solution serves, and if boiled water might a good alternative? I shall investigate!

      Delete
  4. Hi Merren, before I had Lasik 4 years ago (best investment ever!) I wore monthly lenses for about 2-3 years, they were very comfortable. Before that however, I had worn hard lenses for many years. These last usually 2-4 years and can be cleaned with salt water solution if I remember correctly. They do take a bit longer to get used to initially (about a week, increasing wear time slowly), wear comfort is lower and when you catch something in the eye, it can be a bit painful for a few moments. However, waste is minimal... might be worth a shot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark. Have gone back to wearing my glasses the majority of the time. I figure I can eek out the monthlies if I just wear them at the weekend. Though it doesn't really give my poor eyes a chance to get used to them...

      Delete
  5. It really depends on your eyes but I am able to keep my Night and Day by Optix in for 2 months minimum. I basically just change them when they fall out of my eyes. Don't worry my optometrist says my eyes are super healthy and that brand of contacts lets the oxygen through to your eye. Don't forget that there are programs to recycle your glasses when your prescription changes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have a stash of daily disposables to sometimes interchange with wearing glasses. Small consolation but the lens pouches are recyclable (5). I keep a large plastic pot of the same recycle code in my bathroom and am just slowly filling it up with empty pouches (I don't wear them very often). Once it's full I'll put the lid on the pot and send it off to recycling.

    ReplyDelete
  7. When I first got contact lenses, I got gas-permeable ones - basically glass. They lasted ages, usually my prescription changed before they were lost or damaged. The solution did come in plastic bottles, though I think that you are right - might be less of an impact than 365 x 2 individually-wrapped lenses! The solution I used was a sterile saline mix, and you could get seperate cleaner, which may be worth looking in to.
    I wouldn't have gone back to glasses full-time - you get so used to contacts. Though, like Mark, I went for laser eye surgery, and that has been even better.

    ReplyDelete