If you had the bad luck to start losing your vision only a century ago, your one and only option was to get a crudely made pair of glasses, and even that pair would set you back quite a bit. A few decades later, contact lenses started to make their appearance on the market, giving people with visual impairments another option - though nothing close to a cure.
Today, modern medical science has given people with poor vision laser vision correction, one of the safest and most effective procedures currently in use. However, this hasn’t stopped some people from falling back on glasses and contacts as their preferred vision correction tools. This can land them in some sticky situations, though, like these three scenarios where neither glasses nor contacts cut the mustard.
Showering and swimming
Your eye is mostly made of water and does fine on its own when you need to shower in the morning or if you’re taking a relaxing dip, but when you add glasses and contact lenses to the mix, any watery situation is sure to give them more trouble than they’re worth.
Cleaning your face and washing your hair is almost impossible with glasses on in the shower. If you happen to get your glasses wet, you run the risk of accelerating the rusting of any exposed metal parts. Though this may take a while, putting decaying metal on your face all day is far from the safest thing for your eyes. Salty ocean water is even more caustic and can affect the quality of your lenses, too.
If you happen to shower or swim with contacts in, though, you’ll be the one hurting. Unpurified water from showerheads or natural sources contain microscopic bacteria that are harmless to your digestive tract, but some organisms, like microbial keratitis, can adhere to the surface of contacts and no amount of blinking or rubbing will remove them. Even contact lens solution might not get rid of these organisms, and when you go to put the lenses back into your eyes, you’re essentially creating the perfect moist and warm conditions for a bacterial infection.
Of course, the unappealing alternative is to flail around for the right products in the shower or hope that the blurry outline you’re swimming for turns out to be the shore.
Late-night nature calls
Nobody likes to have their sleep interrupted by an urgent need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, but stumbling through a dark house in search of the bathroom may be even more frustrating for people with visual impairments.
Waking up to a pitch-black house makes it hard to do much of anything at first, but taking your contacts out of their solution and popping them in is pretty much out of the question if you’re just taking a stroll to the lavatory. However, if you didn’t put your glasses near the bed, you might be as blind as a bat as you’re groping around the room in search of your specs.
Also, if you’re sensing an impending emergency, you probably don’t have time for anything but running to the bathroom. Just hope you don’t run into any walls or furniture on the way.
Glasses and contact lenses are fairly mobile and you can easily take them with you on vacations and other planned trips, but what happens when a friend invites you to stay over at his or her place or you feel like taking a spontaneous day trip without packing first?
If you don’t have contact solution on hand, you’ll either have to head home and kill the energy of the moment, buy a brand-new container or bite the bullet and go without it – if you choose the last option, you could be in store for dirty lenses the next day or a pair that isn’t safe to use at all.
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Also available in/Également disponible en : French