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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

All About My Gas Permeable (Hard) Contact Lenses! (And My Experiences With Just About Every Type of Contact Lens There Is)

(disclaimer: i know this is quite a long post, so i have bolded the topics of what i talk about in each section, i just decided to write a very detailed post because I wish I had found one like this that was super informative so read what you like! you don't have to read it all!)

Hello everybody! Today I thought I'd do a different kind of post, a more informative kind...that I've had troubles with for years and years and years (even though I'm only 18) and that you may have guessed it.....CONTACT LENSES

Yes..problems for the visually impaired...aka me. It could be worse, because I'm not totally blind without them, if i don't need to read anything or don't have any classes where I need to be able to see the board I can get away with not wearing them...but most days I need them.

What Hard Contacts Are
So as you can tell from the title, I now wear hard contact lenses or Gas Permeable (GP's) as some of you may be more familiar with that name. If you ask anyone older they'll know what I'm talking about as the soft contacts most people can wear today haven't been around for a while. The best way I can describe hard contacts are they are smaller, only big enough to cover your pupil (the black part of your eye) whereas soft contacts are large enough to cover past the iris (the colored part). Also, you know how soft contacts can flip themselves inside out (and you can put them in your eye backwards? OUCH!) hard contacts are rigid...they dont move (but yes this means you can break or scratch them! but only with lots of force) They are also colored so that if you drop them somewhere you can find them easily (not for cosmetic use...they don't change my eye color at fact they usually tint them to match the color of your eye...but mine are grey and they don't do a grey tint lol)

My Experiences With Soft Contacts
Now eye doctors never start you off straight away with hard contacts, as they are a pain to get used to (it feels like theres something scratching at the inside of your eyelids at first...just like how your mouth has to get used to braces...your eyes have to get used to these) and the discomfort causes a lot of people to give up on them. So when i was younger i wore glasses and then around 6th or 7th grade I started wearing around 10 or 11. They were perfectly fine for a while...and then around sophomore year in high school I would put my contacts in and my eyes would turn bright red, water like no other, and then close up and not want to let me get the pesky contact out to ease the pain. 

I suffered with this for a while as I thought oh its probably just something like my solution...or the brand of contacts or something along those lines because my eyes have been perfectly happy with them for around four years. So I tried just about every brand of contact solution, eye drops, contact brands, etc and my eyes still hated me. So I gave up on contacts and would just sit close to the board in high school because the seats weren't too far away.

Then when I got to college, some of the classrooms are freaking HUGE and I couldn't see anything at all without my glasses...and the more i wore my glasses the worse it seemed my vision got. So my dad finally recommended that I try hard contacts as that's what he wears and we have similar eyes and both have a slight astigmatism (basically the surface of your eye is a little wavy instead of a smooth curve is how my eye doctor explained it to me)

My Mission to Get Hard Contacts
So little ol' me called up my eye doc and told him I wanted hard contacts and made an appointment with him. My eye doc is honestly the nicest most understanding person in the world and I will never switch no matter what part of the world I end up in I love him. So he told me all the pros and cons of having them and warned me about the initial discomfort and just how different they are compared to soft lenses...hard lenses are a whole different ballpark. So I got my vision checked and all that jazz, contacts ordered, and then came back for my second appointment to actually get the contacts

First Experiences With Hard Contacts
so, envision me, at the eye doctor, trying to put in these contacts. now when i had soft lenses I'd just shove them into my eye and they'd adjust...hard lenses you have to put them exactly where you want took me about 15 tries...because you basically have to watch your finger coming at your eye and that is quite a difficult thing to do. after i got them in, I couldn't stop blinking, they felt SO ANNOYING and every time i blinked they would readjust because there's a tear layer that forms between your eye and the contacts and when you blink it gets pushed out, and then your eye opens and it reforms....weirdest feeling ever. Then when it was time to take them out I couldn't get them out using the easiest technique ever. You basically pull the corner of your eye really tight and blink and they pop out...but my eyes hadnt formed the right shape to do that. SO it was a long road (the long and winding roaddd.....)

How I Feel Now About Hard Lenses
I absolutely adore them, they don't bother my eyes, and I can wear them for long periods of time and my vision is absolutely perfect, way better than it would ever get with glasses.

the contact makes my iris super shiny and reflective...but otherwise you can't even tell they are there

Benefits of Hard Lenses
-Hard lenses are smaller, and therefore there is less contact to irritate my eyes
-soft contacts have lots of pores in them and absorb all the dirt and gunk from the air, your makeup, etc, hard contacts don't therefore they irritate your eyes less
-they last for years and years as long as your prescription doesn't change and are cheaper in the long run
-since the lens is rigid, your eyes form to the lens and they can actually improve your vision over time and help people with astigmatisms
-they actually let more oxygen to your eye and allow it to breathe better
*keep in mind when people are getting used to these contacts the discomfort they feel is caused by the contact rubbing against your eyelid...because it is a thicker piece of plastic in your eye, it's not actually irritating your eyes*

-they take a day or two of discomfort to get used to
-you have to actually clean them with special soap every night rather than just popping them into solution
-you CANNOT sleep in them under any circumstances
-if you sleep in them or do some major eye rubbing you can actually scratch your cornea

Putting In and Taking Out Hard Lenses
to put them in, you have to look straight ahead, what I do is i stare at myself in the mirror with the opposite eye (if i'm putting it in my left eye I stare at the mirror with my right) and unless you can do some crazy crosseyed things this will force your other eye to stay looking straight ahead 
(i know a giant finger and lens coming straight at your eye is not the most pleasant feeling)

to take them out (this will work after about a week or two of wearing them..just keep trying! it didn't work for me in the beginning because my eye hadn't taken the shape of the contact lens yet)
what you do is you pull on the corner of your eye and slowly blink, but blink if you are trying to squeeze the contact out of your eye. basically what this does is your eyelid grabs the edge of the lens and when you squeeze your eyes it breaks the seal between your contact and your eye (this is the reason it wont really work in the beginning -or it didnt for me anyways- because your eye is still figuring out how to form to the shape of the lens and make that seal) the beginning i ended up having to use the creepy little suction cup thing they gave me

L to R: Conditioning Solution, Saline Solution, Enzyme Cleaner, Cleaner
How to Clean Hard Lenses
-take them out of your eye
-put the plug in the sink or if you don't have a sink that plugs put paper towel in the sink over the drain
-put one of the contacts in your palm and add one or two drops of the red solution (the cap is red as in DO NOT PUT THIS IN YOUR EYE WARNING)
-rub the contact on both sides for a little bit to loosen all the dirt
-rinse well with a saline solution (or water if you must...but sometimes there are toxins and chemicals in sink water and saline solution is super cheap for giant bottles!!!)
-put back into the case and add the conditioning solution

-i use an enzyme cleaner once every two weeks or removes the buildup on your lenses and they feel SO NICE when you wear them again. 

my one tip for hard contact wearers is EYE DROPS EYE DROPS EYE DROPS, they are a life saver. the best kind say "rewetting drops" and be careful not to buy the ones for like super dry eyes because they will goop up on the lenses...make sure the eye drops are ok for contacts

also if you wear makeup, apply it AFTER you put in your contacts, and then take your contacts out BEFORE you take your makeup off. it prevents getting stuff in your eyes and then also prevents your eyes from getting scratched or contact lenses hurt

i truly hope this helps anyone, because from my sensitive eyes to yours, it's no fun having to wear glasses everywhere and I had just about given up on contacts. then when I was researching hard contacts (gas permeable lenses) I wished that there had been a post somewhere like this to help me

if this helps even one person I'll be happy :)


  1. I don't need eye contacts, but it was really interesting to read about anyway, (incase I one day need contacts :p ) I'm glad you found something that worked well for you! :D I'm following you now, would love if you followed me back xx

    1. well im glad you managed to get through this post it was doozy! lol yeah ill go look at your blog right now for sure! welcome :)

    2. I have to wear these all day (except night) can I wear makeup like mascara and pencil eyeliner on my waterline?

    3. mascara is fine (i'd go with waterproof in case you want to put eyedrops in) but i'd probably stay away from eyeliner on the waterline

    4. Thanks your awesome!!

  2. Hey! Thanks for following, I'm now following you as well! :) I had to check out this post when I saw it because I had never heard of hard lenses. I have been wearing soft contacts for YEARS so this was very interesting!

    1. well if your eyes ever turn on you like mine did now you know of another option! haha jk. these are like the super oldschool lenses :)

  3. How long did it take you to get used to them? Have you gotten to a point where you aren't aware of them at all or do you always kind of feel them? You should do a Youtube video about how to put them in, take them out and other tips for new hard contact wearers.

    1. it took a few days for the hard lenses...when I wore soft lenses that only took like a day...but I think it was also easier to get used to the hard contacts because I'd worn contacts in the past. I can always kind of notice them in my eyes because they are so strange...they sit on a tear layer and when you blink it gets refreshed so they move a tiny I always notice them...its funny though it's like my eyes feel more awake with them..and as soon as i take them out i feel sleepy...but they aren't painful or anything...just kind of there

  4. I enjoyed reading your post, Stephanie! GP contact lenses are made of durable plastic material, which means that it's not really that hard. It is placed between the obsolete hard contact lenses and soft lenses.

    Augusta Tippins

  5. Just wondering, how long did it take you to get used to them? I've had them for about 2 months but my eyes still hurt with them in.

  6. I am having the same problem you had. The soft lenses just are NOT working for me. My eyes feel irritated and red after about 3 to 4 hours of wearing them. I am contemplating trying GP contacts. Your post was very helpful :-)

  7. Thank you for posting this! I've had the same problem with soft contacts...I've worn them since 7th grade...and now that I'm in my 30's all of a sudden my eyes hate me for putting them in! I ordered hard contacts and today is my second day of TRYING to wear them (and my goal is to keep them in for 3 will be a miracle if I make it that long!). They are driving me crazy by sliding all over my eye when I blink (not to mention the discomfort)! UGH! I'm so glad to hear it will get better and DO have a great eye doc! I learned way more from you than I did from my eye doc! Definitely don't let that guy go! I wish my doc would have given me the plunger thingy....I try to do the blink thing and it slides to the whites of my eye and I end up having to dig it out. It's a lot harder to dig out than a soft contact lens was, that's for sure! Anyway...after reading your post I am hopeful...thank you bunches!!

  8. The right makeup will highlight your eyes and bring out your inner personality while maintaining a glamorous persona. Cheap Freshlook Contacts

  9. Hey do I put in my contacts before or after I apply makeup? Any basic makeup ideas?? (:

  10. Check out this website. My daughters have been wearing these hard lenses for years and love them. They wear them at night and don't have to deal withdaily discomfort or losing a contact while they are out. They wear them 2 nights on 1 night off and have 20/20 vision during the day! They also work as retainers so your eyesight doesn't get worse. The initial visit & contacts are expensive but soooo worth it! Would recommend for any contact wearer! Good luck!

  11. 2 questions. Do you go in swimming pools with them in (eyes closed if underwater)? Also, How about amusement parks, Do you wear them on roller coasters?

  12. Dana Biona Dela CruzSeptember 9, 2013 at 7:02 AM

    I'm wearing RGPs but I notice as time goes by my eyes are getting blurry...

  13. You have a great review Miss Stephanie, hopefully this brand is also available here in our place cause I really wanna try this too! I used contact lenses from Manhattan eye doctors, I love their contact lenses but I also want to try contact lenses reviews from online.

  14. I've been wearing gas permeable contacts for many years. Lately I've had trouble finding Lobob sterile Cleaning solution for them. What do you use for a cleaner?

  15. Best testimonial about wearing hard lenses that I have read yet! Very helpful! I am 38 yrs old and have been wearing soft contacts for 24 years! I had gone in for LASIK evaluation and Dr said my cornea is too irregular and he would not do the surgery. 😞 Big bummer for me... And then he recommended I get a hard contact lens! So I have one hard lens and just got it yesterday. Not very comfortable right now, but hopeful I will adjust... I will try to wear them more each day. Thanks again for the thorough report of your experience! Very very helpful, Stephanie!

  16. Hi
    i Really have a major question
    I wanted to know
    I also wear RGP lens too
    what can I do about the redness of my eyes :(
    i hate it but I love the fact that I can see so much better with them

  17. I do not know if you got my previous post but did you find that your eyes were constantly red???
    any recommendations for me
    i am constantly finding that my eyes are blood shot red by the end of the day. Its truly embarassing

  18. Very well said. These tips are really amazing. I appreciate
    it for sharing them.

    Keep posting nice information.

  19. Heather WorthingtonDecember 1, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Thank you so much for this! I have been and still am struggling with my hard contacts. It's mostly putting them in and taking them out that I struggle with. Your post helped me a lot! Thanks!

  20. You're awesome! I was just put into RGPs and reading this convinced me to stick with them despite the initial pain and suffering. Totally worth it, thank you!!!


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