Dani started wearing contacts 20 months ago. The privilege was her Christmas present, and she was a happy kid. The optometrist put her in disposable contacts - good for 30 days or so.
A couple of months ago, we started noticing that Dani's eyes were red. She used eye drops, which seemed to help, but only temporarily. Finally, I thought to ask her, "When's the last time you changed your lenses?" She answered, "I dunno." Uh-oh. Not a good answer.
I tried to order a new pack of lenses, but her prescription had expired, so it wasn't approved. I made an eye appointment with a local optometrist.
The appointment was yesterday. The doc looked at Dani's eyes and asked immediately, "Is she seeing floaters? Blurred vision? Does she complain of pain?" No, no and no.
After the exam, he called me back to the exam room. With serious face, he said bluntly, "Mrs. Kocur, Dani has corneal oedema and neovascularisation."
I sat up straighter. What the heck did THAT mean?
"It's caused by oxygen deprivation. When the eye doesn't get enough oxygen, the blood vessels become enlarged. Sometimes, new vessels grow into the cornea. That's what's happening to Dani."
"What..." I began.
He looked at Dani. "How often do you change out your contacts?" he asked.
"Once a month," she fibbed.
"Do you ever sleep in them?"
"Uh,"... her eyes darted from him to me, and then back to him... "Yah."
"DANI!" I hissed. "You KNOW better than that! Why on earth?"
The doctor gave us both a stern lecture on proper wearing of contacts. He said that the problem will probably correct itself if we take care of her eyes and follow his prescription, which is this: special high-oxygen contacts, which she can only wear every other day, and only for 10 hours at a time, until her eyes heal.
She has a follow-up appointment in a week for him to recheck her and see if there's been any progress.
GRRRR. I thought it was cool that she was wearing her contacts for more than 30 days at a time. It was saving me some scratch. I now know that it's not worth it. I told Dani that if I EVER catch her abusing her contacts again (LOL. That just sounds funny.), she'll be grounded from owning them at ALL until she's an adult and totally independent of her Mom. If she DOES sleep in 'em, I'll toss her hip new glasses, too, the ones that scream "I'M A GUITAR PLAYER/ARTIST/WRITER AND I'M COOL, YO!", and instead make her wear big 80s-era butterfly-wing-shaped frames that I can't even believe are even still on the market. That'll teach her.
Please. Use contacts responsibly. I'd hate to have to put YOU in ugly butterfly glasses, but I WILL! And if you're REALLY bad, I'll put little gold initial stickers in the lower outside corner of the lens. Ask me how I know THOSE exist.