I want a monocle!
July 11, 2010 10:51 AM   Subscribe

An eye care two parter: optician in London and is it ok to wear a single contact?

About eighteen months ago our local optician closed up. Initially there was sign about being "closed for refurbishment", and actual works were being done on the storefront. There was a phone number you could call for information. A machine picked up and identified the business. The target reopening date came and went about one year ago. Now the shop is refurbished but empty, the phone number disconnected and we don't think he's returning. Neither the cafe or off licence next door have seen anyone in that storefront for at least six months. The mail is piling up. He's gone without a trace.

So can anyone suggest a small, single proprietor optician in London? We'd like avoid the faceless chains as we like the personal touch. We realise costs may be somewhat higher dealing with a smaller shop but we're fine with it.

Second part: my prescription apparently has changed / is changing. My optician and I noticed this about three years ago, adjusted prescription accordingly but the process is continuing.

More detail: at my last exam I was diagnosed (is that the correct word?) left eye -2.00, right eye -1.75

My prescription was different before and at that time he adjusted my right eye from (IIRC) -2.25 to -1.75

Now since he's left town its changed more, to the point where I can't even wear a right contact at all. In fact I don't need it, and wearing the -1.75 caused all sorts of problems with reading as in I couldn't!. But one day I accidentally noticed I could do everything (read, distance, etc) just fine wearing a single contact in my left eye.

Is wearing a single contact gonna cause any problems, long term or otherwise? Being frugal I surely love only having to purchase one set and double plus good as I cut down by half on storing / cleansing solution as well, but I'd like to make sure this is 100% ok.

From a layperson's point of view I can't see this as causing a problem since monocles were popular once upon a time but, then again, I'm a banker not an eye care professional so I'm not sure.

Thanks for any help on either question.
posted by Mutant to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I can't answer your first question, but I can tell you for sure that it's fine to just wear one contact lens. There are plenty of people out there who only need correction in one eye, so they only wear the one lens. Count yourself lucky!
posted by barney_sap at 11:00 AM on July 11, 2010

Best answer: I've worn one contact before, when one got ripped. It is a strange experience having corrected vision in one eye and blurry vision in the other but I got used to it pretty quickly. I'd think though that you would not want to make a habit of this.
posted by dfriedman at 12:14 PM on July 11, 2010

Best answer: I have no idea if wearing one contact in your case is okay, but my dad has been wearing a single contact lens for years.
posted by Pineapplicious at 12:15 PM on July 11, 2010

Best answer: For a long time my dad wore just one contact, so he could have distance vision (with lens) and close-up vision (without) for things like reading. He did that for years but eventually decided to go back to two lenses and just carry around reading glasses at most times.
posted by 6550 at 12:17 PM on July 11, 2010

Best answer: I've emailed you.
posted by essexjan at 12:26 PM on July 11, 2010

Best answer: One of my friends wears only one contact, because he only needs to correct one eye. He seems to be doing fine.

When I had a -2.50 prescription, one of my contact lens fell out, and I had to go around all day with only one lens. It took a bit of adjusting to, and I had a headache at the end of the day.
posted by Xere at 1:39 PM on July 11, 2010

Best answer: I had a single contact for months after I had a lens implant installed in the other eye. Nothing to worry about.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:17 PM on July 11, 2010

I loved Spex in the City when I lived in London. It's a tiny shop just off Cambridge Circus in Convent Garden with some seriously funky frames, if that's the kind of thing you are looking for. Not the cheapest, by any means, but they were very happy to spend the time over multiple visits making sure I got the bet looking pair of glasses I could. I wear mine all the time so its a service I'm happy to pay for.
posted by tallus at 9:55 PM on July 11, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the tips & leads folks; much appreciated.

And just to clarify, my prescription has been changing for some odd reason, and now its intolerable to wear the right contact at all. When I first only wore the left contact things were a little weird vision-wise, but quickly (a couple of hours IIRC) settled down, to the point that I'm very comfortable wearing only one.

I guess next question is why my vision is slowly changing and my optometrist was surprised, as he said this shouldn't be happening at my age. But hey! I'm a Mutant . heh.

Thanks again all
posted by Mutant at 5:37 AM on July 12, 2010

I think what we really miss about this particular optician are his eye exams. I have been wearing glasses for almost 25 years and never had such a thorough eye exam than at this man's practice. Problem also is that opticians over here usually charge about 25 pounds for an eye exam so that does not encourage shopping around finding another eye examiner who knows their job and does not diagnose floaters with "did you got hit with a fly in your eye?" or "sorry to hear that. I would not get laser surgery if I was you ..." (I'm here to get the correct prescription for a pair of glasses and no you do not use that big thing because I can't see through those tiny lenses, let alone laser surgery for floaters? Retinal tears perhaps). So that's why not the big chains.
posted by Mrs Mutant at 7:24 AM on July 12, 2010

Best answer: It's fine to wear one contact. Several of my family members have been prescribed one contact because only one eye needed vision correction.

Your eyes can change throughout your life. basically your eyes can grow in size or change shape which affect show the "lens" in the back on your eye sits which affects your ability for the eye to focus. I am 25 and my one eye is getting strong and the other is staying at the same delinquent power. My grandfather, whi is 89 now, wore contact since the 50s or 60s and about 5 years ago went in for his annual exam only to be told that he didn't really need them anymore. He now just wears over the counter reading glasses while reading the paper. Bodies are silly like that.
posted by WeekendJen at 8:10 AM on July 12, 2010

This is a long shot, but have you started on a Mediterranean diet recently? My optometrist was baffled at why my left eye contact was always causing me trouble; through trial and error I found it to be due to the amount of olive oil in my diet.

I still have absolutely no idea why it only affected one eye.
posted by surenoproblem at 1:29 AM on July 13, 2010

Best answer: I can recommend City Opticians in Chancery Lane, they're opposite a SpecSavers but have still managed to survive though a good personal service. I've just forked out for some new Swissflex specs from them.
posted by amestoy at 2:41 PM on July 13, 2010

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