Success with contacts?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by MD driven, May 11, 2008.

  1. MD driven

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    Thanks for the time. My eye doctor says I need glasses; I have a choice between glasses or contacts. I'm wondering if anyone has had success with using just contacts in medical school. I'm not sure about eye strain. Any advice is appreciated as I'm trying to decide between contacts and glasses to save money. Thank you.
     
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  3. Hurricane95

    Hurricane95 Senior Member

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    I've been using contacts exclusively since high school and love them. I have emergency glasses at home for reading the computer screen while I study but I never use them outside of school. Contacts take a while to get used to, but once you are accustomed, that's it, you'll never want to go back. You see perfectly and forget you even have them on. I use the acuvue oasis hydraclear ones that oxygenate very well so you never even get dry eyes or irritation.

    If you're looking to save money, um...I don't know what to tell you. Glasses are a one-time expense (depends on whether you want something cheap and usable or fancy, anywhere from $100 to $500+ for the snobby) that can last you many years. Contacts cost me roughly $60 for three boxes (9 pairs), and each pair lasts 2 weeks about (I use them 3 weeks, but clean them very carefully). So that means $60 or so every 7 months. Plus solutions and eye drops are $7 a bottle each and last a few weeks. Contacts are more expensive in the long run, but I think this is a silly place to "save money"...if you like them better, than do it. I personally don't like glasses much.
     
  4. Occams Razor

    Occams Razor Hickam schmictum

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    Our medical class was warned against wearing contact lenses in the anatomy lab, as a former student's contact fused to her cornea due to the strong chemicals.

    Not sure about the validity of this legend, but some classmates reported irritation in the lab. Lab goggles may be able to prevent this.
     
  5. SugPlum

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    My school allows students to wears contacts in anatomy lab. The course director said that some professors wear contacts in the lab.
     
  6. bretticus

    bretticus Neuroradiology fellow

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    I wore contacts all through anatomy lab -- all I noticed was that my eyes were often a bit dry afterwards, but nothing some drops can't clear up. I wear them basically all the time, and on the rare occasion that I need my glasses, the peripheral vision drives me crazy. One other caution about glasses is if your strength changes. I am going to have to go up a quarter point in strength soon, so if your eyes change you will either not see well or need new glasses. For contacts it is trivial and inexpensive to change, but for glasses not so. Just make sure they are soft contacts -- I couldn't stand the gas-permeable ones.
     
  7. Tiger26

    Tiger26 Senior Member
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    I know that you can't wear contacts when you're exposed to CS tear gas (the gas itself sucks, a lot, so I can't imagine how much worse it would be if they fused to your cornea).

    I also happen to know that CS is not similar at all to formaldehyde, so you should be fine in anatomy lab (I was and everyone else too)
     
  8. dd128

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    This is sort of an urban legend. It may have happened to someone, but I heard the same thing at my school.
     
  9. Milamber

    Milamber Grand Poomba

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    Eh I got tired of the whole glasses and contacts thing so I decided to get LASIK and it worked like a charm. 15 years dealing with glasses and contacts and I was tired of it.

    While everyone has their own preference I would say get both. This way on the days you are too lazy to wear contacts you will have a backup just in case. Can't tell you how many times I lost a contact and had to have a friend drive my car home because I didn't have my glasses in the car with me.
     
  10. MD driven

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    I really appreciate all the responses. I'm going to get both contacts and glasses. I will switch off. :thumbup:
     
  11. Hurricane95

    Hurricane95 Senior Member

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    I strangely enough found that the contacts seemed to PROTECT my eyes during anatomy lab...it seemed like everyone else was complaining of eyes tearing and burning due to the fumes and I was perfectly ok.
     
  12. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh!
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    Do you have an OD that recommends getting contacts without glasses? All of my ODs have always said that you need a pair of glasses if you have contacts. In any case, the extra pair of glasses need not be a burden to you financially. I hope this is not a TOS violation, but you can get glasses for as little as $8/pair from www.zennioptical.com. I am not affiliated with them in any way, but my wife and I have purchased glasses from them in the past (I wear contacts, so I just use glasses as a backup and late night/early morning) and they work fine.
     
  13. anothertbmember

    anothertbmember Senioritis sufferer

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    My advice, for whatever it's worth is wear the glasses. I wore my contacts a little irresponsibly during third year and now I can't. By irresponsibly, I mean I wore them pretty much every day in the dry hospital environs and took them off every night (except for call nights...may have been part of the problem). By 6 months into 3rd year I got a reactive keratitis that I had to use steroid drops to rid myself of it. I used the acuvue oasys great for dry eyes oxygenation etc. and this still happened. I had been wearing contacts for 15 years without any problems except for the occasional eye irritation with extended wear. I'm not the only one in my class to whom this happened, so just take this as a heads up. Hospital air is not eye friendly.
     
  14. ohsekw

    ohsekw Kimchi

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    #13 ohsekw, May 12, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  15. riverwoman1040

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    Good decision. I love my contacts, but I would be miserable if I didn't have glasses. There are some days when I'm just not putting anything in my eyes. Plus, I can only tolerate so many hours of studying in my contacts. On the other hand, any sort of physical activity with glasses drives me crazy. You can get fairly inexpensive glasses, and if you're not wearing them a lot there's no reason to replace them often.
     
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  17. ohsekw

    ohsekw Kimchi

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    Also, anyone able to run in glasses? I have to either take them off and run blind or put in contacts just for my trip to the gym. Suggestions welcome...
     
  18. Re3iRtH

    Re3iRtH Member

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    I run in glasses all the time, many miles.
    I didn't know that it was a big issue. I have to agree contacts probably
    feel better when you are running but for some reason when the sweat
    starting getting into your eyes and burning I would rather have glasses
    on than contacts.
     
  19. SugPlum

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    I wear contacts, but I keep a pair of glasses. I need my glasses to see if I get out of bed in the middle of the night since I don't wear my contacts to sleep.

    As for anatomy lab, I used eye drops right before lab to prevent dryness. I didn't want to run to my locker to get eye drops in the middle of lab.
     
  20. riverwoman1040

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    I can't stand running or working out in general in my glasses. What's worse than having them on your face is the blurry peripheral vision. I have to stare at the ground so that I don't trip. I tried to go to work as a cocktail waitress with then on once. It was a complete disaster.
     
  21. Occams Razor

    Occams Razor Hickam schmictum

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    Anyone remember these? I had Chums on my glasses around 1993...or retainers as they're now called.


    [​IMG]
     
  22. kronickm

    kronickm even par.

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    Definitely. Try a little experiment. Cut an onion both with and without contacts in and see what happens.
     
  23. Hemichordate

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  24. PharmDstudent

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    Are you talking about frat straps? :smuggrin:
     
  25. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV

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    I had corrective surgery (PRK, not Lasik) so I don't need either. In college, however, I always wore my glasses to study. I am prone to dry eye (especially staring at a book or computer screen) so contacts would irrate my eyes and distract me while studying. Everyone's different but definitely get some comfortable glasses you can study in if contacts don't work well for you.
     
  26. LeLu

    LeLu Cookie Monster

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    Contacts always dried my eyes out so bad I could only wear them a few hours and had to put drops in all the time. I got LASIK a year ago and now have better than perfect vision and no more drops. Yea.
     
  27. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Agreed. A good fitting pair of glasses shouldn't fall off while running or playing sports. If you are having issues, either the glasses you've selected are too big or too heavy, or you need the kind with more of a curve in the ear piece.
     
  28. Mobius1985

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    You'll be glad to have glasses as an option the first time a patient sprays respiratory secretions at your face with a cough or sneeze. I save contacts for social situations.
     
  29. akpete

    akpete Drinks, anyone?

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    I have O2 Optix which are approved to be worn overnight and I wouldn't trade them for anything. I don't have any problems with dry eye or anything. I did have gas permeable contacts in the past which caused some erosion of my corneas. I have glasses, but find them extremely inconvenient and only wear every few months to give my eyes a small break.
     
  30. drfunktacular

    drfunktacular ANA ≠ SLE
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    I always knew them as Croakies...

    I wear them when I am in the OR to keep my glasses from sliding down my nose.. and into the operative field :scared:
     
  31. DrDude

    DrDude Banned
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    Anybody have experience with those contacts that you can leave in for an entire month without taking them out?
     
  32. Milamber

    Milamber Grand Poomba

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    No but when I was previously wearing contacts I asked my optometrist about them and he said that it would be a bad idea to get them.
     
  33. sprinkibrio

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    my contacts have saved my life. be prepared to get a new prescription very year, however. all that reading isn't good for the eyes.
     
  34. akpete

    akpete Drinks, anyone?

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    mine are approved to be left in for a week straight. i love them. and my optometrist was okay with them because they'd been on the market for a while.
     
  35. I've heard the same thing as well.

    Not sure if it's actually happened, though. :confused:
     
  36. Non-TradTulsa

    Non-TradTulsa Senior Member - Resident

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    Glasses or contacts? In my opinion, you need both. I prefer the way I look without glasses, so I wear my contacts on a daily basis. For the pre-clinical years folks - I also wore my contacts every day in anatomy lab even though there was some tiny blurb on some form about not doing so. Remember that most body preservatives these days have no formaldehyde or only a tiny amount - phenol (also a carcinogen, I'm afraid) is the primary preservative. My contacts were occasionally a tiny bit irritated on leaving the lab, but I never had any ongoing problems.

    However - you also need glasses. There's going to be some night when you're pulling an all-nighter and you leave your contacts in too long. Next day when you go to the exam, it's much better to wear your glasses. Trust me, you'll quit caring much about how you look - I went to exams with dirty hair more than once to get an extra hour's studying in (I did always put on clean underwear, deodorant, and I brushed my teeth - common courtesy). I went to exams a couple of times with swollen contacts from wearing them too long and had a horrible time reading the page - that's an experience I wouldn't wish on anybody else.

    You also need glasses for call for your clinical years. When you're sleeping, you don't want your contacts in - but if you get paged urgently, you don't have time to be putting your lenses in.
     
  37. roja

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    I had an RK (precursor to LASIKS) years ago. It was awesome. before that, I wore contacts.

    The one caveat for LASIKS: if you are woman and plan to have children, your vision will likely change. You should not have the procedure done until after you are done having children. Once done, any change in your vision, you will become impossible to fit for contacts.
     
  38. mjl1717

    mjl1717 Senior Member

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    From personal experience:

    1)Do not be too vain..
    2)There are probably eyeglass styles that appeaal to you, because they are needed at crunch time..
    (Glasses can be stylish in the world of academia... In some of his movies Sylvester Stallon wears glasses..)
    3) If you wear contacts too long neovascularization progresses.
    4) Its good to have normal saline nearby to lubricate..
    5) I find contacts very comfortable in the rain and at times socially..
    6)Ive left mine in maybe 3 or 4 days, before but take them out like now to give my eyes oxygen for at least 24 hours..
    7) My time is spent maybe 50/50 -glasses/contacts..including prescription sunglasses..
     
  39. buckley

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    As for me, I learned to love glasses in the clinical years (i.e. an ortho resident accidentally slammed a bloody rongeur (how do I spell this???) on my face in the middle of an OR, intubating alcoholics with lots of frothy secretions, etc.).
    And you definitely have no time to put contacts on when you get a call at 3 am...so you'll need those glasses.
     

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