Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Contact lenses - possibly one of the best (non) accessories of all.

Just so that you know, I wrote this review while participating in an influencer campaign by Mumsnet on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Having said that, my main motivation for writing this post was to apologise to our eldest for my lack of parenting skills (a distinct disadvantage of being the eldest is that you are the practice run and whilst I have told her already that I am sorry, if I get run over by a bus tomorrow at least she will be able to read this) to share my experiences (so that others can avoid making the same mistake) and to give our eldest an extra Christmas treat by way of slight compensation for my ineptitude.

Dear Flossie,

I am so very sorry for not listening to you sooner when, at age 10, you said that you couldn't read the blackboard at school. I know that it wasn't until you moved to secondary school and they gave you an eye test, telling you that you needed to go to the optician pretty pronto, that I finally acted on it. You see, Dad and I have really good vision and I just never imagined that you would have problems with yours. It just wasn't on my radar.

When I spoke to you last night about wearing contacts, you said to me: "When I asked you if I could wear them, you said NO straight away." I have been thinking about that all day, feeling even more guilty than I did for not taking you to the opticians immediately. Then you walked out from school with one of your shoes in your hands, dripping wet from where you had dropped it in the swimming pool and then I remembered why it was that I said no in the first place. You are, shall we say, ever so slightly, accident prone. Tripping over your own shadow probably rated up there with the best of them. You are also slightly forgetful at times, which is why you have two pairs of specs - both of which I seem to recall you left at home this morning.

Whilst you don't mind wearing your glasses (I think that you look beautiful in them) now that you also wear contacts, it has definitely made things easier for you. After some practise at putting them in, you haven't had any problems at all. You can now go to parties, to the cinema, ice-skating, for days out and to see concerts without needing your glasses - and at least once contacts are in, they stay there. You wearing contacts has even enabled us to help your friends out when they have travelled miles to hockey matches at school on a Saturday morning without their contacts and they have sent out an SOS requesting an emergency pair.

Whilst you never complain, and you appreciate all the good in your life, I hate to see you struggling to read things without the help of your lenses and how, when you put them in you say, "Ooooh, it is like someone has cleaned my eyes and I can see again." I also hate it that sometimes you're not sure who is waving to you and how you worry that people will think that you are rude for not waving back. That makes me sad and I would happily trade my vision for yours - although I'm not entirely convinced that mine is quite as good as it was!

Anyway Floss, I figured it was worth writing this post and receiving payment for it as I can give it to you and you can have a little treat* yourself.  Also, if it helps any other parent to avoid the mistake I made, that would be really good. And just because your child drops their shoe into a swimming pool (at the age of nearly 15) that doesn't mean that they wouldn't be able to cope with contact lenses.


*Flo, if you want anything from Hollister please don't ask me to go in with you as I can't see anything in there and I fall over things. 

In writing this post, this is what I also discovered;

  • Short sightedness typically develops around 8 years of age and worsens through the teen years (ooops, missed that one!)

  • Many parents think that contact lenses are not a viable alternative for their children. However, a growing body of research in children’s vision correction continues to demonstrate that contact lenses provide significant benefits to children beyond correcting their vision; 

  • Studies have shown that children who wear contact lenses feel better about their physical appearance, athletic ability and social acceptance compared with children who wear glasses. These children also report greater comfort with peer perception and higher satisfaction when engaging in social activities. Contact lenses can even help to improve academic confidence, especially among children who are unhappy with their glasses and may not regularly wear them at school or to study;
  • Age is one factor in determining whether a child is a good candidate for contacts, but should not be the only one. Studies show that some children as young as 8 years of age who need vision correction are capable of wearing and caring for their contact lenses.