Friday, November 21, 2008

Breaking Up is Hard to Do ;-)

It seems my 30-year love affair with soft contact lenses has come to an end. I've known for a couple of months now that we were on the decline, Contacts and I, but I was in denial. I tried everything in my power to make this relationship work. But neither a trial separation (since this summer), professional counseling (okay, an opthamologis), nor prescription eye drops, could save this relationship.

You may recall that I had an inkling of trouble in August of 2007 when my annual eye exam revealed that I had "dry eyes." My optometrist recommended over-the-counter drops (Systane) and no contacts for two weeks. When I returned, everything looked good. Contact and I, we were happy. Or so I thought.

This past summer, I started having trouble with my eyes: redness, significant decrease in vision. I made an appointment with an opthamologist in August who confirmed severe "dry eye syndrome." She put me on a steroid eye drop to help with the inflammation, plus the prescription Restasis, which is supposed to help you produce more tears. She asked that I check back in three months.

Today was my follow up appointment. My eyes look better, but still very, very dry. While I held out hope that Contacts and I could work it out (is was just a dry patch, right? ha ha), it's not meant to be. Certainly Contacts and I could occasionally get together for Old Time's Sake? But no. The doctor feels that even wearing contact lenses part time would irritate my eyes. A clean break. No on again, off again (or in again, out again).

Today, she inserted little plug into the ducts in my lower eyelid to help prevent draining too much of my eyes' natural lubricant. It was a mildly uncomfortable procedure - not painful at all. I'll have to continue with the absurdly expensis Restasis drops, probably forever.

But what to do about my myopia (nearsightedness)? If not Contacts, then what? Glasses? Never been a fan. The pair I have are cute, stylish, lightweight - everything a gal could ask. But they're just not "me." I miss the peripheral vision that my old love, Contacts, provided and I have the bruises to show for it (hey, who moved that wall??).

Oh, and I'm of a 'certain age' which means: bifocals. (Quoting Charlie Brown: ARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!). And while I'm at it, I'll need prescription sunglasses.

Or laser surgery. Blades/lasers near my eyeballs - not an appealing thought. But one I'm considering. I have a lot of homework to do in that regard. The feels that I'd be a good candidate for PRK (photorefractive keratotomy). I'd still have the dry eyes to contend with, and would probably still occasionally need reading glasses (the age thing), but it might be worth considering.


Sue said...

Elle, you have my sympathies. Hopefully the dryness eases up a bit and your eyes are comfortable. (I can't imagine having to give up my contacts.)

Jules said...

My hubby had Lasik PLUS done April of 2002 and he said it's the best thing he's ever done (next to marrying me!)

Nadine said...

I feel you pain - I would hate to end a love affair like that one. I've known people who had the surgery and they were not sorry. They loved the freedom they felt. It's not an easy decision. I hope you have peace in what you decide.

Elle*Bee said...

Thanks, everyone. I just returned from a long road trip and I really missed wearing contacts. Time to stop being a big baby and decide whether to commit to glasses (probably bifocals and prescription sunglasses at that), or saving up the money (and working up the nerve) for PRK.

Great to see you again, jules, it's been awhile.