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Author Topic: Contacts versus Glasses  (Read 8211 times)

Offline Stephanie Lynne

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Contacts versus Glasses
« on: March 07, 2014, 04:41:51 PM »
I know contacts are not advised while serving in the Peace Corps, but has everyone abided by that? If you have/did wear contacts while serving, where did you serve? How many prescription glasses do you recommend bringing for "just in case"?

Offline RPCVro

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Re: Contacts versus Glasses
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2014, 08:17:17 PM »
I had contacts throughout my service, but I was in eastern Europe where I had pretty constant access to running water and soap that allowed me to maintain hygienic standards. I brought all the contacts with me and had family send contact solution in the mail (or brought when they visited). Again, though, my international mail was pretty reliable. If I had been placed in a country where volunteers have limited access to electricity and running water, I would have used my glasses the whole time. I had only one pair of glasses since those were technically back-ups to my contacts. If you know you're probably going to be using your glasses regularly, do bring 2 pairs as random things can happen, and getting a replacement pair takes several weeks if not longer.

Offline Steve S

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Re: Contacts versus Glasses
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 12:18:05 PM »
Sunglasses can be nice also.
Steve

Offline Stephanie Lynne

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Re: Contacts versus Glasses
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 03:12:31 PM »
Yes, I'll bring those if I am able to wear contacts.  If not, my glasses are transition lenses.

Offline wreloise

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Re: Contacts versus Glasses
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 08:30:17 AM »
I guess it depends on the area of assignment.
Eloise-Born to Serve

Offline shawn

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Re: Contacts versus Glasses
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 10:28:45 PM »
I served in Rwanda with no running water or electricity in my village. I wore glasses most of the time, but did have and did wear contacts on a routine basis. I would NOT suggest wearing them every day as that will obviously increase your risks.

In general, Peace Corps doesn't really want you wearing them because the conditions are not always ideal for things like sticking plastic foreign objects against your eyeball (are they ever, though???). You do want to be careful, though, because wearing contact lenses is still technically against medical policy and if you get an eye infection because of your contacts, Peace Corps is not liable for any resulting prolonged eye damage that may crop up later simply because you chose to break the rules.

That being said, I wore contacts in front of our docs all the time and they never gave me grief. But if you do decide to wear them and then get chronic eye infections or whatnot, they will make you stop wearing contacts.

Sidenote, if you do wear corrective lenses, bring 2 pairs of glasses. if you break one, Peace Corps will get you a new pair, but lets just say they their catalogs haven't been updated from 1960's styles. Hipsters will do alright, but the rest of us will be left wishing we'd brought a second pair.
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
NPCA Serving Volunteer Advisory Council

Offline RetiredFed

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Re: Contacts versus Glasses
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2014, 11:49:56 AM »
Related to eyeglasses...   I sure hope PC still gives out what was known as PC glasses.  They were perfectly round turtle shell glasses that became badges of honor among all my friends who returned from PC.  PC probably bought a warehouse full of them.  I so hope I can manage to get a pair.

Offline shawn

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Re: Contacts versus Glasses
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2014, 07:58:00 PM »
I remember them only having 4 or 5 different styles. None of them were exactly mainstream fashionable.
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
NPCA Serving Volunteer Advisory Council

Offline SBWeiss

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Re: Contacts versus Glasses
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2014, 08:28:11 AM »
question for RPCVro (or anyone else who wants to reply) --

I will be serving in Albania starting next March. I have been wearing hard/Gas Permeable lens for more than 40 years and can't imagine going back to glasses...I feel so "out of touch" with what's around me when I wear them. 

Anyway, I've been fretting about the PC prohibition on lenses and so it was great to see your post.  I had assumed that Eastern Europe would be a better situation for using lenses but wasn't sure whether it was actually possible.  I don't know if you use soft lenses or hard lenses so I don't know if my questions will apply.  I will take any help you can provide!

Here are my questions:

--How much solution/supplies did you bring? 
--How long did it take to get stuff from the US? 
--Did you do anything special to avoid problems? 
--Were you at all concerned about rinsing the lenses in water? 
--Did you bring an extra set of lenses  Etc. Etc.

Any advice you have would be appreciated!  If you used soft lenses, do you know anyone who used Gas Perms?
Thanks!

Offline koji

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Re: Contacts versus Glasses
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 10:08:59 AM »
I know for us, at the end of service they sent us home with the proper prescription (so i assume they did it during service as well) ... they sent us to a local optometrist and we had a limit we could spend there to pick out whatever glasses we wanted. I ended up with a fashionable pair that I quite liked. They joked about pc issued glasses, but no one in my group received them.

Offline RPCVro

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Re: Contacts versus Glasses
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2014, 09:12:55 PM »
question for RPCVro (or anyone else who wants to reply) --

I will be serving in Albania starting next March. I have been wearing hard/Gas Permeable lens for more than 40 years and can't imagine going back to glasses...I feel so "out of touch" with what's around me when I wear them. 

Anyway, I've been fretting about the PC prohibition on lenses and so it was great to see your post.  I had assumed that Eastern Europe would be a better situation for using lenses but wasn't sure whether it was actually possible.  I don't know if you use soft lenses or hard lenses so I don't know if my questions will apply.  I will take any help you can provide!

Here are my questions:

--How much solution/supplies did you bring?  I brought one big bottle of solution to start. And a few cases. Just to start out.
--How long did it take to get stuff from the US?  That varied. I got things in 3 weeks...or 3 months. I never had a package disappear on me, but I know other volunteers who had issues with that. I'm not sure how Albania works. That'd be something to ask people there.
--Did you do anything special to avoid problems?  Not really. It wasn't a big issue. I pretty much did everything the same as in the US. Just understand that PCMO won't really be able to help you with any contacts issues.
--Were you at all concerned about rinsing the lenses in water?  I didn't have to rinse mine. I used a "no rub" solution that worked fine.
--Did you bring an extra set of lenses  Etc. Etc. Well, soft lenses expire, so I had two boxes for each eye. I brought those with me from the start. I also had just one pair of eye glasses. I actually got a new pair paid for by PC because my prescription changed and the glasses couldn't be used anymore (and I really did need them for mornings/evenings and the occasional dry eye days). There is a maximum amount they can spend, though, and the rest comes out of your pocket.

Any advice you have would be appreciated!  If you used soft lenses, do you know anyone who used Gas Perms?
Thanks!

Hey! I did, in fact, have soft lenses. I can't imagine using hard ones. I responded in bold above. I don't know anyone who still uses hard lenses.