Day 1- store visit
A year before my contact lenses trial, I had previously visited Vision Express as part of a check-up for the cycling team. Expecting to have perfect vision as I didn’t think I needed glasses, I was surprised to find out that I was short sighted. When I tried on the glasses I never realised how poor my vision was. Before I had just assumed everyone one saw things far away a bit blurry. I was wrong. It made driving and watching presentations in lectures much easier. Stupidly I had often just assumed that the projector was just out of focus!
Being a semi-professional cyclist with Godfrey Bikewear Race Team sponsored by Vision Express I lead a very active lifestyle, training every day, so was invited to have a 5 day trial period of using contact lenses. The trial would allow me to see how I managed them and if I found them more useful than the In Style glasses I have for sport and training. The optician assessed my eyes and worked out which contact lenses were most appropriate for my needs. I had never used contact lenses before and didn’t have a clue how to use them. He was very patient and taught me the correct method for putting the lens in. I wasn’t very good and found it difficult at first to take them out. The optometrist got me repeatedly putting them in and taking them out until I had mastered the right technique. He was very reassuring as I got tense when I found it difficult to remove the lenses. I didn’t know how they would feel. I thought they might be uncomfortable but I was wrong. Initially it felt strange because you can feel that there is something in your eye, but after a few minutes any discomfort was gone and they felt natural.
Day 2 - Gym and first day with them in
For my first proper day of using contact lenses, I decided to put them in before I had my gym session. It was a lot easier than I expected to put them in without any guidance. I did have a little trouble, one of the lens appeared dirty after I handled it too much, but I just binned it and opened a fresh new one – simple. During the gym session I usually don’t wear my glasses because they can fall off, get put down, get lost and generally distract me from the objective of my training session. Having sharp vision made the exercises which require me to look at the clock easier because usually I’m straining my eyes to see how much time has passed. Due to the fact that it was my first extended period using them, my eyes did feel a little irritated but I’d imagine that in time my eyes will get used to lenses. Taking them out was a lot easier than putting them in, they came out quite straightforwardly. When I did have them in mind, I was staring intently into mirror checking out the lens in my eye – I don’t know what people thought I was doing!
Day 3 – First time cycling with the Lenses in
By day 3 I was feeling quite confident using my lenses, so for the first time I wore them whilst cycling. They were easier to put in in this time. I’d finally got the knack! I just need to remember to not put them in inside out! I don’t usually wear glasses when cycling because I’m nervous that they would fall off, get damaged and most importantly how would I be able to wear my team issue Oakley sunglasses if I already had my prescription glasses on!? Unlike when I was in the gym, I quickly forgot I had them in as they weren’t as unusual. I think my eyes maybe starting to get used to it. I wear my glasses mainly for driving so it was good to have the same sharp vision on the bike which I don’t typically have. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take them out then they would just be stuck in but I was just being over agitated. Taking them out like putting them in was the easiest it had been. I managed to take them out first or second try. I’m practicable a pro now.
Day 4 – Strength and Conditioning Session with Maddie from Physio in the Park
The forecast was for heavy rain all day and because we had already had a few sessions in the past week where it had rained, we didn’t fancy another 5 hours again in the rain at 4 degrees Celsius. Even our team can turn into fair weather cyclist after too much rain. The team had organised our Team Physio, Maddie, from Physio in the Park took walk though us a new strength and conditioning session. They lens were again easy to put in and they were useful for the drive up to Spoke and co where the session was being held. The session was fun; I hardly remembered I had them in.
Day 5 – Melton Olympic Endurance Ride
This would be the longest I would have my contact lenses in for during my 5 day trial. They ride was 5 hours moving time with a stop for food at a café. They again work really well with my team issue Oakley sunglasses. Even late in the day after I had got back, eaten, cleaned my bike and had a quick rest, they still worked seamlessly.
Overall the contact lenses made a real difference in my very active lifestyle. It was very beneficial not to have to settle for inferior vision because of the practicalities of glasses. They were not nearly as difficult as I thought they would be to put in, and they were so comfortable in the end, that I actually forgot they were there. I’d definitely recommend giving contact lenses a try as an alternative to glasses, especially if you lead an active lifestyle like me. They made such a difference to my week and I won’t be turning back!
Want to try contact lenses for free? Read more about the Vision Express free 5 day trial here.