My Story – From Glasses to Contact Lenses

I wrote this review while participating in an influencer campaign by Mumsnet on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

I remember as a young girl, I had complained of frequent headaches and being unable to see the blackboard in the classroom. I had been to an optician who informed me that I was myopic and my power was -0.5

I was not surprised to see that in the survey by Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, it was found that

More than four in ten (43%) children say they first noticed that they needed vision correction due to difficulty seeing the blackboard in the classroom. One quarter (27%) first learned that they needed vision correction during an eye exam. Just under one fifth (18%) say they felt their vision was blurred or distorted, while slightly fewer (14%) report it was because their parents noticed they were squinting /struggling to see.

I went through all these stages!

I was also told that if I wore glasses, there could be a chance of my eyesight remaining where it was i.e. not getting any worse. Vain that I was, I didn’t want to wear glasses and at that time contact lenses were scarce and quite expensive. In fact, if I remember well, there was only one type of contact lens and that was the hard lens.

So I didn’t wear glasses. As I grew older and entered high school, I knew I had to start wearing glasses. My vision was getting worse. I could see alright but in the distance, letters and numbers appeared smudged and yes – so did the television. This time I agreed to wear glasses and my power at this stage was -1.5 and -1.75

But I was self conscious. And vain. I didn’t like how I looked with glasses so I used them only at home to watch television. I had no problems with reading as I was short-sighted. I can totally relate to the findings by Johnson and Johnson where it was found that

Around one-third of children surveyed (36%) say the views of their friends on their appearance (eyes, skin, hair) are a major concern, with 42 percent of girls citing it as a “major concern” compared to 28 percent of boys. This is most important for the age group of 14-15 year olds, with 41 percent of this group saying the views of their friends on their appearance is a “major concern.”

My friends thought I was pretty – I could not let them think otherwise.

As I grew older, I still refused to wear glasses when out and about. I would squint my eyes and look into the distance and if I could not see bus numbers – I would guess. When I was in university, I bought myself a stylish pair of glasses but still did not use them as I should have. I felt unattractive with glasses. I took a lot of care with my appearance – my hair was glossy and long, my eyes would be lined perfectly and my nails painted. Glasses just did not go with this image!

Then I joined the airline. In that glamorous world, again, there was no place for glasses.

However, I could feel that my vision was getting worse. My friends around me were trying out contact lenses but I was always afraid of putting ‘something foreign’ in my eye. I soon started wearing glasses to work but I would never be seen with them at a party or anything like that.

I came to wear contact lenses because of a friend who worked in opticians and gave me two pairs of Johnson and Johnson Acuvue to try out. She assured me that they were soft lenses and I would not feel a thing. How wrong she was! After she showed me how to wear them and I tried them on – my eyes streamed with tears and appeared quite red. I was ready to quit trying but then looked in the mirror and saw that I looked attractive without my glasses. I was sold.

I used the trial pairs and then went back for more. And I have never looked back.

I am also really happy that my power did drop by -0.5 which means that there was some improvement that took place and it has never increased.

I do wear my glasses at home but when I am out and about, I wear my contact lenses. I use the monthly disposable ones from Acuvue.  It makes a difference. I wear my glasses on the school run but on the rare occasion that I haven’t, I have been told categorically that I look ‘nice’. Since there is no change in anything else, I assume that it is the fact that I am wearing contact lenses that makes the difference.

Wearing contact lenses somehow transforms me – I feel more confident, I know I look nicer and even my children comment favourably on my eyeliner! It is also more comfortable than wearing glasses. In the rain (which is almost an everyday feature in England), my glasses get wet and I look quite silly with drops of water on them which distorts my vision. Also with the change of temperature from the cold into a heated room, my glasses fog up and I have to be quick to wipe them up or risk looking like a complete dope! It’s normally the latter as I push the buggy through doors and have little time to wipe my glasses immediately.

I do agree with the 81% of the parents who feel that glasses are easier to take care of and keep clean, as it is essential that hygiene is maintained while dealing with contact lenses. You will know if you have been unhygienic as your eyes will definitely burn – and you will ensure that you never are again. Contact lenses can also make your eyes sometimes feel drier than usual but with a soft lens, like the one I use, it is not often and not something that eye drops can’t fix.

I was surprised to know that children as young as 8 can wear contact lenses. As a mum, I am unsure what option I would choose should my child need vision correction. Having been through it all I would understand if my child did not want to wear glasses and would help her to keep her confidence and feel socially acceptable.

Glasses and contact lenses are a good option for your child and as a parent you can discuss which option is best for your child with an Eye Care Professional. You can find one in the “Find an Optician” tab at www.acuvue.co.uk

 

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