Iíve been wearing glasses my entire life. Iím a 34 year old police officer with a pretty thick prescription of near sightedness. For various reasons, contacts just seemed like the better choice and I believed I would have better quality of life if I could wear contacts every day instead of glasses. Iíve tried hard contacts in the past and just couldnít get used to them. Iíve tried soft contacts in the past and gave up. They were too difficult for me to take out and put in. In this entry, I will describe my day to day experience with RGP (Rigid Gas Permeable) contact lenses, but first, a brief explanation on what lead me to believe that RGP would be right for me. My eye doctor suggested RGP (Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses). He stated I would save more money in the long run because with proper care, these lenses can last for years. He also stated my vision would be more crisp and clear than wearing glasses or soft contact lenses. RGPís offer the best vision of all options he told me.

However, with everything that sounds too good to be true, there is a catch. With RGP lenses there is an adaptation phase. For some people this phase takes longer than others, but Iím told it could take up to 6 weeks just to get used to wearing RGP lenses to where they are comfortable in your eyes. Thatís 6 weeks of hell, torture, grumpiness, dry, red, irritable eyes. 6 long weeks of not being able to concentrate because all I think about is when Iíll be able to take my contacts out. This is why most people donít bother with RGP lenses. They would just assume wear soft lenses which are instantly comfortable and deal with the slightly inferior vision. For these people, the reward does not outweigh the cost of getting to that point.

It should be noted that I am writing this on day number 5 of wearing these things. The purpose of this is to hopefully give some insight to those who may be considering switching to RGP lenses but canít find enough data on the internet to justify the switch. I wonít get into too much detail on exactly what RGP lenses are. Thatís not too hard to find on the internet. Just know that RGP is the new technology of contact lenses. What I couldnít find was a day to day journal on personal experience and what itís actually like to attempt to adapt to these things, and why most people decide not to even try it. So here goes, letís catch up.



Day 1:


This was the day I went to the eye doctor to pick up my lenses. The doctor numbed my eyes and put the contacts in for me. My sight was very blurry right away, as if I had tons of water in my eyes, which I basically did. My eyes were filled with tears. That would pass. I couldnít really feel the contacts in my eyes because they were numb, and thought to myself, ďHey these arenít that badĒ. Again, disregarding the fact that my eyes were numb.

The doctor tested my eyes, told me the contacts fit my eyes very well, and said I was good to drive, so he gave me a small sample of eye rewetting drops, a little plunger contact remover thingy, and sent me on my way. By the way that plunger is a Godsend. Itís makes taking the contacts out extremely easy. Just make sure your eyes are wet or the plunger will stick to your eye. Scary feeling but wonít hurt you, just might send your contact flying when you pull it off your eye. On my way out I made a check up appointment for 14 days from today. I didnít quite make it home and I began feeling the contact lenses rubbing my eyes. I could literally feel 2 pieces of hard plastic stuck to my eyes. My vision was still a bit blurring as if there was too much moisture in my eyes. I was sniffling and tearing up for 3 more hours before finally taking the contacts out and putting them away for the day. I rubbed my eyes in relief for a good 3 minutes.

Total Time: 3.5 hours



Day 2:


I was motivated and ready to make the switch. I canít stress how important that is. If youíre not motivated to go through this, you will fail. That being said, I was anxious to get the contacts back in and start day 2. I should also note that my timing was pretty good in starting this whole adaptation process as day 2 is actually day 2 of 3 off days at work. So I would have a 3 day head start before heading back to work with these things in my eyes. I would recommend the same to anyone considering trying RGP lenses. If youíre unable to get the days off, itís still doable. I put the contacts back into my eyes around 10:30am. They go in very easily. I could immediately feel them in my eyes. The water blur was there again, but I could at least see. The contacts constantly reminded me that they were there. Rewetting drops helped with some relief. I wanted so bad to rub my eyes constantly. It was like that itch that you just canít scratch. Most of this day was occupied on the internet searching ďHow to get used to RGP lensesĒ or ďWhat are RGP lensesĒ or ďMy RGP lenses are torturing meĒ I came across some pretty valuable information so I would actually recommend that lol. I ended up taking them out at about 3:30pm.

Total Time: 5 Hours



Day 3

I wasnít quite ready to put the contacts back in after waking up. I actually waited a couple hours for my eyes to adjust and properly wake up before subjecting myself to these lenses again. My goal for today was 7 hours. Once I put the contact lenses in they felt the same as the day before, however, I knew what to expect and was prepared for it, which kind of made it more tolerable. The sniffling died down a bit. I felt like I was rewetting my eyes every 5 to 10 minutes to get that small, brief period of relief. 7 hours of torture later, I took the contacts out. I made it.

Total Time: 7 Hours



Day 4

Back to work today. I work second shift, so I spent my morning with the contacts out, and put them in right before I left for work. When I put the contacts in the left one immediately started to burn really bad. Something must have gotten behind it, a piece of dust or something. I took it out, squirted some solution on it, rubbed it in my hand, rinsed it with solution again, and put it back in. Much better. Always make sure you clean your contacts really well after every use. Lesson learned. After spending every single day of my career with glasses on, then showing up without them, people noticed. Hey Dennis, no glasses? Got some swagger to ya now eh? I even had one guy tell me he thinks he loves me. Cop humor can be weird. Either way, my quality of life was improving already, which made my motivation to complete this adaptation phase rise even higher. The contacts DID begin to feel a little bit more tolerable, maybe just because I was getting used to the torture, but they never let me forget they were in my eyes. Not yet. I finished off the sample bottle of rewetting drops long before my shift was over and began using the cleaning solution instead. My eyes just felt constantly dry. I was determined to keep them in as long as I could. By the end of the day, my eyes felt like they were going to swell shut. They FELT red. And red is a color. I took them out 2 hours before the shift was over, (It was a 10 hour shift), in my squad car. I ended up dropping the second contact lense into the center console. Luckily, after 10 minutes of frantic searching and EMTís looking at me like I was crazy, as this was in a hospital parking lot, I found it right on top of my control board. ďWhewĒ Day 4 is finally over.

Total Time: 9 Hours



Day 5

Now weíre all caught up. Iím actually writing this in the middle of day 5. Iíve had the contacts in for 2 hours now and my eyes feel dry, but motivationally tolerable. I will continue this entry at the end of the dayÖÖ So, 2 hours later I find myself needing to take a brake from the contacts because my eyes are so dry I want to scratch them out. So in order to keep my sanity, I took the contacts out, watched a movie, and put them back in. My eyes still felt dry, but not quite as bad. I should probably note that I also had today off work. I kept them in for another 3 hours, then took them out again.

Total Time: 7 Hour



Day 6

It was back to work today. I put the RGPís in at 2:45pm and actually wore them for the entire shift and didnít take them out until I got home at 12:15am. They still tortured me all day, however. My eyes felt dry and itched the entire day. Like that itch that you just canít scratch again. Rewetting drops helped. I tried to hold off for as long as I could in between applications of drops. Iíd say I was rewetting probably once every 20 to 30 minutes. When I got home and took them out my eyes didnít feel as tired as the past few days though. I think Iím making progress.

Total Time: 9.5 Hours



Day 7

Not much has changed today. I put the contacts in before work and kept them in all day until 12:30am. My eyes felt dry and itchy all day. Iím beginning to doubt whether Iíll ever get used to wearing these things. I feel like Iím always squinting because if I open my eyes too wide they want to automatically shut. This is definitely a rough process. I just hope it will pay off eventually and Iím not going through this hell for nothing.

Total Time: 10 Hours



Day 8

Today was a nightmare. I went to put my contacts in and the right lens was stuck upside down to the bottom of the case. There was plenty of liquid in there. When pulled it out it cracked! I immediately called my eye doctor and heís having a replacement lens shipped overnight. Thank God. I almost thought I was going to have to start the entire adaptation phase over again.. Today is Tuesday. Iíll get the replacement lens on Thursday.

Total Time: 0 Hours



Day 9

The lens actually arrived today so I was able to wear the contacts today. Still dry, still itchy. Still a pain.

Total Time: 8 hours



Day 10

I actually put the lenses in in the morning this time. Usually itís afternoon till midnight or later. I kept them in until about 5pm. Still the normal dryness and itchy feeling. Rewetting drops still help. I do have to admit theyíve become a bit more tolerable. I donít know if itís my brain adjusting to the agony, or my eyeballs adjusting to the contacts. Time will tell I suppose. Either way, itís a slow process.

Total Time: 9 Hours



Day 11

Today was a long day. I worked for 22.5 hours today and kept the contacts in for most of it. The first few hours of wear are getting more tolerable. I still havenít been able to forget the contacts are in my eyes for more than a few seconds. Still dry and I can still feel the contacts on my eyeballs. I was able to tolerate it for a very long time today though.

Total Time: 18 Hours



Day 12

Since I wore the contacts for so long yesterday my eyes were very tired. I immediately began feeling the dryness and itchy feeling as soon as I put the contacts in. I was only able to tolerate it for a few hours today. My eyes just seemed to need more time to heal from the day before.

Total Time: 3 Hours



Day 13

Not a bad day. Not much changed either though. Still the irritating dry feeling all day. Although my eyes didnít really feel quite as tired taking them out this time.

Total Time: 9.5 Hours



Day 14

Same as day 13. Every once in awhile Iíll get a piece of dust or something in my eye and itíll torture the crap out of me. I actually have to take the contact out and clean it then put it back in and it goes away. Itís not horribly difficult though. I do feel like Iím progressing though. My eyes are beginning to desensitize.



Day 15

Itís eye doctor appointment day. He told me my left eye still had a little stigmatism in it and heís going to be adjusting the prescription. He also told me that I should not use my eye drops every 30 minutes like Iíve been doing and to try to hold off and use it 2 to 3 times per day. Too much rewetting drops could actually contribute to eye irritation. Thereís some other modifications that heís going to be making to the contacts as well, including some hydra something or the other thatís suppose to keep the contacts more moist and also something where they put tiny holes in the lenses to help oxygen get to the eyeball. Today wasnít as bad. I really think Iím starting to improve. I can still feel the contacts in my eyes but itís much more tolerable. I actually still have the contacts in while writing this and itís been a full day already. Oh the doctor also told me my eyelids are actually tighter than a lot of people, which could cause some irritation with the contacts until my lids desensitize. All in all I think Iím making some good progress. Canít wait to try out the new lenses heís ordering.

Total Time: 8 Hours and counting.



Day 16

Since my Dr. Appt Iíve really started noticing that my left contact lens is MUCH less clear than my right. I havenít gotten to the point to where I completely forget the contacts are in my eyes yet, and every once in a while a small piece of dust reminds me with avengeance that theyíre still there. I canít wait for the new contacts. I really think theyíre going to help a ton.



Day 17

Same as Day 16

Total Time: 8 Hours



Day 18

Seems like after about 8 hours I still just want to scratch my eyes out. Just when I think Iím making progress I hit a brick wall. I hope it gets better soon. And I really hope the new lenses will make a difference.



Day 19

It was a much better day today. The lenses felt very tolerable all day and I actually kept them in a while past my shift. I think right now the main problem is coming from that left lens that still has some stigmatism in it. So things look a little blurry and I get that halo effect when I shouldnít be. All in all, Iím back on the progression path.

Total Time: 11.5 Hours



Day 20

I still havenít gotten to the point where I can completely forget the contacts are in my eyes. But itís getting better. I can make it through a whole day without being completely miserable. Iím pretty confident that it will only continue getting better, especially once I get the new lenses. I will continue this log through day 30. I think by then Iíll have a pretty good grasp on how these lenses will feel for me in the long run and hopefully by then, you will have a pretty good concept of how long it takes to get used to these things, and the benefits that come with the initial sacrifice.



Day 21

Not a bad day. Although I can still feel the contacts in my eyes, I donít think that will ever change, itís becoming something that Iím just getting used too. Iím using the rewetting drops less, maybe once every few hours. The contacts are very tolerable.

Total Time: 13 Hours



Day 22

Itís the day before I get my new lenses. I just kind of needed a break today so I only wore them for a few hours. Not much has changed as far as comfort. Still can feel them in my eyes.

Total Time: 5 Hours



Day 23

Got my new lenses today. Thereís good news and thereís bad news. The good news is that the contacts feel much more tolerable

. I kept them in the whole day and then some with little issue. My eyes felt hydrated all day and I only used the rewetting drops 3 times the whole day. The bad news is that the left lens is still blurry. I think it must be something with my prescription. I go back to the doctor in 2 days so he can look at the contacts in my eyes. Other than that, the progression continues.



Day 24

It seems to be getting easier every day. The contacts are easy to put in and easy to take out thanks to the plunger. Every once in awhile a spec of dust or something will get in my eye which is like torture but is easily fixed by taking the contact out, rubbing it in some wetting solution, and putting it back in. Today I forgot the lenses were in my eyes a few times. The main thing thatís really holding back progression right now is the stigmatism in the left lens. I have a doctor appt tomorrow to get that looked at so I hope that can be fixed. Every day keeps getting better though. I really feel like these lenses are going to work for me.