Our New Orleans Optometrist Advises Being Informed, Taking It Slow
We agree: Touching your eyes is usually not the most pleasant or comfortable sensation, especially if you are new to wearing contact lenses. Though rare, some people even experience an eye-touch phobia, called ommetaphobia. It could be triggered by a negative experience in the past, such as an eye injury, or even by social anxiety. However, an estimated 45 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses, according to the CDC: 8% of those who wear contacts are under 18 years old; 17% are 18-24, and 75% are 25 and older. It’s safe, easy, and helps achieve optimum vision health and improve quality of life.
Ensuring a proper fit with a contact lens fitting, learning how to keep your contact lenses clean, and wearing them properly will ease many of your fears. If you take it slow, allow yourself time to adjust, and follow these recommendations, you will eventually become an expert in inserting your lenses, and it will become just a part of your daily routine.
Identify the Source of Your Fear
Your fear might feel very real, affecting your willingness to give contact lenses a chance. Try to identify its origin: Were you poked in the eye at some point? Suffer an eye injury when you were a child? Finding the source of your fear is a huge step toward dealing with it.
Practice Without Contacts First
Try touching your eyes with your clean hands — without contacts at first. This will get you more comfortable with the notion of touching your eyes, and will also give you a chance to practice getting your hands steady. Your mind will eventually get used to your eyeballs being touched.
Use the Mirror and Look Up
Practicing in front of the mirror will help you operate with more precision and focus. Also, look up till your whites are showing; this will ensure an easier and more comfortable contact with your eye.
Try Using Eye Drops
Dry, irritated eyes and contacts don’t go together. Eye drops will relieve any dryness or irritation, making for an easier contact lens application.
Ignore Contact Lens Myths
While some contact lens considerations are based on science and common sense, others are groundless fiction that will just hold you back. For instance, a soft lens can get stuck on the surface of the eye, but it will always come off if you apply some moisture, like eye drops. It won’t be stuck in your eye forever. Similarly, while a lens can flip under an eyelid, it’s impossible for it to get lost “behind the eye.” This is simply untrue, thanks in part to a thin membrane located in the back of the eye that will prevent it from happening.
Keep It Clean
To keep germs and infections at bay, your hands and the lenses should stay clean at all times when you’re inserting your contact lenses. Store your contacts with the recommended solution after you take them out at night. Ideally, your eyes should be also free of makeup when you’re putting in the lenses.
Talk to a New Orleans Optometrist
We introduce our patients to contact lenses on a regular basis. From the initial exam and contact lens fitting to follow-up guidance and lens care, we’re with you every step of the process. We’ll be happy to listen to any concerns, answer questions, and make sure you love your lenses and are comfortable wearing and caring for them.
We’ll guide you through lens hygiene and maintenance, as well as best practices. Please open up to us if you have any fears or concerns about wearing your lenses — we’ll listen and help. We’ll be happy to calm your fears and demonstrate the correct way to put in contacts.
If your contact lenses don’t feel right after a few days, please see us. You may prefer a different fit, type, or brand. Our New Orleans eye doctor specializes in custom, medical, specialty, and cosmetic lens fittings and has the required extensive training. We can fit you for traditional contact lenses, including both soft and rigid gas permeable lenses, plus specialty contact lenses that can correct a wide range of vision problems including keratoconus.
Our New Orleans eye care clinic is conveniently located on Canal Street in Mid-City. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting. We promise you’ll leave confident in your eye care decisions.