18 Things That Happen When You Get Contacts As An Adult
Step 1: Learn how to touch your eyeball
Although I got my first pair of glasses late in high school, I didn't actually start needing to wear them consistently until after college. That was when I began spending 8-plus hours a day in front of a computer, and when my distance vision officially went to hell. (My ophthalmologist told me the two things aren't connected, but I'm still suspicious.) With driving at night becoming increasing risky, I upgraded my prescription and my frames, and officially joined the ranks of the four eyes.
For the most part, I don't mind wearing glasses. But my vision started affecting my exercise routine. I typically just ditched the lenses before a workout, which isn't ideal: When running, I wasn't secure in my ability to see bumps and potholes. (Plus, I couldn't take in the pretty sights I passed along the way.) At the gym, I couldn't watch TV while I lifted. In classes, I had trouble seeing the instructors' form unless I stood right in the front, which-sorry-I didn't always want to do.
So finally, I took the plunge and got fitted for Acuvue Oasys 1-Days. The eye doctor I saw recommended them for a few reason: 1) They were easy to put in (more on that later); 2) you could toss them after using them, so you didn't need to fiddle with lens solution; and 3) thanks to their tear-infused HydraLuxe Technology, they would stay comfortable even though I spent hours on a computer (which makes my eyes tired) and ran (which makes my eyes dry).
I love the lenses, but that's not to say that the transition was seamless. As someone who harbored a near-pathological fear of touching my own eyeball, it would be general to say that my learning curve was steep. (Make sure you watch out for these 9 Mistakes You're Making with Your Contact Lenses.)
1. You learn to get over the squeamishness of touching your eyeball.
This isn't so bad! It's not even touching my eye, technically.
2. You redevelop the squeamishness of touching your eyeball.
One of the first times I took a lens out, I swear to you, I pinched the white of my eyeball. *Dying.*
3. You spend hours trying to get them in.
It's sticking to my finger, but not to my eyeball. WTF?
4. You develop a preference toward one of your eyes.
My right eye grabs onto contacts like a champ. Leftie? Total underachiever.
5. You walk outside into a miracle.
Halfway through that first run, you're like, "Wait-I can see the leaves on the trees!"
6. You suddenly realize you have to relearn how to do eye makeup.
I've been letting strong frames be my eyeliner for years. And undereye concealer. And mascara.
7. The first time it takes under five minutes to put them in, you're so proud.
8. Then you realize you are actually only wearing one.
When you find the other one on the ground. How?
9. You get paranoid about bacteria.
Did I wash my hands thoroughly enough? Is something in my eye right now? I've read about this cornea-eating amoeba...
10. And also sweat.
My doctor told me to always change into new contacts after swimming or showering. What about after sweating so hard it looks like you just swam?
11. You have an excuse to buy all new sunglasses.
All my shades are prescription-and wearing them over contacts is not a good idea. (Not that I tried it...)
12. That feeling of your contact kind of flapping in the wind when you're running.
Is this normal?
13. You learn what "tired eyes" really means.
Taking out my contact lenses at the end of a long day feels better than taking off my bra. For real.
14. You start checking everyone's eyes to see if they too wear contacts.
Whatever, at least it tricks you into making good eye contact.
15. You're totally freaked out when your eyes momentarily go out of focus.
What exactly is happening there, btw? Do they just... Move off my eye? Fold in half?
16. You fall asleep in your lenses and wake up ready to lose an eyeball.
I read about this girl who left in her contacts for six months straight and an amoeba ate her eyeball. I became convinced that would be me.
17. You develop a newfound appreciation of skylines.
Ahh, sweet, sweet distance vision.
18. And you start making strategic decisions about when to wear glasses.
I call them my "power frames."