Newest Review: ... is a round plastic case complete with a small cage built in to the lid. The case holds the solution for soaking my contact lenses and whe... more
Roll Out the Barrel!
Universal Barrel Style Contact Lens Case
Member Name: jo1976
Universal Barrel Style Contact Lens Case
Date: 17/05/11, updated on 10/10/13 (60 review reads)
Advantages: Robust, easy to use, leakproof
Disadvantages: Not supplied with a solution-free package from Specsavers
I get my contact lenses as part of an all-inclusive monthly package from Specsavers. For a small monthly fee I get everything I need delivered to my door every three months and included in the pack I receive is one of these 'barrel style' cases. I wear my contact lenses most days but, as mine are monthly (rather than daily) disposable lenses, in between uses they need to be soaked in solution and stored inside one of these simple plastic cases.
The design of the case is pretty straightforward and functional. There is a relatively sturdy plastic base which holds the solution. The lid has a small cage attached to the underside, with two sides that open out to house the lenses. It is quite a strange looking design, if you don't know what it's for, but very simple to use. The central plastic part has a curved bit, perfectly shaped and proportioned for a clean, moist contact lens to rest against. It doesn't need to be pushed or fitted in any way as the lens just 'sticks' to the curve naturally, due to its moisture. Each cage then simply clicks over the lens and keeps it securely in place, making it easy to remove the lenses the following morning.
Each side is clearly marked with little symbols to indicate which lens is housed in which cage as many people have different prescription strengths for different eyes. This is also for hygiene reasons, to avoid cross contamination of any eye infections, for example. The symbol for the right side is fairly self-explanatory (a large embossed 'R') but, for some bizarre reason, the left side is indicated by a heart symbol! I seem to remember the optician telling me that this was used so that there was no possibility of the symbols getting confused, no matter which way the cage was being looked at, as they are so completely different!
Once in place, the lenses are fully immersed in the solution, helping to keep them clean and soft between uses. After putting the lenses safely into position, the lid itself screws into place securely and unscrews easily and, once attached, the case is totally waterproof. I've taken the case with me on holidays and nights away and never experienced any problems with any leakages, thankfully.
I have used this design of storage container for as long as I've worn contact lenses and can count on the fingers of one hand, the number of times I've had any cause to complain. There has been the very odd occasion in which one of the cages has come undone, setting my lens adrift within the main body of the container. It is surprisingly tricky to spot a stray lens within the solution, so I am grateful for the clever design of these little pots, so I don't have to play spot the lens! Fortunately, this is a very rare occurrence. I have had one instance where the lid and the lens compartment came away entirely, which was a bit irritating. Generally speaking, the pot and the lid are both fairly robust and are built to withstand daily use without much difficulty.
With a standard pay monthly package from Specsavers, (costing £10 per month) I would receive a single one of these containers to last me for a three month period. I would have preferred to receive a couple more, to be honest, as I do have a habit of mislaying them around the bathroom or elsewhere in the house! I can't imagine they are particularly expensive to produce so I would like to have more, or maybe have the option to add a few extra pots to my regular monthly order.
Recently, I have actually reduced my plan from Specsavers so that I no longer receive the solution. What I hadn't anticipated when I did this, was that I would no longer receive any replacement storage pots at all with my order. To be fair to Specsavers, I was told this when I changed my plan but the advisor also told me that it is not actually possible to buy replacement pots separately from Specsavers. They can be purchased as part of a kit but this would actually cost me more than the £3 I would be saving by cancelling the solution! She did advise me to try places such as eBay, if I did need to replace my pot, which has actually proven to be a good tip as it is possible to buy packs of three from there, for just a few quid.
In all, I am perfectly happy with the design and durability of these little storage containers. I would prefer them to be included within my reduced Specsavers package but will still continue to buy them online instead as they are a crucial part of my contact lens care.
Summary: A simple but well designed product