watervole: (Eye of Horus)
My eyes are itching horribly today. I managed to accidentally rub out one of my contact lenses.

It's the fungal spores again. 

Runny nose, itchy eyes, asthma....  Bleargh.

Thank heaven for anti-histamines.  I've taken one and hopefully the effects will kick in soon.

watervole: (Default)
The vertigo is mostly gone these days, but I had a recent resurgence which is revealing in its way.

I've been having to having to re-acclimatise myself to contact lenses after the problems I had with amitriptyline.   I'm most of the way there now (I can wear them for about ten hours a day now), but I noticed an immediate return of the vertigo when I started wearing them again after a two-month break.

Clearly my eyes and balance system were confused by the change in focal length, etc.  Using glasses is a bad trigger at present, with or without lenses, clearly all part of the same issue.

It's starting to settle down now that I've been using the lenses for a couple of weeks, but the vertigo still triggers if I move my head while wearing glasses.  I'm hoping that too will wear off in a few more weeks. (It's a real bind when trying to look at my character sheet in RPGs.)
watervole: (Eye of Horus)
I've managed to get off the amitriptyline (did it in very gradual steps to avoid side-effects).  It's now pretty much definite that it is what was causing my problems with the contact lenses.

My eyes watered quite a bit at first, which clearly shows that the amitriptyline was making them dry, but more importantly, a week after I'd finally stopped taking half a tablet a day (the final step down after one tablet a day), I was able to wear my lenses for a whole day at Baycon, a board-gaming convention.

The eyes aren't 100% recovered yet, but this problem was months developing, so I'm not expecting one week to cure it totally.

However, the difference between being able to wear my lenses for a max of 10 mins and a max of one day is a vast improvement!

(I'll talk in a later post about how I'm managing to get to sleep without the sleeping tablets.)
watervole: (Eye of Horus)
I'd been getting on fairly well with my contact lenses after a relatively rough start.  I'd found a type of lens that worked for me and was starting to be able to tolerate them for longer periods.

A month or two ago, I started getting problems.  My eyes started to get irritated easily, the lenses itched (especially my left eye).  Sometimes it felt like there was grit or an eyelash caught under the lens.  I kept thinking I'd got the lens inside out, but I'd try it reversed and it didn't help the problem.  I haven't been able to wear the lenses for over half an hour for more than a month.  My eyes are starting to feel dry even when I'm not wearing them.

Eye drops (preservative free becasue I've already discovered that the preservative makes my eyes itch) help a little, but don't make it possible for me to wear the lenses.

Eventually, looking for a correlation, I realised that I'd started taking sleeping tablets not long before the trouble developed.  Sure enough, Googling for 'amitriptyline' and 'dry eyes' instantly produced hits.

Hmm.  I needed the tablets, because being awake at 2am was no fun.  On the other hand, I know the stresses that were making it so hard for me to sleep.  I'm going to have to think about this as I'm not past all of the stress yet.  But I'm also fond of my eyes.  Another known risk for amitriptyline is glaucoma, and although I don't have it myself, my mother does... (and there is a genetic factor in glaucoma)

I've used Kalms in the past, and they did the trick until the stress levels got too high.  Any suggestions for other forms of sleeping tablet that don't cause dry eyes or have a glaucoma risk?
watervole: (Eye of Horus)
I'm still not able to wear these lenses overnight, but they seem to be fine all day (pretty much) now.

I've found a better way of taking them out that doesn't make my eye hurt.

I've already changed from putting them in/out when I'm looking down rather than forward. This stops the lens falling off my finger!

Once you've got to the stage where you can put the lens in by muscle memory rather than by looking at the lens on your finger, then you can look down (or up, take your pick) while inserting the lens onto the white of the eye and look up once it's safely touching the eye.

When taking the lens out, put a finger gently on the lens and look upwards. This slides the lens off the iris onto the white of the eye.  It's much less painful to remove the lens from the white than from the iris - I presume there's less nerve endings there. 

This trick has made a surprising difference, especially when removing the lenses. 
watervole: (Default)
Having had problems (dry, sore eyes) with the normal monthly lenses, I tried a suggestion from a couple of people here and tried a different kind of monthly lens - the ones that you can leave in all the time.

After about a week, I'd got to the stage where I could tolerate them all day and was finding them really good.

I tried leaving them in overnight for the first time last night, but found my eyes were a bit sore when I got up in the morning.

I've taken them out for now to let my eyes recover, but it's really disconcerting. My vision has adapted to the lenses and if I wear glasses while moving around I get completely disorientated and dizzy.  It's the peripheral vision.  A combination of the distortion at the edge of flat lenses and the lack of any lens at the side makes everything slide in and out of focus as I move.

One unexpected (but good) side effect of wearing the lenses all day is that my distance vision with them in has started to improve.  When I first started using them, I really only had good vision while indoors.  Outside, everything in the distance was blurred.  Over time, my eyes seem to be managing to focus further while wearing them. The result isn't as good as my long-distance vision without lenses, but it's good enough to read a car numberplate at a legal distance.

I still need reading glasses with the contact lenses, but can manage gaming fine without them.

I hope my eyes are fine a few hours from now. I really want to get the lenses back in again.  Even if I can only wear them during the day, that's good enough for me.

I can now get them in easily - even without a mirror. The trick turns out to do it differently from how I was taught. Don't look forward into a mirror.  Look down into one.  That way, the lens doesn't keep falling off your finger.

I'm finding it harder to take them out, though. That used to be the easy part. Now, my eyeballs keep flinching...
watervole: (Eye of Horus)
I was having some problems with dry eyes, so took a complete day off on Thursday.  Wore them Friday with no trouble for about half the day and was doing well on Saturday when I hit a big problem.

I'd volunteered for an evening shift in the Green Room at LX and duely arrived and started looking at forms with Kathy with an eye to  seeing what we'd need to produce for Green Room for Odyssey.  I was finding it hard to focus on the forms, both visually and mentally, but managed to get the essentials.  Shortly afterwards, I needed to get my first set of drinks for programme participants, picked up the form, took it to the bar and realised that I was getting a little off balance.  By the time I had the drinks and carefully handed them to their owners, I knew something was wrong.  I was getting dizzy and disorientated and thinking coherently was getting progressively more difficult.

I decided to go to my room and remove the contact lenses in case they were related to the problem.  

I couldn't get the right one out.  In spite of several attempts...

Eventually realised that this was becasue the right one was missing.

Somehow, it had come out on its own and I hadn't noticed.  At least the cause of the dizziness and disorientation (and a pretty bad headache) were now clear.

As soon as I was without lenses, my balance improved greatly, but it took over an hour for the headache and mental fuzziness to clear properly.  I sat in a quiet corner with [livejournal.com profile] thebobby  and alternated between focusing on the far distance, or just closing my eyes, and dictated a Dr Who filk to him.

Today, I saw the optician again.  We're going to try a different kind of contact lens.  A couple of people on my flist mentioned monthly lenses that you don't have to take out overnight.  I'm told these are more expensive, but also less likely to cause trouble with dry eyes (which was definitely a problem for me, and possibly what cause the lens to fall out)

So, a few days to rest the right eye which is still a little tender, and then we'll try the new lenses and see how they go.

watervole: (Eye of Horus)
Took a total break on Saturday to allow the eyes to recover from wearing the lenses too long on the earlier days.

Wore them for four hours today, which seemed about right.  (a little ache, but not too much) They're great for gaming as I can see people's faces without having to keep moving my head up and down.  A lot easier on the neck.

I'm finding them very fiddly to wash.  I'm supposed to squirt fluid over them to wash off protein deposits, but if I hold them while squirting, then there's a bit that fails to get washed.  I'm also not entirely sure if I'm supposed to rub them as well.

How do you clean your monthly lenses?  Do you find you accidentally turn them inside-out a lot?
watervole: (Eeek!)
Thanks to those on my flist who mentioned wearing schedules and the need to start off gradually with contact lenses. Because my optician forgot!

The box labelled wearing schedule on the back of the leaflet she gave me has not been filled in, and the overall impression I gained from her was that I could wear them all day right from the start.

Yesterday evening, I had to take out the lenses as my eyes were starting to feel really uncomfortable, especially the right one.  They still feel odd this morning - a day, aching feel.  I think I'll wait until later in the day before trying the lenses again.

Research on the web suggests the lenses should have been in a maximum of four hours on the first day, six on the second, eight on the third, ten on the fourth and never more than 12 hours in any day even when you're used to them.

Could other users of monthly disposables please tell me if this sounds correct?

I probably wore them for ten hours on both of the first two days...

I think it was [livejournal.com profile] winterbadger who mentioned rewetting drops - another thing the optician didn't mention...  Can people tell me more about these - what they're useful for and whether they extend the period you can have lenses in?

To recap --

1.  If you use monthly disposables, please tell me what wearing schedule you used initially and if you had any problems.

2.  THe maximum number of hours per day it is safe to leave them in when you're used to them.

3.  If you use rewetting drops and how you use them.

Thanks. 

watervole: (Default)
I'm trying contact lenses for the first time.  Life had got to the point where I had to wear specs to be able to focus on the faces of people I was talking to.  Wearing glasses all the time tends to be tricky for me as the field of vision is smaller and I have to move my head rather than my eyes to see what I want to see.  Holding the head at unnatural angles makes my neck hurt - which is not a good idea.

So, I'm experimenting with fairly weak contact lenses backed up with reading glasses.

So far, (all of one day) I love the lenses when they're in. The world close to me is suddenly far more detailed and I don't need glasses for gardening, dishwashing, etc.  However, the reading glasses I'm now using (slightly weaker) turn out to slide down my nose...  I suspect that can be resolved (they were only ten quid from the rack in the chemist, so I'm not complaining), but I'll get someone else to try it.. 

The hard part is getting the lenses in...

The lady at the opticians gave me several practices and was very helpful, but it's definitely an acquired skill.  I need to get a tall shaving mirror asap so I have a fighting chance of seeing what I'm doing.  I almost lost a lens this morning trying to put them in.  It took around a dozen attempts before I managed it - I hope it gets easier with time!

I hope I get better at it.  I'm enjoying having peripheral vision again - and I'm finding it easier to move around the house as well.

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Judith Proctor

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