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September 12th, 2002

Glasses v. Contacts

Back when I was a kid, I started to notice something wrong with my vision. I was having a hard time seeing the blackboard, and sitting up front didn’t seem to help very much. I told my parents about it and, within a matter of seconds, I was diagnosed as being nearsighted. Glasses were to become a part of my life for some time.

But an alternative, a real one, cropped up for me when I entered 8th grade: contact lenses. By that time, I had grown tired of glasses. They kept falling off, breaking, causing local radio interference, etc. Or maybe it was just the fact that they broke in the only fight I was ever in. Maybe I really didn’t like that.

In any event, I switched to contacts and stayed with contacts, really, until this past year. I still wear them on a near-daily basis, but I’m also now comfortable with glasses again. Contacts are more of a vanity thing for me, I’ll admit, but sometimes I don’t like the hassle of putting pieces of plastic into my eyes. Glasses are simpler.

What do you think? Are you apt to go with contacts, glasses… or nothing at all, because your vision is perfect?

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday September 12, 2002 -- 9:11:51 am
I've had contacts since my Freshman year of college. I was prescribed glasses in high school but I never wore them. I wear contacts every day, occasionally, especially on grey rainy days where sunglasses won't be needed, I'll go with glasses for the day. But mostly the glasses get used for watching TV in bed.

Have you ever given any serious thought to laser surgery? I haven't. Sight is too precious to take to the risk , no matter how miniscle it is.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday September 12, 2002 -- 9:45:35 am
I have the whole touching-my-eye problem, so I've never given contacts a shot, though I'd like to be done with glasses.

I also haven't considered laser surgery -- if I have trouble with my eyes being touched, how can I be expected to allow a knife to get near them?

FROM: Chris Shaver [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday September 12, 2002 -- 10:06:59 am
I started wearing glasses in about 2nd grade. My vision kept getting bad enough that I was switched to contacts about 5 or 6th grade. Young enough that I didn't really have a chance to have a touching the eye problem, though I do cringe when I watch others put in contacts. Freshman year of college I got a pair of contacts that never felt comfortable so I switched back to glasses and haven't looked back so to speak. Mostly it was an ease of use thing for me. Wake up, put on glasses and you're good to go. No runs, no rips, no tears.

I haven't really checked into laser surgery as the cost is still prohibitive and I suspect that may eyesight is too bad to be fully corrected by the proceedure. Maybe someday though. It would be nice to not have to wear either contacts or glasses.

FROM: teeinep
DATE: Thursday September 12, 2002 -- 10:14:14 am
Ryan, don't worry, they give you a Valium before the Lasik surgery, so when the doctor uses the magic marker to draw the reference points on the surface of your eyes, you shouldn't freak out. Nor should you freak out when he slices the corneal flap, or when the laser starts vaporizing you eye and the smell of burning human flesh permenates the operating room.

I had Lasik done once, then had to go back a second time for an enhancement. I highly recommend it! It is a wonderful, life-changing experience.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday September 12, 2002 -- 4:19:13 pm
No runs, no rips, no tears.

The same argument could be made for pants over pantyhose.

Ryan, don't worry, they give you a Valium before the Lasik surgery, so when the doctor uses the magic marker to draw the reference points on the surface of your eyes, you shouldn't freak out.

I'd rather they physically remove my eyes, put them into the Magic Eye Fixing Machine and reinsert them in my skull. :)

FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday September 12, 2002 -- 5:25:08 pm
Yes, I too wore contacts in high school but started working in a dusty environment, and I am just too lazy to deal with the enzymes and cleaning, not to mention the cost of saline, etc. I like my glasses...they look European and people automatically assume I am smart. he he There was a guy in a bar one time who said, seriously, "If you got contacts, you'd be gorgeous!" I should have said "Yes but you would still look the same." Funny how people judge each other.

I could never have the laser surgery. Too darn terrifying.

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday September 12, 2002 -- 6:27:06 pm
I used to prefer contacts because I don't have to think about them once they're in. On the other hand, they've invited an almost endless parade of minor infections to take up residence in my peepers, so these days I wear my specs just as often.

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday September 12, 2002 -- 7:47:34 pm
In 12 odd years of wearing contacts I've never had any type of eye infection, or really anything. Occasionally in the peek of allergy season they need to come out for a few days, but thats it.

FROM: Katie
DATE: Friday September 12, 2003 -- 2:32:20 pm
Hey, i have worn contacts for two years and recently bought glasses. Its taking some time getting used to them, but they are very stylish and give me the geek chic look!

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday September 12, 2003 -- 3:02:21 pm
I'm a complete wuss: I can't handle putting contact lenses in. I no longer have to wear lenses of any sort (prescription fixed a weak muscle in one eye), but when i had the choice, it was always glasses. What minor inconvience they were beat out touching your own eyeballs....Man, the thought of doing that still grosses me out.

Go figure.

FROM: jk
DATE: Friday September 12, 2003 -- 10:47:09 pm
Weird....I know that some people just can't do it, Dave. I can actually still touch my bare eyeball!

Hey, this Ping is one year old. Happy bday! And it's my half-year birthday. Shop early for the best gift selection in March, friends!

FROM: Kate
DATE: Saturday September 13, 2003 -- 1:21:24 am
I have chosen yet another option: squinting. Since I only have a slight astigmatism in one eye, it is as effective as glasses without the hassle. The only problem is that people that know me can tell if I'm really reading something or merely faking an interest.

On a side note, it's amazing how many people assume that if you don't wear glasses, you have contacts. I think people with nearly-normal vision are becoming a scarcity.

DATE: Sunday December 7, 2003 -- 8:50:54 pm
I'm supposed to wear glasses all the time, but I don't. I used to wear my glasses all the time, but then I started going without them, and now I hardly ever wear them. So I do some squinting too!

FROM: Brian H
DATE: Thursday January 15, 2004 -- 5:24:41 pm
First ping here of the new year! I have worn specs since 9th grade (14 years) and was supposed to wear them in 7th and 8th grades also, but never did because of pressure of society. I've been thinking about getting contacts for a couple months and wasn't sure at first because of the eyeball touching factor. In the past week, these glasses have been getting old real quick. I can not wait to shed these things.

DATE: Friday July 2, 2004 -- 4:53:49 pm
I was diagnosed with nearsightedness when I was 21. I bought glasses and contacts, and even wore the contacts for a while, but never really got used to them (and I have having to do so much to keep them clean). So now I'm back to glasses and I've been wearing them for 7 years now.

I'd like to go back to contacts but I'm hoping they have easier cleaning methods now (seven years later) or contacts you can wear longer before cleaning them.

I'm reading about a new vision correction method now: Corneal Refractive Therapy. Anyone tried it yet and can give me some feedback?

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