A hairy situation

contact
Image from myeyes.com

People with contact lenses know there is only one true archnemesis to the thin layer of plastic in which we encase our eyeballs daily … hair. It doesn’t matter how small, how straight or curly, what color it is, it is pure torture when one of those finds its way on to the surface of your lens.

When first putting the contact in, sometimes a hair will have settled on the lens during the night and its first contact with your eye is EXCRUCIATING. Of course the first thing you want to do when this happens is to throw the lens against the wall with all your might. However, you can’t, because your eye has involuntarily become sealed shut to try to mitigate the pain. Your eye waters with the force of a mighty river. Forget pepper spray; we need to figure out how to weaponize a contact with a hair on it to subdue criminals.

Once you reach through the tears to remove the offending lens from your cornea, it’s time to spray it down with saline. You spray, and rub, and squint at it to ensure all traces of hair are gone. It’s damn near surgery sometimes just to remove the strand. If you’re a soft lens wearer, like me, you have the additional challenge of avoiding tearing the lens. And you’re likely doing this while either half-blind or entirely blind!

I can rarely get the hair on the second, or even third attempt. I continue to put the hairy lens back into my eye for more punishment. There have been times when I just give up, throw the lens away and start with a fresh one.

So you make it through putting the contact in your eye most days without a snafu. But, there are other hazards that crop up from time to time; hazards that are a part of your own body, conspiring against you and plotting to kill you.

Eyelashes.

Who knew these things just fell off at will? And when they do, they fall directly info your eye, lodging onto your contact lens and then … HORRORS.

How many times has this happened to you?

You’re driving along on the highway, providing accompanying vocals to One Direction, when suddenly a piercing pain emanates from your eyeball. It’s a hair! Your eye begins to go into protection mode, closing tightly shut so as not to let anything in or out. But you’re DRIVING. In a VEHICLE. OMG YOU’RE GOING TO DIEEEEEEEEEE! With one eye open, and one hand rubbing furiously at the shut eye, you begin to swerve ever so slightly. You try to keep control of the wheel, but you have visions of a cliff with your Chevy Malibu sailing over it, like an outtake from an old Toonces sketch. Tears stream down one side of your face. You no longer hear the soothing voices of the boy band. You are in total survival mode. Makeup be damned, you will make it through this. With a flurry of blinks and swipes, you finally manage to dislodge the eyelash, and your life is safe. For now.

One of these days, I’m going to get Lasik.

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