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I've been a contact lens wearer for over three years now, and although I initially started up with Specsavers' monthly direct debit scheme, I decided that this wasn't good value for money and I wanted to experiment with other options.
Ciba Vision's Freshlook Dimensions (CVFD) were one option I tried. I have used coloured lenses before (in particular Ciba Vision's Freshlook Colorblends, which I have reviewed on DooYoo previously and really liked!), so I know what I am expecting from lenses.
CVFD are designed for people who already have light coloured eyes (blues, greens, greys) and are intended to gently alter the natural colour in order to enhance it and make it more note-worthy. They come in three different colours: Caribbean Aqua, Pacific Blue and Sea Green.
My eyes are naturally a mix of blue, green and grey (alternately, not all at once!) and so I thought that I would be a great candidate for these lenses. I tried the Caribbean Aqua and Pacific Blue lenses, buying them both at the same time and intending to wear them one after the other.
Unfortunately my experience with CVFD has not been a positive one. I found that the lenses were very thin and although this might appear to be a good thing (who wants big chunky lenses in their eyes?) it does mean that they are quite difficult to manipulate for those of us with longer nails. I was very much afraid of tearing them as I cleaned them, and I much prefer to use a lens that feels a bit sturdier!
The website I bought them from states: "These lenses are designed to be worn for one month or up to 30 times over a longer period for occasional wear, as long as they are properly cleaned and handled."
-- I found that after about three week's wear, these lenses developed a white-ish film that was invisible while cleaning but very definitely discernible while wearing. Since speaking to my ophthalmologist I have discovered that this is a protein film and can be countered with a simple cleaning tablet, but this is yet more expense (when what I was really looking for was a more economic solution to sight correction!). I have never had this problem with any other lenses, and I don't believe that it was a one-time experience - it started to happen again with my second round of CVFD but by that point I lost patience with the lenses and just replaced them with an alternate.
Further to this, I found the lenses incredibly drying. I am a daily lens-wearer and I wear my lenses for a minimum of ten hours usually. It's not too uncommon for me to extend wear beyond the advised twelve hour maximum, so perhaps it is my own fault for over-wearing these CVFD lenses, but I've never been given dry eyes (to the point of pain) by any other type of lens, and my wearing profile is the same each time I try a new brand. To counteract the dryness I found that I had to use hypromellose drops in my eyes twice a day. I've never felt this before and for this reason if not for all the others, I will not use these lenses again.
For the sake of information: I didn't detect much of a difference between my eyes wearing Caribbean Blue and Pacific Blue. They seemed very much the same colour to me. Criticisms aside, they did provide a very nice colour intensity which was subtle and noticeable at the same time. While wearing CVFD I received many compliments on how fresh and awake I looked, even if people couldn't figure out why!
I must have been the last person in the British Isles to switch from rigid, gas permeable lenses but I finally made the leap a year ago, mainly due to the cost of replacement and the fact my eyes were suddenly getting very dry (I'm menopausal)
The one thing I did like about my old lenses were the tinted effect, which not only made them easier to find if dropped but gave my eyes a lovely bright blue hue. My natural eye colour is somewhere between grey and sludge, but tinted lenses transmute that into a bright sparkling blue - much more pleasing! Also, they used to cut down the light reaching my eyes; I'm very photosensitive, so this was important to me.
I knew the switch from hard to soft would not be easy, and it wasn't. Initially, I tried daily disposables but it was a leap too far. Compared to my old gas permeables, they were enormous! And so flimsy, too; no matter how hard I tried, I could not avoid ripping them when I took them out. And woe betide if my eyes got too dry - they would then stick to my eyeball. Ow!
My optician suggested I switch to extended wear monthly disposables Acuvue), which I could keep in overnight, but I still had difficulty with my eyes drying out, and even with the increased thickness they still ripped when I removed them. This started an endless succession of monthlies, dailies and fortnightlies from a plethora of different companies, none of which suited me. I was ready to return to my old gas permeables - or start wearing specs.
And then my optician suggested Ciba. They were thicker than many other brands which meant a lot of people found them uncomfortable. However, he said he often prescribed them to people switching from hard lenses and that, as a long-term hard lens wearer I should have no trouble. They would be safer for me too, as the thickness would prevent my eyes drying out.
These were the 'normal' Ciba Vision monthlies, and I took to them right away. They were easy to put in and take out, rarely ripped, and lasted much longer than comparable brands. The only problem was my light sensitivity problem - I was forced to wear sunglasses even on dull days.
So when my prescription came up for renewal a fewmonths ago, and it was suggested I try the new Freshlook range, I jumped at the chance. Although more expensive, I liked the fact my eyes would once more have the blue-eyed doll look of my youth.
And so they did - except this was now ringed by a very demonic red-eyed glare! Whether it was the compound used to colour the plastic or a manufacturing glitch I couldn't say, but these felt just like the huge soft lenses of old (which were the reason I chose gas permeables in the first place) Just one day wearing them and my eyes were puffy and swollen, constantly clouding over with protein and so sore I was crying out for mercy. Regretfully, I returned to my regular Cibas and have been with them ever since.
To be fair, the Freshlook lenses did seem to have a larger diameter than usual, although the optician assured me they were the same size. But they were certainly far too thick - presumably there's a minimum weight you can go to when incorporating dyes into the plastic. As far as ripping them goes, I'd probably have to be a werewolf to do that. It was just a pity they made me look like one as well.
Verdict? Regular Ciba vision, ten out of ten. But Freshlook get just two stars from me, I'm afraid. Yes, they probably do suit cack-handed hard lens wearers. But as far as technology goes, it's a trip back into the past.
Let me firstly mention that before I tried Ciba Vision coloured lenses, I only had one provider of contact lenses, and that was from my glasses provider Specsavers. I stayed with them for three years before I got fed up with paying for the eye test every sixth months that was compulsory and set me back £60 a year.
So I had read some good reviews about these Civa Vision lenses and went ahead and bought them, for the main reasons that
a) they worked out a good £3 cheaper, so £36 a year less then Specsavers and
b) I wanted to see what my eyes looked like in another colour.
However having received the lenses and tried them on the colour just wasn't right even though they had sent the right lenses. I'm not sure if its due to me having dark eyes, but the problem with buying online is that its impossible to test out the lenses and hence they were a waste of money also because they were very uncofrtoable in my eyes and I can see why Specsavers was more expensive now as they were more comfortable. However I have a friend who wears them who finds them very comfortable, so its just my personal opinion. To conclude though I will not be buying these contact lenses again, as I tried Focus Monthlies which worked out even cheaper to £3 a month and are very comfortable and are highly recommended from ,e
These monthly disposable contacts are for those with natural light eyes.
Having said that i have brown eyes but i wanted to see what effect these would have on my natural eye colour.
FreshLook Dimensions are available in up to three colors - "Pacific Blue", "Sea Green" and "Caribbean Aqua" . I chose to try the pacific blue, which gave my eyes a very slight tinge of blue but not looking blatently un- natural thus having many compliments and comment on my eyes, mainly being along the lines of " I cant tell what colour eyes you have, there amazing!".
That aside, i had a box of 6. 3 being for my right eye and 3 being for my left eye. Right eye is -1.75 and Left eye is -1.25. These really do level my vision.
At the price of £25 a box, which works out at £4ish per contact, i think these are great value.
Comfort wise , i personally am used to wearing contacts so im either used to how they feel or these are pefect. I havent felt any discomfort! I even found they were wearable after the month was up, although this is not professionally advised- i just wanted to mkake the most of my money!
Colored and Tinted