Okay, I wasn’t really playing with fire.
But I did set myself on fire. At least, it felt like it.
The other day, I bought a new brand of contact solution at the recommendation of my eye doctor. She said it would work very well to clean my lenses of all that gunky stuff that builds up on them after several hours.
Maybe my vision was bleary when I opened the new bottle of solution.
I squirted the last few drops from my old solution bottle into one side of the case I always use, squirted some of the new solution into the other side of the case, tightened down the lids and went to bed with no idea of the misery for which I had just set myself up.
On Monday morning, of all mornings, I put my right contact in first as I always do. I then placed the left contact on my unsuspecting eyeball, the contact soaked in the new solution, while I had the fleeting expectation that my vision was about to become crystal clear.
Immediately, I experienced terrible, searing, burning, stinging pain. I felt like someone had flung gasoline in my eye and lit a match.
Tears poured down my face. I couldn’t open my eye long enough to remove the offending contact lens because of the pain.
Surely if I toughed this out, the stinging would pass, I thought.
But then again, maybe not.
With some effort, I was able to open “my good eye” long enough to notice there was a red band around the top of the bottle of the new solution.
It said something like, “You should have read the directions first, stupid! Do not put this solution into your regular old flat contact case…do not put solution directly into eyes. You must store contact lenses in the case provided and soak for at least six hours before using. Failure to follow directions may cause stinging and burning of your eyes, and you will be sorry!”
The directions went on to say, “If you experience stinging and burning of the eyes, remove contact lenses and splash your eyes with copious amounts of water…see an eye professional if burning doesn’t stop within a few minutes.”
At that point, I knew I had to get that lens outta there.
With my livid eyeball still streaming tears, I pried the contact lens off and placed it in the case.
For the next two days I only wore my glasses while my eye healed of a chemical burn.
I looked like I had the pink eye, but let me assure you, that was not the problem.
I read the directions on the new solution box multiple times before daring to try to use it again. I considered throwing the stuff away, but I had paid $6 dollars for it.
Eventually I placed my contacts in the new case and filled it with the three percent hydrogen peroxide solution.
The contents of the case immediately began to fizz and bubble like I’d dropped an Alka-Selzer in there. I really wanted to shake it up and see what happened, but the directions warned me not to do that.
The next morning, after double-checking the clock to make sure I had been in bed for at least six hours, I carefully removed my right contact from the case, and with some trepidation, placed the lens on my anxious right eyeball.
Nothing happened except my vision cleared immediately, just as it usually does when I wear my contacts.
With renewed resolve, I placed the other contact on my left eye, the one that was still slightly red from the abuse it had taken two days before.
When the burning didn’t start, I breathed a sigh of relief.
So there’s my public service announcement of the week. Just read the daggone directions.
Because if the bottle has a red stripe around the top, you are playing with fire.