Eye Errors with Iris Botcher #1

Eye Errors with Iris Botcher #1

By Iris Botcher

Welcome to the first installment of Eye Errors. Have you ever heard the saying, "Some people exist to serve as a warning to others"? Probably not; I may have just made it up. However, that doesn't make it any less true. My unfortunate task is to teach by example – by bad example. One way to learn what you should do, as far as I can figure, is to cover … unwise decisions your fellow human beings have made with their eyes.

I've gathered a few examples to get going, but I'm definitely going to need your help. If you or someone you know has ever done something… less than brilliant involving your eyes or contact lenses, please contact me and tell your story. I promise I'll be nice.

Dear Iris,

I was at a backyard barbeque once, and one of my contacts started to dry out. It was really bothering me, so I decided to take it out and rewet it. Unfortunately, I didn't have any contact solution on hand, so I spit up a bit on the lens and put it back in my eye. It hurt something fierce, so I decided to put it in my mouth for safekeeping until I could find a cup of water or something to put the thing in. Long story short, I ate my contact by mistake. Am I genius or what?

Pavlov's Party Animal

Dear Pavlov,

While I cannot vouch for your genius, you more than make up for it with your social graces. I can only imagine the faces of your fellow guests as you expectorated in your hand. At this point, the best I can hope is that you don't mean "spit up" the same way an infant would.

I assume you've heard the phrase, "Here's spit in your eye." Diligent research has shown, however, that this phrase is intended more as an insult than an actual eye care suggestion. Nor, as it turns out, is it recommended that you actually rub salt in your wounds.

Saliva is not a substitute for contact lens solution. Not only is the mouth full of disgusting bacteria (some mouths more than others), but saliva itself is a foul cocktail you definitely do not wish to be rubbing in your eyes, due to an increased risk of infection. Also, by all accounts, the water you were looking for is as bad as saliva, because of the various germs that are in water sources.

Contact lens solutions are formulated to match your eyes' natural lubricants (your tears) and to care for your contact lenses. Water or saliva should never be used on contact lenses for any reason. One never knows when one's lenses might start acting up, so it is in your best interest to always carry around a small bottle of contact lens solution or rewetting drops.

Dear Ms. Botcher,

I wear prescription contact lenses regularly, but I've always considered getting colored lenses. I held off, because I didn't want to spend the extra money on something I might not end up liking. At one point, though, a friend gave me a "tip." She said that if I soaked my regular lenses in food coloring, I could save money by making my own colored lenses. Eventually, I tried it, and though it gave me the green eyes I wanted, it also gave me a bad eye infection. After everything I spent on eye medicine and a new pair of lenses, my friend's money-saving tip ending up costing me!

Pink-Eyed and Red-Faced

Dear Red-Faced,

Dyeing contact lenses is pretty stupid. And it probably could have ended costing you much, much more. You could have had a corneal ulcer and even permanent damage from scarring.

And I know what you're thinking: We put food coloring in our bodies all the time. The bottle of (ahem) "all-natural" tea I just finished was chock-full of Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 1, and I lived to tell the tale. However, our digestive systems are drastically different than our eyes.

Eyes are sensitive, which is why we have to be extremely careful about contact lenses! That is why it is vital to keep them clean. Don't soak lenses in the same things you use to make Easter Eggs!

Remember, the beauty of the irises comes from their complexity – the subtle blend of colors and patterns. You should always use contact lens solutions to care for your lenses and always follow directions for use. Keeping your eyes healthy will enhance their beauty.

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