I consider myself a true contact lens aficionado. I’ve been wearing contacts for over 30 years. I go way back to the days of those irascible, eye-scratching “hard lenses” you had to “squint” out of your eye at night like a tiddledywink. Cleaning them by plugging them into a wall socket for overnight sterilization was a hassle. The later weekly cleaning regimen with little, dissolvable, pills was a nightmare to manage when you really couldn’t see anything without your contacts.
I could never wear hard contact lenses for longer than eight hours, so that meant I really had to plan out my days and nights for “prime seeing” because taking them out was such a hassle and I didn’t see as well with my glasses as I did with my contact lenses.
When I was able to move to soft lenses 20 year ago, my life changed. I could see all day long. My eyes tend to be gritty with protein-rich tears, so I had to be vigilant about cleaning the lenses each night.
When One Day — Wear ‘Em a Day and Throw ‘Em Away — contact lenses arrived on the scene, and in my prescription, I finally felt as if my eyesight had been rightfully restored. I wore 1-Day Acuvue Moist lenses for probably a decade and I was incredibly happy.
Then, two year ago, I changed lenses to the new “AquaComfort Plus” Dailies from Ciba Vision. My doctor thought those lenses would be more comfortable for me because they were a little thinner than the Moist. I generally enjoyed the AquaComfort Plus lenses even though I would get a stray light flare in my left eye under certain lighting conditions. I happily wore the AquaComfort Pluses until my distance vision began to worsen just a bit. My prescription had been lowered to optimize my “immediate surround” environment — but reading anything more than 30 feet away was getting a little blurry and taxing.
Now that I’m spending more time again in the classroom — and in and around Manhattan — I need to see my students, and I need to read street signs and people’s faces from afar. I returned to my doctor to ask about multi-focal contact lenses. She wasn’t a fan of multi-focal lenses because, she said, too many of her patients complained about poor distance vision — just the thing I was trying to correct.
My doctor suggested we instead try Monovision. She’d prescribe one eye for reading and the other eye for distance. She said my brain would quickly adjust to the task at hand and her success rate for fitting Monovision in her patients was well over 80 percent. She prefers Monovision for patients like me because she can prescribe precisely the right strength for each eye without having to split the baby for both eyes. With Monovision, I would still have the ability to judge depth and estimate distance, I’d just be using one eye at a time for local reading or faraway looking.
I happily agreed to try Monovision. We tested several combinations, and, surprisingly, my stronger right eye is reading, and my “bad” left eye is for distance viewing. I know my dominant eye is my right eye, so having to reverse my prescriptive thinking was a challenge.
I asked if there were any new contact lenses that might work better for me than the AquaComfort Plus, and my doctor said there was a new Acuvue “TruEye” lens that was brought out to compete with the AquaComfort Plus. She said her patients liked it and half of her staff were wearing TruEye. I decided to go back to the Acuvue brand and try the new TruEye, too.
I love the TruEye lenses. They cover more of my eye than the AquaComfort Plus and that means I don’t get those annoying radiant lens flare. I can wear TruEye lenses all day long and my eyes don’t dry out. Monovision is a perfect fit for me. I can finally see everything again all around me and far away, too. It is such a great feeling to put in a fresh pair of lenses every day. It’s like having a whole new set of crisp eyes every single day.