Advice for new contact lense wearer

ApplePersonFreak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 23, 2016
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Hi everyone! I just got contacts yesterday after wearing glasses for 10+ years.

I love them, however, getting them on is still a struggle. This is my first day putting them on myself.. somehow I have an issue with my eyelashes getting in the way (I do have long eyelashes) or I start blinking and after attempting for an hour or so, I finally got them in! I’ve noticed I’ve touched my eye, but somehow the lens ends up on my face or finger so I keep having to do again. Any advice on how to make the process easier? I know it’ll be something that’ll be second nature with time, but I want to see if you guys have any tips or tricks for me.
 
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bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
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Use a mirror
Place lens on the middle finger.
A small drop of saline on the lens.
Use the other hand to hold the eyelid.
Right before you place the lens on your eye Look up and then dab the lens onto your eye
Slowly look down and the lens will float into the eye.

It takes a lot of getting used to. It’s not natural to stick your finger in your eye.
 

Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
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I use my (damp) index finger and as @bruinsrme said I position the lens near the eye then tilt my head downward slightly exposing more sclera and place it on it. I gently close my eyelids naturally (avoid tightly shutting them like a squint) and it almost instantly sets in place.

Unrelated question, did you go with daily or monthly lenses?
 
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tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
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St. Louis, MO
My process is much different than the previous posters. Just keep at it and you'll get it. I almost threw up the first few times trying to put them in because of how revolting I found touching my eye was, but now it's simple. Just keep at it and don't think too much about it.
 
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bruinsrme

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Oct 26, 2008
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My process is much different than the previous posters. Just keep at it and you'll get it. I almost threw up the first few times trying to put them in because of how revolting I found touching my eye was, but now it's simple. Just keep at it and don't think too much about it.
That’s awesome.

I friggen hate contacts.
I use them for activities only.
Having years of experience I have had to replace them on the hockey bench, in the middle of a lake while jet skiing or on a ski lift of half way down the mountain.

It eventually becomes second nature
 

an-other

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2011
329
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Keep at it. It will be come second nature over time. You'll find you'll eventually not need a mirror.

Some random thoughts:
  • follow the care and cleaning if you don't use daily. Don't extend daily lenses past a day. It's not a perfect 24 hours, but I'm sure you get what I'm saying.
  • Some people who focus on monitors tend not to blink. You'll feel your contact drying out. Just blink, and you solve your issue
  • Don't sleep in them unless they're specifically designed for the purpose. If you do, give your eyes some hours to recover. You can get nasty infections and ulcers if your careless. I don't want to scare you as the vast majority of people never have issues. It's like brushing your teeth. You don't do the minimum maintenance you'll make a friend of a dentist.
  • As you age, you'll likely find contacts will impact your ability to read small text (presbyopia.) Things will get better if you take your contacts out or get reading glasses. (Similarly, you'll see people remove their prescription glasses to solve this issue.) Multi-focal contacts are ok, but are far from perfect (ymmv).
  • Always helpful to know where a flashlight is in case you have trouble getting a contact out. Again, extremely rare you'll ever need it. I only mention this as a "newcomer" it will save you time if you ever have an issue taking out a lens.
  • You'll find you may carry a lot of glasses with you (prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, and regular sunglasses.)
  • enjoy the freedom.
 
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tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
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St. Louis, MO
That’s awesome.

I friggen hate contacts.
I use them for activities only.
Having years of experience I have had to replace them on the hockey bench, in the middle of a lake while jet skiing or on a ski lift of half way down the mountain.

It eventually becomes second nature
We are polar opposites, it seems. :) I love my contacts. Way more convenient for me than glasses.
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,547
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Shropshire, UK
I've worn contacts for years and it does eventually become second nature to put them in, but I do remember having issues when I first started.
I found that holding my eye wide open (and also holding my eye lashes back) with one hand while balancing the contact on the tip of the index finger of the other hand made things much easier

The main thing to make sure is that your hands are scrupulously clean and very well rinsed and dried (I use a soap free cleanser to wash them) otherwise you risk getting soap or other contaminants in your eye and that really, really hurts!
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
6,596
2,350
I've worn contacts for years and it does eventually become second nature to put them in, but I do remember having issues when I first started.
I found that holding my eye wide open (and also holding my eye lashes back) with one hand while balancing the contact on the tip of the index finger of the other hand made things much easier

The main thing to make sure is that your hands are scrupulously clean and very well rinsed and dried (I use a soap free cleanser to wash them) otherwise you risk getting soap or other contaminants in your eye and that really, really hurts!
And for the sake of humanity and you, if you eat anything spicy/hot make sure your hands have been washed excessively.
Nothing better than eating spicy foods then coming home, popping out the lens only to be reminded your a lousy hand washer and this is your punishment
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,547
2,403
Shropshire, UK
And for the sake of humanity and you, if you eat anything spicy/hot make sure your hands have been washed excessively.
Nothing better than eating spicy foods then coming home, popping out the lens only to be reminded your a lousy hand washer and this is your punishment
Yeah, I've done that once and it's something you never forget!
 
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ejb190

macrumors 65816
Used to wear contacts. Now I'm in that "I've gotten older" group. I bounce between computers, microscopes, and outdoor field scouting. Contacts just wore my eyes out by end of the day. Now I can ditch my glasses when my eyes get tired. I miss my cool sunglasses...

First time I put them in took a while. But it gets better. My technique was left middle finger on the upper lid, contact on the right middle, and right ring on the lower lid. Look to the outside as I bring the contact to the eye.

Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!!!! Eye infections suck. And check your reusable lenses for edge damage. As soon as you see it, ditch them. I was really bad at wearing a set of lenses too long.

You learn to keep a spare set tucked away and pack a bottle of solution, or carry your glasses.
 

ApplePersonFreak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 23, 2016
928
426
I use my (damp) index finger and as @bruinsrme said I position the lens near the eye then tilt my head downward slightly exposing more sclera and place it on it. I gently close my eyelids naturally (avoid tightly shutting them like a squint) and it almost instantly sets in place.

Unrelated question, did you go with daily or monthly lenses?
Daily. I have allergies too (like now, unfortunately, I wanted to wear them everyday so I get used to putting them on, dang it!) but that was why I chose them, can wear glasses whenever I choose to and then just toss them at the end of the day.
 
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kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
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I'm an old guy, and started wearing them 5 years ago. The first time I put them in took 25 minutes, and then 35 to take them out. Now it's in/out in less than a minute.
Because I have long lashes, the technique I use is to stand the contact up on the edge of my right index finger. Left thumb and index finger pull the eyelids apart. The side of the left index finger is along the top eyelashes to keep them out of the way. The I sort of slip the contact in edgewise.

You can get allergy eye drops (Retin -A, or something like that). The optometrist recommended it and it's available at places like Target.

Like @ejb190 says - keep a routine for cleanliness. Eyes are essentially optical petri dishes. Wash you hands thoroughly. Get some contact lens solution (like Pure Moist, which disinfects among other things) to use after washing but before touching contacts. Be sure it gets under your finger nails.
 
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Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
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Daily. I have allergies too (like now, unfortunately, I wanted to wear them everyday so I get used to putting them on, dang it!) but that was why I chose them, can wear glasses whenever I choose to and then just toss them at the end of the day.
I wanted to switch to daily for the convenience but they just didn’t work for me so I stuck with the monthly. Sometimes my eyes can be so dramatic.
[doublepost=1547772338][/doublepost]
The technique I use is to stand the contact up on the edge of my right index finger...
Lol! I was hoping you’d say “...while whistling Sweet Georgia Brown.”
 
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ApplePersonFreak

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Original poster
Sep 23, 2016
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I wanted to switch to daily for the convenience but they just didn’t work for me so I stuck with the monthly. Sometimes my eyes can be so dramatic.
[doublepost=1547772338][/doublepost]

Lol! I was hoping you’d say “...while whistling Sweet Georgia Brown.”
So you can wear yours for a month straight before changing them? :O
 

tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,087
1,236
St. Louis, MO
If you disliked glasses, why did you go with contacts over LASIK ?

In the long run, LASIK seems cheaper and you do not have to put up with contacts.
A coworker of mine had LASIK, still has to wear a contact in one eye, and uses reading glasses.

I'm just guessing here (and definitely exaggerating), but I think I could use contacts for about 200 years before it would be cheaper to have the surgery.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
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If you disliked glasses, why did you go with contacts over LASIK ?
In my experience, people choose health solutions for their own needs and reasons. For example, the almost universal from similarly-aged co-workers was "I could never stick my finger in my eye." No single solution works for everyone, including Lasik.
 

ejb190

macrumors 65816
If you disliked glasses, why did you go with contacts over LASIK ?
For about a decade, I'd go to the optometrist and every time he'd suggest LASIK. Then two years ago, he didn't. I asked why and he said, "That ship has sailed." My mom had LASIK and still had to have glasses, though nowhere near as strong. Personally, I can read without my glasses.

As we get older, our eyes change. And then our prescriptions get more complicated. It's why bifocals and trifocals are a thing. I asked about going back to contacts, but the truth is, I'd need reading glasses to go with them or I'd have to do a split prescription (one eye stronger than the other). With my bouts of migraines and eye strain, I decided it wasn't worth it.

At the end of the day your choice of eye correction comes down to what fits your career, lifestyle, and comfort level. It's a blessing that we have so many choices today!

Oh - an addendum to my earlier post - DO NOT cheap out on contact solution by buying generic! I learned the hard way that the generic stuff is not the same!
 

jaduff46

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2010
316
182
Second star on the right....
I’ve used monthlys for 25 years or so. Nearsighted. Tried Monovision for several years (dominant eye for distance, weaker eye for closer focus), but the disparity between distance and reading got to be too great.

Prescription changed recently as I’ve gotten older and don’t need as much strength for distance. Apparently this is pretty common with older age (I’m 72).

My technique is lens on right index finger, pull lower lid down with second finger and just gently place the lens on the eye. I use a mirror.

Cleanliness is key! I’ve had good success with OptiFree Replenish as a solution.

Good luck, just takes some getting used to.
 

ApplePersonFreak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 23, 2016
928
426
If you disliked glasses, why did you go with contacts over LASIK ?

In the long run, LASIK seems cheaper and you do not have to put up with contacts.
Same reasons stated above. It definitely is more, more risks with it too. Since there are daily contacts now and I can have the freedom to switch between them and glasses whenever, it’s nice to have that freedom.
 

ApplePersonFreak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 23, 2016
928
426
Progress guys! Did it in less than an hour this time, and it’s funny.. I used to have trouble with the left eye but got it in easily today, but had issues with the right. But I consider it a step in the right direction since they’re both in right now
 
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ApplePersonFreak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 23, 2016
928
426
Random question.. if I am trying one brand now and eventually want to switch later on, can I do that, or do I have to go to the doctor first and ask about it?
 

A.Goldberg

macrumors 68020
Jan 31, 2015
2,363
8,691
Boston
I haven't had great luck with contacts. I have a pretty strong astigmatism so the lenses are uncomfortable and generally I can't get more than 6 hours or so out of a pair before I feel like my eyes are going to explode.

It took me a really long time to get used to putting in contacts. Obviously sticking something in your eye runs counter to instinct. My eyes are especially sensitive/I am especially protective of my eyes. People hate the dentist? I hate going to the eye doctor. The first eye appointment I had I nearly vomited.
 
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