Not 2020

I was at my favourite optometrist this afternoon, albeit begrudgingly. I say begrudgingly because it’s one of those things that rank lowest on my to-do list. It’s like this: I do enjoy my visits to Mr Tan’s shop at Jalan Sg Dua, opposite USM, but I can’t stand waiting. His shop is usually full of customers! And he’s the only person I trust to give me a good eye checkup!
I’ve been his customer for a decade now. I’ve known him for so long that he’s the only person I go to, if I have any major eye problems. Touch wood, I have not had that since my last eye infection. I go to Mr Tan for all my eye needs – spectacles and contact lenses.
I was feeling quite lazy today and just wanted to pop in and get my 6-month supply of contact lenses. But I had some problems with my last pair of contact lenses so I thought I best give Mr Tan some feedback about this.
As usual, the shop was full of customers – either buying contact lenses, getting their spectacles repaired – the usual stuff in an optometrist’s.
But what made me happy was my eye checkup. When my turn in the consultation room was over, he gave my eyes a clean bill of health! He says they were much healthier than before, less tired and it meant I was taking good care of my eyes.
This was a huge change from the previous year. At that time, he said I should rest my eyes more often (as it is, I wear contact lens the whole day and I stare at the computer far too long!). He told me I should take frequent breaks, do some eye exercises and do less PC work. Oh, and stare at something green every once in a while.
That year too I had an eye infection. It meant staying off contact lenses for a week. I had somehow gotten some bacteria in my eye and they were wrecking havoc when I put on my lenses. I had to get some eye drops from the nearby clinic to kill the bacteria. I put it down to bad lens hygiene.
But I’ve been a contact lens user for a long time now and that was the first time I had such a problem. It was frightening because it could have led to major issues – and this is the eye we’re talking about. Mr Tan was telling me about the 17-year-old girl whom he saw before me. Her mother had to drag her to the shop to get her eyes checked. Apparently, this teenager wore her contact lenses to sleep! And of course, that’s a BIG NO! No matter how permeable the lenses are. As a result of wearing her lenses to bed, this girl had some fungal infection in her eyes! In the end, he had to tell her to stop wearing lenses for a week.
Wearing contact lenses is like wearing makeup… no matter how tired you are, you absolutely must remove them before you flop into bed. Our eyes need oxygen and that’s why it’s always good practice to wear specs or glasses instead of contact lenses every now and then. By the way, have you noticed that most optometrists wear glasses, and not lenses? Maybe they know something we don’t!
I proudly told Mr Tan that I had been truly taking good care of my eyes ever since my last eye scare. I’ve been of course religiously doing eye exercises each morning. I’ve been going for long periods without using my lenses, preferring instead to don glasses. And I’ve switched from cheap all-in-one multipurpose solutions to AOSept solution.
Now here’s a tip: AOSept may be a little bit more expensive (RM24 for 240 ml) but it does a fantastic job of cleaning and disinfecting lenses. Each bottle also comes with the cleaning disc attached to the lens case so you won’t have to use the casing forevermore.
I used to use cheap multipurpose solutions too – at that time I thought they were convenient, easy and cheap. But since my eye infection, I’ve been more careful.
Using AOSept means I have to buy separate saline to rinse my lenses but my lenses are much cleaner as AOSept disinfects the lenses thoroughly. (By the way, I belonged to a time/era when cleaning contact lenses meant having 3 different bottles of chemicals at the sink – one was a cleaner liquid much like your dishwashing liquid, another was to rinse away this gunk and the last bottle, if I recall correctly, was to soak the lenses for at least 4 hours. Can anyone remember those days?)
And my gut feeling about AOSept was echoed by my fave optometrist. He said that many of his customers who used AOSept hardly complained of eye problems compared to those who used multipurpose solutions.
Plus of course recently there was a multipurpose solution product recall – you probably know which brand it is. I even got a forwarded email saying that I could bring back the bottles to any shop and get my full refund. But hurry, the deadline is 31st July. In this instance, am I glad I don’t use multipurpose solutions.
And of course, never ever sleep with your contact lenses on! It’ll hurt your eyes more than you know!

2 thoughts on “Not 2020”

  1. Haha, yes! Do you know that I even attended his wedding so many years ago? And now his kids are so big! Isn’t he a lovely man? No wonder his shop is bursting at the seams with customers all day!

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