March 17, 2017
As someone who has needed glasses for 21 years, and has worn contact lenses for 14 years, I can list more than a few motivations for looking into refractive eye surgery for myself.
I never felt completely myself in glasses. Growing up in competitive sports meant either squinting to see my surroundings or dealing with glasses constantly falling off my face. Ever tried to do a set of burpees at the gym with glasses on your face? Nearly impossible! Even just functioning day-to-day in glasses felt awkward. My peripheral vision always felt inhibited, and I couldn’t wear mascara without my lashes rubbing against the lenses, leaving a streaky mess. On top of that, as a self-proclaimed klutz, accidentally bumping into someone or something often meant squishing glasses against my face and bent frames.
With all of those inhibitions, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I started to lean towards contact lens wear more and more as I got older. It’s often easy, however, to forget that contact lenses are actually a medical device that you are putting in and taking out of your eyes every single day, and they come with their own set of risks. I remember the first time I heard Dr. Al-Ghoul list all of the things you shouldn’t do in contact lenses: “Don’t shower in them. Don’t swim in lakes and rivers. Hot tubs are an absolute no. Never sleep in them.” Why? Because with every poor decision you make with your contact lenses, your risk of injury or infection increases. I began making a mental checklist in my head of all the terrible things I’d done with my contacts in the past – the odd nap without taking them out, wakeboarding on the river, showering after a workout at the gym, and the list goes on. It dawned on me at that point that my lifestyle just wasn’t conducive to wearing contact lenses, and they began to feel like more of a nuisance than a convenience.
For some people, it’s as easy as saying “I hate wearing glasses,” or “my eyes are too dry to tolerate contact lenses.” For others, it may be an aesthetic reason, or it may be the goal of living an active lifestyle without feeling tied down by glasses or contacts. We all have our reasons for looking into refractive eye surgery.
What’s your motivation?
-Alison, Clarity Patient