astigmatism

Free contact lenses

Free contact lenses

I hope my optometrist friends don’t get upset but many of you that wear contact lenses might know this anyway. My office, and I’m gonna guess every other eye care office, gets free contact lenses from their distributor. What is interesting is how we decide which contact lens to give you. I don’t think there’s anything exceptionally rational medically about how we go about doing this. You get what we give you and once we write the prescription that’s all you get.

Before I go any further, when I say free contact lenses, I should also say that you will have to pay for the exam for them. The lenses themselves should be free to try for most of you. There are some specialty lenses but probably most patients wear the regular ‘ol disposable lenses that I and other optometrists get free.

Here’s how to get even more free contact lenses. At your next eye exam tell your eye doctor that you would like to try a couple of different brands to see how they feel. There’s nothing wrong with that straight up question. You might even tell the optometrist that there’s nothing wrong with your brand. You’re only interested in knowing if the comfort or vision is any different from your current brand. Ask for some daily disposables too. Those generally come in 5 packs so you get 5 days of wear with them. These are handy for when you’re camping or on a vacation.

If you wear lenses for astigmatism your eye doctor might need to order those trials but they should still be free. Because the combinations of powers that have correction for astigmatism would require a huge quantity of trials (not enough room for all that) you might have to wait to get those. There’s also nothing wrong to ask for lenses that might not correct your astigmatism either. If you have a mild amount of astigmatism you possibly would see about the same as spherical contact lenses that aren’t specifically made to correct astigmatism.

And, please, if you ask for a couple of different brands, do support the eye doctor who gave them to you and buy a supply from them. We are here to try and help. I’m just giving you an extra tip to help yourself a little. I hope you are a good patient and hope your eye doctor will honor your request. It may not be something they believe in doing so that’s up to their practice. I would think this a very reasonable request in my office.

If your contact lenses are the kind that don’t come free to the optometrists, I’m sorry about that. Ask for some extra trial boxes of contact lens solution then. That’s also free!

Good luck with that and would you let me know how it worked out if you do get some extra pairs?

free contact lenses

free contact lenses

 

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Frosted vision cleared up

Frosted vision cleared up

I don’t know how many times I’ve wondered about something and just didn’t have the brain power to simply analyze and figure it out. I think a lot of us are like that when it comes to assembling something or installing software. We try to do it without reading the instructions or after looking at the poor illustrations of what part goes where we give up and then might start to analyze it. Maybe.

Perhaps seeing through frosted glass isn’t something I’ve really ever thought about so I didn’t even have a chance to use my brain power on this one. But there’s a simple trick and a simple explanation. It also has something to do with optics. Just take a piece of transparent tape and press it on the frosted side of the glass/window. It won’t work if you put it on the smooth side.

Here’s why it works. The frosted side has a lot of irregular edges so light bounces every which way. It’s like a cloud in the sky. There’s light in there but it’s rays are so scattered that we can’t see through it. But, if we fill in the little imperfections on the frosted side with the adhesive part of the tape and smooth it down a bit what happens is the imperfections are filled in which makes the surface more like smooth flat glass. That won’t work on a cloud though. Kinda hard to smooth tape around that.

Yes, we are going to get into optics just a little bit here and this applies to any optical surface that is irregular. I’ll use the front of the eye as an example. But first, don’t put tape on your eye. The eye’s irregularity is a little different than frosted glass. A person with astigmatism might have some irregularity on the front surface of the eye that can be corrected with a gas permeable lens in a similar way that the tape corrects the irregular surface of the frosted glass. A gas perm lens is a hard lens so you don’t press on it to fill in the irregular surface of the eye. What happens is the tears of the eye fill in the irregular areas underneath the gas perm lens so the whole optics system becomes a smoother surface for light to go through. Astigmatism can be corrected with soft lenses but those work more like glasses rather than smoothing out the actual surface.

Back to the tape and the window. One suggestion. Some frosted surfaces are just a plastic film put on the glass or even just sprayed on film. Don’t press the tape down on all edges. You want an easy way to peel it off without having to scrape the tape off.

One more thing. You could make a smooth surface without using tape. If you can put water or some other fluid on the surface and then press a clear flat piece of material against that you will create a smooth surface to see through. Maybe try corn syrup but then you have to clean that off. This could get a bit messy but others have mentioned other syrups or honey.

Here’s a video of someone putting clear tape on frosted glass:

https://www.youtube.com

 

 

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