Patience, Persistence And a Full Toolbox
Confused by her symptoms, this patient finally found an eyecare practitioner who sorted them out and worked with her to find the best contact lenses.
By Dana Buhs, Fairview Heights, Ill.
I had good vision all my life, so I was surprised when I became farsighted after I had my first child. I tried wearing eyeglasses, but they were always in the way. I didn't like the way they looked, and they certainly didn't suit my active lifestyle as a new mom and a sales assistant at a brokerage firm.
I put up with eyeglasses for a year until I decided to try contact lenses. I still wasn't happy, even after trying several different lenses. I had trouble focusing and looking between papers and the computer screen at work. But the worst problem was a burning sensation in my eyes.
Most of the symptoms were annoying, but the burning sensation was a real problem. I went from doctor to doctor, buying a 1-month supply of contact lenses. If I didn't like the lenses, I never went back to that doctor. None of the doctors I saw became invested in my case. One doctor even said, "Your eyes are a little dry," but he didn't offer a remedy. By the time I saw Dr. Kelly Kerksick, my eyes were burning constantly.
I went from doctor to doctor, buying a 1-month supply of contact lenses. If I didn't like the lenses, I never went back to that doctor.
AT FIRST, SHE DIDN'T SUCCEED
The first time I saw Dr. Kerksick, I was confused about my burning eyes. I thought I was having a reaction to my makeup or maybe eye allergies were the problem. After completing some tests, Dr. Kerksick suggested punctal plugs and contact lenses made from a special material for dry eyes. Right from the start, she said, "If you're not satisfied with how your eyes feel, don't live with it. Keep coming back until we get it right."
I did have more tears and less burning with the punctal plugs, but I wasn't crazy about the contact lenses. They were much better than any lens I'd tried before, but they still weren't right. I used a lot of rewetting drops, and I could wear my lenses for only a short time each day. Also, they were supposed to last 2 weeks, but they became very uncomfortable after 1 week. I definitely needed to try a different kind of contact lens.
SHE TRIED AGAIN
Next, Dr. Kerksick prescribed silicone hydrogel contact lenses, which helped enormously. Now, I apply them at 8 a.m. and forget I'm wearing them. I still use rewetting drops about once a day, but I don't have that burning "sand-in-the-eyes" feeling anymore. My night vision also improved.
The silicone hydrogel lenses don't wear out too quickly, either. They last 1 month, just like they should. I have to mark my calendar to remind myself to change to a new pair. These lenses are easy to apply, too. They go right on my eyes the first try no sticking to my finger and they tear less easily than other lenses.
I feel like I've finally found the convenient contact lenses I was looking for all along. I love these lenses.