Fears of Newcomers to Contact Lenses

Many people who wear glasses are learning about the convenience and comfort of contact lenses. Unfortunately most of these people haven’t switched yet because of common fears. Most of these fears have to do with inserting and taking out the contact lenses, as well as getting used to the feeling of having something in your eye at all times. Having these fears are natural, and trust me, you’re not alone. People for generations, of all generations share most of these fears at one point in their lives. If this article doesn’t help shine light on some of these fears and possible solutions to overcome them, try visiting different online forums like www.ask.metafilter.com or www.contactlenses.org/qa.htm. These forums discuss lots of fears and have ideas to overcome them. If this article doesn’t help, forums don’t help, and advice from your eye care professional doesn’t help, maybe you should return to wearing glasses.

Common Fears Among New Wearers

The most common fear most people share is the actual touching of ones eye. This is a normal fear. Lots of people struggle to put eye drops into their eyes, let alone an actual device. But this fear can be overcome by practice, lots of practice. When inserting them look up, insert from below. When the lens is inserted, look down to position the lens over pupil. One way to almost get around this fear is to ask for lenses that can be worn for extended periods of time, that way there’s less times you’ll have to go through the process. Ask your eye care practitioner if you are a candidate overnight contact lens wear. Or train yourself not to blink as the lens is being put on your eye. Another fear that new wearers have is that they’re afraid of scratching their eye while putting them in or when taking them out. Doing something as simple as using eye drops to wet your eyes before you put them in or take them out, can reduce the chances of this happening. Also, make sure you’re hands are washed thoroughly before inserting or removal to wash away any dust or dirt particles that could be lingering on your fingertips.

Some people are worried that they will put the lens in the wrong place. So let’s think about this. There are only so many places for your lens to go once it’s in your eye, and most lenses are designed to align automatically or with a few blinks. The probability that you will insert your lens into the wrong location is slim to none. If your lens is moving around too much, the sizing of it might be wrong and you should remove the lens immediately and set up an examination and fitting with your eye care professional. One fear that is completely understandable, yet completely irrational is the fear that the lens will somehow slip behind the eyeball at some point during wear-time. This is impossible though. There is a chance the lens can go upward, under the upper eye lid, but if you pull your upper eyelid out you can easily remove the lens. The bottom line is that your eyelids are connected to the back of your eye, leaving no room for anything to “slip behind”. We’re not dealing with nostrils that have passageways to your throat. Other people are afraid of giving themselves an infection by using contact lenses. As long as you are taking proper care of your lenses, cleaning and disinfecting them, along with rinsing them, you should be okay. Another important step is to wash your hands thoroughly before handling your lens, or placing your fingers near your eye. This step alone can significantly reduce the risks of spreading bacteria.

Some people have the fear that they will never get used to having something in their eye. This is occasionally the case. Some people are just too sensitive to have something in their eyes at all times. My advice is to discuss this fear with your doctor. Try using soft contact lenses or silicone hydrogel contact lenses. There’s a high oxygen transmissibility with these two types of lenses, making them more comfortable to wear. They can also be worn by people who require special lenses for astigmatism or bifocal lenses. If this is still a problem, you can try using daily disposables. Daily disposables eliminate the cleaning and disinfecting steps (hands not included) and are worn only during daytime hours. If this is still a problem that you cannot overcome, maybe the best solution would be to remain in glasses. Prescription sunglasses are available to you for daytime use and for outdoor activities.

This article was last updated on 01/2013