Three surprising things I learned at the eye doctor

First up: Sunglasses aren't the only way to shield yourself

By Genevieve Monsma • MORE Beauty Director
My hat also keeps my eyes protected (and, nearly, my husband out of the picture)

I recently visited Susan Resnick, O.D., an optometrist here in Manhattan.

I went in to see her for a routine exam—and also to see about getting some new contact lenses. I'd been wearing bi-weekly Acuvue Oasys lenses for a few years, and, while I was mostly happy with them, I wanted to see if I might be a candidate for daily lenses instead. I'm a beauty editor after all and am routinely applying creams, concealers, shadows, and liners to my eye area—and a fair amount end up in my eye and (yuck) on my lenses. That just can't be sanitary.

So Dr. Resnick checked me out and agreed that Acuvue 1-Day TruEye would be more fitting and I'm comfortably wearing them as I type. But that wasn't the only thing I discovered in our meeting. Here, three other interesting "who-knews?" I thought you'd like to learn too:

1. Contact lenses provide UV protection. I have very light blue eyes so I'm almost never without sunglasses when I venture outside. I worry about sun damage to my eyes (and vision issues later in life) since the pale color provides so little protection. But Dr. Resnick assured me that the mere fact that I've worn contact lenses since the age of 13 meant my eyes had been well-protected from UV rays. At last, a benefit to being blind as a bat.

2. Your vision can improve with age. Say what? Yes, 'tis true. My left eye actually improved two "clicks" from the last time my prescription was measured. Dr. Resnick said this wasn't unheard of—that some people at around the age of 40 (a milestone I passed on November 2) will notice a slight improvement in eye sight. Perhaps it's the body's way of to building us up a bit before we become myopic?

3. It may be the solution, not the contacts, you can't tolerate. There are plenty of people who've resigned themselves to wearing glasses because they "just can't stand contacts." They complain about the dryness, the irritation, the general discomfort. But Dr. Resnick said a high percentage of those supposed intolerants are really feeling irritated by the solution in which we soak the contacts—not the lenses themselves. "That is one reason daily lenses have been so popular—they negate the need for a soaking solution and people who couldn't previously wear lenses, now can."

First Published November 22, 2011

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