EB gets up close and personal with three dedicated contact lens wearers—a mom, a dad, and a preteen

For reasons ranging from professional care to price and convenience, three committed contact lens wearers dish on why they won’t give up their contacts. No matter what.

And they’re not alone. For the 12 months ending September 2016, The Vision Council reports that 16% of American adults wore contact lenses.

One result? Contact lens sales currently account for 30% of gross revenue in the typical optometric practice, reports Eyecare Business’s 2016 Contact Lens Virtual Focus Group Study.

Where do most wearers purchase their lenses? According to a Multi-sponsor Survey’s Gallup Study, 42% buy from their optometrist, 32% from a chain or discount biz, and 14% from an online seller.

To find out more, EB asked three committed contact lens wearers to share their experiences—a mom from Ohio, plus a father and son from California.

Melanie M.

Name: Melanie M.
Location: Powell, OH
Family: 3 teenagers; married to optometrist
Work: High school athletic dept.
Hobbies: Reading, yoga, decorating, athletic events

Q: How long have you had contacts?

A: I started when I was 11. I didn’t like wearing glasses all day, plus I was an athlete and glasses weren’t working for sports. I’ve had a good experience from the start.

Q: What have you worn?

A: I started with reusable lenses and have tried many types, including colored lenses. I am nearsighted (-4.50) and recently became presbyopic (+1.25), so I now wear Biotrue ONEday for Presbyopia by Bausch + Lomb 16 hours a day. The convenience is awesome.

Q: Why multifocal contacts, not glasses?

A: It was a flawless transition, but I did try a couple different lenses. I don’t want readers over contacts and prefer contacts to glasses. My multifocal contacts allow me more freedom to work and transition from desk to distance, and then to sunglasses outside.

Q: Where do you buy them?

A: Even if I weren’t married to an O.D., I would order contacts through an ECP. It is a trustworthy establishment and they would be able to back my order should I need an adjustment or replacement.

Jack S.

Name: Jack S., age 51
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Family: Married, kids ages 11 and 8
Work: President, finance co.; spends “long hours reading emails on iPhone and computer”
Hobbies: Vigorous daily exercise—kayaking or the gym

Q: How long have you worn contact lenses?

A: I started three years ago because I was tired of carrying around (and hunting for) glasses to see small print.

Q: What do you love/not like about contacts?

A: My optometrist suggested a disposable monovision lens. I adapted after a few days and fell in love with the convenience. It was like being young again. One downside to soft contacts? It’s easy to put them in inside out, so it’s good to have a backup.

Q: What do you wear and when?

A: Acuvue TruEye Moist soft disposables. They’re more comfortable than what I wore the first year. I like the variable lens to see clear close up and far away. It lasts all day until I get home. Once or twice a week I try to give my eyes a break and wear glasses.

Q: Where do you buy them?

A: I order through Costco. It’s a good price.

Jake S.

Name: Jake S., age 11
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Work: Student, 6th grade
Hobbies: Swimming, basketball, video games

Q: How long have you worn contacts?

A: For one year, but I have worn glasses since first grade. I never wear glasses now, though, because I don’t like how they make me look and I do not want to get teased at school.

Q: What did you love/not like about contacts?

A: I only wear one—in my left “lazy” eye. What I like is that it helps me see better. What don’t I like? I have a tough time putting it in, so my mom helps. At first it was tough to take out, but now I can do it pretty easily.

Q: What do you wear, and where do you get them?

A: I wear the lens prescribed by my eye doctor (Acuvue Oasys with HydraLuxe 2.75+ soft contacts). I get them at Costco.

Q: When do you wear your contact lenses?

A: About eight hours a day—from when I go to school to when I get home.