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Most of my life I've worn glasses. I am pretty near-sighted, so I especially need them when I am driving, watching TV or out where I need to be able to see across the room.

This past fall, I wanted to rebrand part of my look. So I decided to try contacts for the first time.

Step 1 - Picking the Right Contacts

I went to the optometrist, and she told me I have astigmatism. To provide an over-simplified, exaggerated explanation, she said my eyes are shaped like footballs, not spheres. That's not a problem though because there are contacts specifically for people with astigmatism.

Air Optix for AstigmatismWhen she asked me how often I was planning on wearing contacts and I told her I was going to wear them at least half the days out of the week, she suggested the contacts you replace monthly. She said these are more cost effective than the contacts you replace daily or weekly.

Based on my needs, she suggested I try the Air Optix for Astigmatism.

If you are ready to make your own decision about contacts, check out some of the following options:

  • Acuve Oasys - For contact wearers with dry eyes who want to switch them out every week (if worn at night as well) or every 2 weeks (if not worn at night).
  • Biofinity Multifocal - For contact wearers who need multifocals and want to replace monthly.
  • Air Optix Night and Day Aqua - For contact wearers who want to wear their contacts overnight and replace monthly.
  • FreshLook ColorBlend - For contact wearers who want contacts that change their eye color and want to replace monthly.
  • Focus Dailies 90 Pack - For contact wearers who want to replace their contacts daily, ideal for people with allergies so they don't have to worry about cleaning them.

Step 2 - Putting Contacts in Your Eyes

Inserting your contact lenses

Inserting your contact lenses

Pulling out the contacts that match my prescription, the optometrist sat me down at the table in the waiting room. Now came the scary part: actually putting the contacts in my eye. I was not looking forward to this moment. Here is what the optometrist told me to do to get started:

  1. Wash my hands and dry them with a paper towel.
  2. Put the contact on the index finger tip of my right hand.
  3. Hold down a bottom eyelid with the middle finger of my right hand.
  4. Pull up the top lid with the index finger of my left hand.
  5. Place the contact on my eye.
  6. Blink multiple times so that the lens can center.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, forty-five minutes later, my eyes were red from trying to pull my eyelids back. And there were still no contacts in my eyes.

The optometrist suggested I come back a few days later and try again. So I went home that day with no contacts, wondering if I would ever be able to wear them.

Two days later, I was back in the office, ready to try again. I decided to try a different method by separating my eye with the index and middle fingers of my left hand, but still using my right index finger to put them in.

Forty-five minutes after I arrived, I actually got one in! I was so excited. My feelings of achievement were up there with graduating college and starting my first real job. Fifteen minutes later, the other one was in my eye. I couldn't believe that I was actually wearing contacts.

Step 3 - Taking Contacts Out of Your Eyes

Removing your contact lenses

Removing your contact lenses

Then of course, I had to learn how to take them out. It wasn't as bad as putting them in, but I still took a while.

The doctor told me to hold my eyelids back the same way as before and to use the thumb and index finger of my other hand to pinch the contact out. The idea of pinching my eyes was not something I sure I was going to be able to do, as I pictured myself pinching my eye right out of its socket. But the optometrist assured me that wouldn't happen.

To my surprise, 15 minutes later, they were out easier than they went in.

Other ways of removing contacts include the following:

  • Slide the contact to the lower part of the eye and pinch the contact there to remove it.
  • Press in with your forefinger on the center of the upper lid and thumb on the center of the lower lid, force a blink and catch the lens as it falls out.

Step 4 - Cleaning Your Contacts

Now that I was able to take my contacts home, the optometrist told me about how to clean them. She said to put them in the contacts lens case, fill the case up with contacts solution and leave them overnight. One important thing she also said was to throw away the used contact solution each time I took the contacts out, not to reuse it.

For more details about how to clean contacts, check out the following video.

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