Product Type: Ciba Vision in Contact Lenses
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Ciba Vision Air Optix
Member Name: Nar2
Ciba Vision Air Optix
Date: 12/08/10, updated on 14/08/10 (497 review reads)
Advantages: Very comfortable to wear, needs no after-wetting, stays moist, easy to fit and take out.
Disadvantages: About an hour of sleep means eyes get sticky though they can last 24 hours awake!
Rather than go for the more expensive option of laser treatment this year, my personal optician sat me down with three different types of new contact lenses. I had heard (and read) that the latest of monthly disposable lenses on a yearly contract were one of the best options to go with, not just cost wise but keeping my eyes healthy and giving them more air when worn. I tried dailies but they didn't work, I tried the latest version of gas permeable "hard lens," but the memories of putting the small 5p coin like hard discs back into my eyes meant my last option of paying £36 per every 3 months period lens for soft lenses would be more cost effective based on having to pay for no solution when its already supplied and additionally, no need to buy any other solution product to keep the lenses wet. This is how Air Optix has entered my life!
Now the procedure for fitting is quite similar to what has gone on before and if you have never worn lenses, buy yourself a compact makeup mirror to ensure you look into it when putting the lenses in. It takes a while to get over poking about in your eyes, but I'm a deft hand to the art of it now but initially it took me a while to get used to having to touch my eyes when lenses didn't sit in the centre. Each lens from Air Optix mirrors the thin consistency of clear car stickers but are much more pliable and can easily get lost because their apparent thinness and silicone structure. In this respect although thinner by construction, Air Optix lenses are much bigger than what I'm used to, similar to the size of a £1 coin and cover the entire iris of the eye, which I found disconcerting at first when it came to fitting. Compared to my gas ones, Air Optix is totally scent free, which is a bit of a bonus!
The beauty of these lenses however is the instant revelation I've found of putting them in and these little babies seldom dry out! They appear to sucker onto the iris straight away and are always moist, not needing to be moistened with solution as with gas permeable lenses. All I seem to do is lightly hover over the iris and just push the lenses on slightly. To take them out is as easy to putting them in as you can literally pick the lenses out at the end of the day. As with all contact lenses you need clean hands, especially the fingers and if you try to push the lens onto the eye forcefully, I find Air Optix just turns itself inside out and sticks to my fingers! If you get confused for example as to which side to put in, say if they turn themselves inside out, then it is easy to spot which way goes in. A bowl image without its sides flattened is the correct way that goes towards the eye. If the lens has a flattened rim all the way around, then the lenses are inside out.
Air Optix lenses comes in a box of three, usually three for the left eye, and another box with three lenses for the right eye. Each box has the strength written on them per your prescription or eye strength. Each lens comes pre-packed in its own tear away perforated sealed tray that already has solution in it, so you don't have to crack open any other solution bottle when putting them initially. This is what gives you effectively its three-month duration period and the lenses must be changed per month.
When it comes to wearing Air Optix lenses, I find the experience a delight. Compared to gas permeable lenses, once the Air Optix are in, they feel lightweight, and almost as if my eyes have nothing in them. With gas permeable my eyes felt as if there was something in them, not irritable to the point of taking them back out, but definitely something heavier on the eye itself and there have been times when the slightest rub would knock them out. Air Optix doesn't come out of the eye unless you take it out manually and in windy situations whilst being outdoors, I'm confident the lenses can stand up to whatever the weather throws at them and this includes tearing. In terms of how I look, people are now beginning to realise I'm wearing lenses, but more so commenting on how beautiful my eyes are! I guess this is one of the upsides of Air Optix as it the lenses are visible when covering the entire iris.
The downside to the Air Optix solution is that they are not the "Night and Day," ones that can stay in your eye even when you are asleep. Although they can be worn for 24 hours, my optician recommended no lengthy periods of sleep and at most, an hour could be achieved. Whilst this was trialled on many an occasion, especially on hour long train journeys, my eyes were extremely dry and sticky when I opened my eyes at the end of the journey. You can buy a solution to combat this but I wouldn't suggest taking longer than an hour of sleep with Air Optix generally, otherwise you may need to consider a univeral wetting solution that you can buy for soft lenses of this type, similar to the "Hypromelose," product of my past. Another downside but one of good indication is that although they are supposed to be changed per month, so if you forget and wear these all the time and give or take a week after the month, the lenses themselves aren't as moist anymore and can be difficult to place on the eyeball. They also feel a little more brittle after their month is up.
For me then, Air Optix has been a resounding success. It makes life a little bit more rewarding wearing lenses that work with you, not against you and with good complements along the way, its hard not to see that these new generation lenses are well worth looking into! Thanks for reading! İNar2 2010
Summary: So much better than gas permeable hard lenses: easier to wear & far more reliable!