Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Crying My Eye Out

I am going to tell you about a mistake I made this past week-end.

Have any of you ever used Clear Care to clean your contact lenses? It seems to do a superb job. It was recommended to me because I had been having trouble with my contacts being uncomfortable at times. I was also warned that if used like regular saline solutions, it would really sting. It contains hydrogen peroxide. Your contacts go in a little cage and down into a container with some of the solution. That little cage has special material that neutralizes the hydrogen peroxide when left to soak for at least 6 hours. Ok. I can do that.

When I was putting my first contact in Saturday morning I blinked and dropped it. I picked it up off the counter and reached for my saline solution to rinse it. You've probably guessed by now what I did. Yes, instead of rinsing it with the saline solution I rinsed it with the Clear Care solution. I even filled it with a drop of extra solution as my eyes were real dry. Without my contacts in, I just didn't realize I'd grabbed the wrong bottle.

The pain that followed is hard to describe. I'm not saying it was like childbirth, but it was quite intense! It took some time for me to be able to pry my open to get the contact out. I then tried to flush my eye with tap water. It would have been better to flush from the saline bottle I suppose. I've since read that another idea is to immediately step into the shower with your clothes on, holding the eye open for flushing. Another way is to fill a cup with water, bend over and place the affected eye over the cup then tip cup and face back together for flushing. I'm telling you all this in case you ever have need to flush your eye in a hurry. I just used the faucet along with a splashing technique. It was hard but gave me some relief anyway.

For awhile my eye was just stinging and very, very red. Later it felt like I had rocks under my eyelid. Light started bothering my eye as well. My clip-on sunglasses, even indoors, helped. Every blink hurt! It hurt to have my eye open and it hurt more to have it closed. That eye cried tears all day long! It was a wonder I didn't get dehydrated just from the water loss.


Perhaps I should have gone to the ER. If I had been advising someone else, that is what I would have told them. When I went online to see if there was more I could do I read about people getting corneal abrasions and even corneal ulcers from doing what I did. Nevertheless I decided to wait until Sunday morning to decide if I needed more care.

By 8:30 Saturday night I felt exhausted, I guess from the misery. I know, poor me. I took ibuprofen for the pain and later took a couple of Benadryl because I knew I couldn't otherwise sleep. That seemed to help.

By Sunday morning it was feeling better, still sore but most definitely better.  It is still not quite right but my vision has been fine and as long as it keeps improving I expect I will soon be ok.

I found out that this is a common mistake with Clear Care. Most people who use it also have the saline for rinsing. Unfortunately, the bottles are similar and without my contacts in, it was an easy boo boo to make. To be fair, though, Clear Care does have warnings on the bottle. It wasn't that I didn't know how it was to be used. I did know it could sting or burn but I must admit I didn't know it could cause any serious damage.



If you use Clear Care, my advice is to put that bottle in a totally different place from your saline. You likely use the Clear Care just at night when taking out the contacts so just put it in a cupboard or something far from the other. Don't leave the two bottles side by side. As for me, I got rid of mine.