Contact Lenses on the Playa

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Contact Lenses on the Playa

Postby Gardenfaerie » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:23 pm

I am wondering if I will have problems with my contact lenses due to the dust and dry air. Any advice or thoughts on this? :roll:
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Postby jkisha » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:31 pm

I wear them with no problem. I bring extras jus in case, and lots of solution.
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Postby ConnieH » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:07 pm

At my first burn, I had a horrible time with my contacts, had to take them out and go blind or wear my ugly glasses after the first day. The past 2 years I didn't have nearly as much trouble and was able to wear my contacts all week. The improvement could have been because of any number of factors: I switched lense brands, less overall dust storms, a more dust-proof sleeping arrangement, I also stopped taking the lenses out at night - left them in all week. YMMV - I think it depends on a lot of personal factors, how sensitive your eyes are to dryness, what type of lenses you wear, how dusty it is, how often you wear your goggles, etc., etc. Like jkisha said, bring extra lenses, solution and backup glasses, and you'll be fine :) Pack a little bottle of solution or artificial tears in your backpack if your eyes get dry when out and about, sometimes just a little squirt in the eye makes them feel much better.
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Postby lucky420 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:32 pm

my daughter wears soft contacts and had no problem with them at BRC. I have to wear the hard/rigid contacts. I didn't even attempt to try and wear them :(
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Postby Savannah » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:32 pm

I actually finally got glasses for the first time since 16 years of age, because I was worried that my luck would run out one day on the playa--but my luck (as a soft lense disposable wearer) continues to hold. I bring the specs every time, just in case.

I bring spare a lot of spare contacts and solution (one big bottle and a couple of little ones--they'll get used up if I don't crack them open or give them away as gifts.) Also, a spare lense case and few tiny bottles of artificial tears and (separately) redness reliever, because if you use redness reliever when you only need tears, your eyes allegedly get dependent on it. Heh.

I hate how my eyes feel when I sleep with them in, so I wash my hands and remove the lenses every night. If you can't wash your hands to your satisfaction, might be better to sleep with them in, though, and handle it the next day. :)

I never had any trouble out there but my campmate did, and had to wear her glasses for a few days.
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:59 pm

six years of contacts (soft permeable) on the playa and no problems whatsoever
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Postby ygmir » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:38 pm

lots of drops, and spares, as well as a spare pair if glasses, if, your eyes happen to get to irritated.
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Postby phil » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:35 am

I've worn hard contacts since 1965, and I've always worn my contacts at Burning Man. If there's a dust storm, the contacts get dusty and hurt, so I take them out. Goggles work, so if I remember my goggles in the storm, no problem. Other than that, just normal days with contacts.

Your mileage will vary. Bring an extra pair of contacts and bring glasses as a back up.
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Postby lucky420 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:15 am

good to know phil. I am getting a new pair of hard contacts soon so I think I will take a chance and bring my old ones out and see how I do out there with them...
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Postby Bounce530 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:17 am

I leave my daily disposables in all week. I think taking them out would just get them dirtier. I do bring lots of spares, JiC, but haven't have an issue yet, other then nasty eye boogers in the mornings.
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Postby Dust Becomes You » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:24 pm

those little one-shot eye drops rock!
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Postby jkisha » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:35 pm

Dust Becomes You wrote:those little one-shot eye drops rock!
I bring those too, though I'm sure some would worry about the MOOP factor.
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Postby Fufa » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:09 pm

I was worried about my contacts when I went to my first burn last year. I wear monthly soft lenses, so I spoke to the contact specialist at my optometrist's and he got me trial packs of 2 different brands of daily soft lenses. They worked fantastically! Put them on in the tent with clean hands in the morning, wear all day long, take them out right before bed and throw in the trash. And because they were fresh everyday no dryness or dusty lens issues. Also, the free trial packs were good for a total of 10 days, so I even have a few extras left over for this year! I brought 2 sets of my monthlies just in case the trial lenses buggered my eyes though, but that didn't happen :)

If you want to try something new, try snagging some trial packs next time you're at your eye doc's. Telling long tales about horrendous dust storms might help, I think my specialist though I was going to the Sahara to dig up mummies by the time I was finished.
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Postby shroom » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:43 am

I had sunglasses and goggles with me at all times. Bottles of eye drops with me and at camp, and I took mine out when I went to bed. No problems at all.
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Postby Rilopie » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:15 pm

Fufa - That is exactly what I plan on doing this year.
Wake up, contacts in - sleepy time, out they go. I think that trying to clean those little buggers every time would drive me crazy.
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Postby TomServo » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:26 pm

phil says goggles! and I wholeheartedly agree! I wear disposables with no problem, BUT you need to have a good pair of goggles. welding supply stores have the best!
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Postby Fufa » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:21 pm

Rilopie - Yah, I was not prepared to waste 15 min in the morning rinsing and rubbing dirty lenses multiple times until they "appeared" clean. Saved me quite the hassle. Also, didn't feel bad if I got a face-full of dust and had to chuck a pair halfway through the day.
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Postby Irreverent Moniker » Tue May 24, 2011 4:22 pm

I wore my contacts at the last burn and pretty much spent the whole time putting eye drops in. It was ok during the day when I could justify them with the use of sweet sunglasses and goggles. But at night my vision suffered and things were constantly blurry if I didn't put drops in.

This year I'm stocking up on cheap prescription sunglasses so I'll wear them mostly, and have contacts as a back up.
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Postby HandJamMasterC » Tue May 24, 2011 4:47 pm

I've worn soft lenses out there for 3 years now. The only problems I've had were in dust storms without my googles - dusty dry eyes!! Bring googles with you at all times and you will be fine !!!
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Postby gypsy68 » Wed May 25, 2011 8:21 am

I wear the month long disposables. I have not had a problem with them at all. My eyes also tend to be on the dry side, so I make sure to carry saline salution with me at all times. Having a good pair of sunglasses, and goggles also help. And yes, I still bring back up contacts, and my glasses.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed May 25, 2011 9:31 am

The first two times I went, my lenses were of the type that I could sleep in, and the dust was not as bad.

Last burn, I didn't have a good secure clean area to change out my lenses - and I had the kind of contacts that you can't leave in over night. So I fell back on my glasses.

I'd suggest bringing your specs with you in case you have to fall back on those - and check that your dust goggles fit over them.
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Postby Bounce530 » Wed May 25, 2011 9:44 am

I've been trying this B&L Bio-True Solution for the last week, and give it 2 thumbs up. Deff getting a bottle to toss into the 'Burning Box' instead of the crappy white bottle, what's ever on sale solution.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed May 25, 2011 11:21 am

My eye doc recommended Systane drops.
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Hard lenses

Postby nonuniform » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:05 pm

I wear my gas permeable hard lenses all day and all night while on the playa. Oddly, I have more problems with dry eyes while working in SF than I do in the arid conditions on the playa.

Goggles are essential. But totally manageable.

I blame it all on computers. Another odd thing, my near vision improves over the course of the week. Again. Computers. Fuck. Your. Eyes.
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Postby Savannah » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:55 pm

I might try the Systane, too, then.

I'm also a new fan of "Thera Tears" (preservative-free) artificial tears. They're not cheap ($8.49 at Target for 0.5 oz, a slightly more economical $12 for 1 oz.) They feel so much better than any other brand I've tried so far. I wonder if it's even wise to buy the larger size unless one is using it constantly, however. The missing preservatives, and whatnot.

(I've had dryer eyes since my eye doctor urged me to switch my contact lense brand . . . he's kind of a dismissive jerk anyway, so to hell with him. Time for a new doctor.)
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Postby Fufa » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:20 pm

Savannah wrote: I wonder if it's even wise to buy the larger size unless one is using it constantly, however. The missing preservatives, and whatnot.


Go with the smaller size. A friend of mine is a pharmacy tech, and he told me that once you open the cap off eye drops they expire within two weeks! The expiry date on the side of the bottle only applies to unopened bottles. Apparently, after they've been opened for 2 weeks they're too contaminated with bacteria to work that well. After I learned that I started buying the mini travel-size visine tears (6mL) so I buy new ones more often.
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Postby Savannah » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:53 pm

Thanks! Thus reinforced, might go with a box of 32 "single serving" uses of the preservative-free Thera Tears. Then I can share. :D (I don't like to pass a bottle around.)

(I already have 2 mini Visine redness relievers, but I only want to use them when my eyes are red, not dry.)
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Postby jkisha » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:47 pm

Savannah wrote:Thanks! Thus reinforced, might go with a box of 32 "single serving" uses of the preservative-free Thera Tears. Then I can share. :D (I don't like to pass a bottle around.)

(I already have 2 mini Visine redness relievers, but I only want to use them when my eyes are red, not dry.)

Make sure you read the instructions. Most of those get the red out products are not supposed to be used while wearing contacts.
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Postby LittleJack » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:37 am

My biggest issue with contacts (I wear the one-day disposables) is getting my hands clean in the morning. I've made a sink for this year, so that should help, I think. I figure a rinse with a diluted vinegar solution followed by a wash with Dr. Bronner's ought to get my hands fairly clean.

Hmm, as I write this I just realized that the spearmint or peppermint or whatever kind of mint they use in the soap might sting a bit. Perhaps I'll go with the almond soap instead.
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Postby Fufa » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:55 pm

As long as you rinse your hands very well after soaping, I find it doesn't matter what soap I used in the first place.

Though I use the almond scented one as my regular shampoo and it smells heavenly! :D
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