I spend a hell of a lot of time in front of screens. It was probably around 4-5 years ago though that I hit ‘peak’ on my screen-time. When I was juggling a full time computer-based job, plus frantically blogging away in all my free time along with the inevitable iPhone addiction. Let’s just put it this way, I probably spent WAY more of my day with screens than away from them. I’d say life is a *little* more balanced now but that’s not to say I don’t still spend an awful lot of time gazing at screens of various size and distance and as a result I’ve had a few eye ‘issues’ for the past few years.
Post sponsored byJohnson & Johnson Vision.
The main one being having tired eyes, or where my eyes tend to get sore as I spend more time on screens. I had always assumed this was down to my prescription and generally needing some sort of help in the form of glasses or contacts. So back to the 4-5 years ago point I had my first eye test in years. My prescription was fairly small, meaning I could no doubt benefit from some form of eyewear type support, but I could also function fairly well without it.
So over the years I’ve had a bit of an ad-hoc relationship with wearing both glasses and contact lenses. Tending to treat them as ‘nice to have’ additions to my day to day rather than vital part of my everyday. A couple of months ago I was invited to trial the Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with Hydraluxe range of contact lenses. But not just as simple as trial and review, as part of this I would undertake a very thorough eye assessment and really get a handle on my overall eye health and work with the opticians to find the best possible all round solution for my eyes. I absolutely love the approach that’s been taken for this project, because frankly – eye health is too important to mess around with. I know, I sound like such an adult. But seriously, just trialling some lenses and being done is very much an individual thing. But overall, this experience has given me a much more in depth insight to overall eye health and why it’s important for everyone to invest in rather than just when a problem arises.
The first stage of the trial was to have an in depth eye assessment covering more than just reading letters of different sizes and being told what my prescription was. It included looking at the inside of my eyeball (sorry if the idea of this makes you squeamish – but it was fascinating) looking at the health of my optic nerve, how various glands were working, looking at my ability to see colour. All sorts. This all took place at The Eye Place on Fleet Street – I couldn’t recommend them highly enough – the staff manage to explain what they’re looking at in a really easy to understand but not simplified way. So I really understood what each test was looking at and what my results or images was indicating. Plus they record everything so if was to go back in a year or so they can track and improvement or change.
The end recommendation was a combination of the all-important contact lens prescription plus a couple of other steps I could take to help tackle the dry eye issue. All in all, a combination of ‘treatment’ essentially to help look after my eyes and help improve things over time.
As I mentioned above, my prescription is fairly low but I do have astigmatism. Meaning (in very very simplistic terms) my eyeballs aren’t a perfect round shape. Which in many ways isn’t a big deal, but it does mean that contact lens wise I need a specialist type to best ‘fit’ my eyes. Something they call ‘Toric’ lenses. The Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with Hydraluxe have lenses specifically designed for this and they have a few different options in the ‘toric lens’ category so it really is the opposite of ‘one size fits all’. The lenses themselves are 1-day wear. Meaning they’re daily disposables – they’re designed to work with your eyes own natural tear production. Specifically to help anyone with issues of dry, tired or uncomfortable eyes. That would be me then!
Once they had confirmed my prescription I was given a 10 day trial of lenses to test out and then follow up with further assessment to see how my eyes were feeling and reacting to wearing the lenses. Along with the other eye-care steps I had undertaken since the initial appointment then lens fitting. I didn’t wear the lenses every day, because I find that around 3-4 days a week was better suited to my lifestyle. Especially on my work from home days where I was in front of a screen all day or days in London.
The biggest difference with the lenses is how my eyes feel immediately on putting them in and how they feel as the day progresses. The best way to describe this I can think of is that it’s a bit like putting a refreshing gel mask on my eyeballs. I know, this might sound like crazy talk. But it’s like I’ve applied an immediately hydrating and refreshing treatment to my eyes that lasts as long as I wear the lenses. When eye dryness has been the ‘norm’ for me for so many years I can’t really describe how amazing this feels to me. By the end of the day my eyes don’t feel even close to how dry or tired they would on days without them.
When it comes to your own eye health and how my trial might be of use to you, because it’s one of those things that really is very individual. I can’t sit here and say ‘you should get these exact lenses’ because your eyes will be totally different. BUT what I can say is that these have worked wonders for me and will be something I’ll be using regularly going forward. For you, what I would recommend is to book in for your own assessment with your local Acuvue stockist for contact lenses and work with the professional to find out if the Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with Hydraluxe are the right fit for you. If they’re not, there’s a whole host of alternative options within the Acuvue range that might be suitable for you. Just as an example, completely independent of this trial I noticed that Ollie also uses Acuvue Oasys 2 weekly lenses (totally different prescription and his are the ‘with hydraclear plus’ variant). Just to show there’s a range and whilst these lenses have been wonderful so far for my specific prescription and concern, there are a lot of options out there to address whatever your own situation might be.
This might sound like a very ‘geeky’ thing to add in here, but I’ve really enjoyed the whole process of this trial. Really looking at my overall eye health has been very interesting and I feel like I have a much better understanding of both what my eyes need to stay healthy and what the lenses I’ve been trialing are doing to help my eyes day to day. I will be using these lenses going forward so I’d love to follow up in a few months how I’m getting on at that point. In particular as one of the things that was noted that even with the lenses, my eyes do dry out a little quicker than would be expected but this could very much be down to pregnancy as the hormones can have quite a significant impact on things like your eyes and they expect that to change in the months after having the baby. So it will be really interesting to see how this adjusts in a few months time.
I really hope this post is useful if you’re perhaps considering contact lenses, or perhaps find yourself having dry or tired eyes but weren’t sure what to do to help (when screen time can be a massive cause but almost impossible to cut down on when your job relies on it!).
Post sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision.
For Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe Technology please visit: For www.acuvue.co.uk/contact-lenses/acuvue-oasys-1-day
For further information on The Eye Place please visit: http://www.the-eye-place.co.uk/fleet-street