How Defective Circle Lenses Damaged my Eyes

posted on: Thursday, April 5

Circle lenses have been a fairly taboo subject for most users. Why? Because everyone who wears circle lenses will defend them to the grave (and I will too, no worries). I mean think about it, make-up has some fairly toxic parabens in it as well (not enough to cause any sort of health problem but probably enough to cause a minuscule amount of damage to your skin compared to people who are sans make-up). So imagine being criticized for wearing something like make-up every single flipping time you wear it. Yeah, its like that for circle-lens users.

So this is why I haven't blogged at all about this issue. That, and I seriously did not want to create any sort of trouble for the companies involved in case there was a misunderstanding. Or actually I take that back. I didn't want to blog about it because I wasn't prepared for the shit storm of criticism AFTER BEING BLINDED BY THESE DAMN THINGS. But I'm writing about it now because I honestly want to share my story with you all about what happens when you receive defective lenses.

I can probably tell you that any type of contact lens can be problematic for your eye if improperly fitted. The main concern with circle lens is that you can buy them without a prescription or eye exam (which increases your chances of buying contacts that improperly fit to your eye). Improper fitting contacts can cause nasty infections and whatnot but for the five years that I've worn circle lenses and the eight years that I've worn regular contact lenses, I haven't had any eye problems (aside for one pink eye that went away shortly).

I still believe through this ordeal that circle lenses are safe as they are regulated overseas but you have to be extremely smart about what you are getting. Now with all that said, I would like to share my story of how I received defective ones that massively fucked up my eyes.

 a photo of the visible corneal damage in my eye


First of all, I'd like to give some background information of myself and circle lens usage. I don't wear circle lens or make-up very often at all. On average, when my eyes were fine, I would wear circle lens with make-up 2-3 times a week. I like to give my eyes and face some resting time and come on, I'm going to school. Who am I going to impress?

I've been wearing circle lens since I was 15 (I'm 20 now for reference) and I have been wearing regular clear contacts since I was 12. This is a pretty young age to wear contacts but glasses have always given me intense, unbearable migraines. I have gotten pink eye once from sleeping in my acuvue contacts and after that, I've become extremely paranoid about my eyes. I use preservative free, natural tear eyedrops to ensure that my eyes do not have any external chemicals in it and I use opti-free solution to soak my lenses after researching that many other solutions have had recalls on their products (cough renu). I use a new case every three months because there could be bacterial growth in contact lens case if you don't regularly wash it with hot water & soap (which I do at least once a week). I'M FLIPPING PARANOID ABOUT MY EYES TO SAY THE LEAST.

Now, in August, I received my first pair of sponsored circle lenses from a company, Exxxxndy Lens. after three months of wearing these lenses exclusively, I started noticing that my eyes were becoming a bit blurry. Initially, I thought that maybe I had some allergies to the environment or something. In November, I went to the emergency room and they diagnosed me with keratitus (scratched cornea) and prescribed me two vials of eyedrops -- Ofloxacin .3% and FML Liquifilm .1% (steroids & antibiotics). The doctor told me to hold off on contact lenses for three weeks and after that, I could continue wearing contact lenses as usual. He told me that the condition would take a few months to heal entirely but that was normal. I held off for more than a month to be safe and I started wearing contact lenses slowly for shorts period of time. With the eyedrops, my vision slowly improved but as I started to ween off them at the end of my treatment, my eyesight began to blur yet again.

 A photo of my right eye. Notice the dots near the the cursor.

I waited a few months in hopes of the doctor being correct and my vision returning to normal. In December, I was sent another pair of circle lenses from the same company and I wore them sparingly. My eyes did not hurt at all so I didn't see any reason to go to back to the doctor. The blur was not getting any better and by now, I saw almost double vision in one eye. I contacted the company that sent me the lenses and these were the e-mails exchanged between us (their e-mails will be italicized)
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Hi. You have sponsored two lenses from me before and instead of putting out negative reviews for both of the lenses I've decided to contact you guys directly.

For the past three or four months I've had really bad experiences with both these lenses. The first lenses (xx xxxxx brown) I dismissed because I thought that maybe my eyes weren't suited for those lenses. Right after wearing them, I've noticed my vision getting progressively worse.

It got to the point where I had to go on antibiotic and steroid treatment for my eye because of an intense cornea abrasion that I believe was caused by the lens. I take extreme caution with my lenses and exercise more than normal care for my lenses so I don't think the abrasion could be due to over wearing, typical drying out, or lack of sanitary handling.

My eyes got better with the treatment. I received the maxxxon brown lenses soon after that were promised to be more comfortable. When I first received the box, it said "made in Hong Kong", which was alarming to me because they are supposed to be manufactured in South Korea. I didn't really think about it and wore my lenses normally.

After a month and a half of wear, my eyes are now severely damaged. I can not look at daylight anymore, I have missed numerous school assignments and classes, and I have had to stop blogging and making videos for the duration of three to four months after receiving these two lenses. Now I've been wearing circle lenses for more than five years and never before have I have experienced such horrible quality lenses. I am not accusing them of being fake but I can't think of a legitimate company that would make lenses of such poor quality.

Now I don't know of any way to remedy all the money, pain, and time these lenses have cost me but now I am left with the dilemma of what to do.
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Dear Cxxxxxxx,

Thank you for writing to me to inform me about your experience with the lenses.  We are truly sorry for your situation and hope that you can recover as soon as possible.

Our box does not have "made in Hong Kong," but our address is printed on the box which is required by the HK Department of Health.  The vials' labels have "Made in Korea" printed on them.

We purchase the Maxxxxn series lenses from Dxxba in Korea.  The certificate has been attached.  You can also make a call or send e-mail to the Dxxba company to enquire about this for further proof.

Can you please provide the medical evidences to prove that your eye condition has been caused by our lenses?  We will try to see if we can provide compensation for all or part of your medical fees.

Can you please check that you were not wearing the lenses for more than 6 hours at a time which is the recommended max time for circle lenses?  Wearing lenses for a long time can easily cause eye conditions.  As we know, there has been no similar case with other clients from overseas and in Hong Kong.

Once again, we are really sorry for your negative experience and hope that we can provide a solution that best meets your satisfaction.

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I have enclosed a note from my doctor. The note is written in November, three months after wearing the new Maxxxx brown lenses (the first paired sponsored) exclusively. I can also ask for a more detailed note explaining what caused the cornea abrasion if absolutely necessary.  Again, I take extreme care of my eyes so I do not think the abrasion was caused by un responsible wear.

I didn't e-mail you guys for compensation for my losses as it is my choice to wear lenses. Maybe (company names omitted) lenses are not suited for my eyes and I am better off with Geo or one day disposable circle lenses. However, I think in the future, you should make it clear that the label of the box is not directly tied to the contents so misunderstandings like this can be avoided.
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A photo of my dilated left eye. The wave-like thing is what is obscuring my vision and causing me to see double


However, after filming my most recent video, I realized how serious my problem had become. I wore the sponsored lenses for the an hour of filming before they burnt my eyes and then I had to switch to another more comfortable pair of circles (I bought them myself) that didn't scratch or feel uncomfortable. I have been talking to a few friends and other bloggers about this for now and a few of them have stated that the lenses they were sponsored from this company did NOT feel at all comfortable. Then finally, I contacted Cindy about this matter since she and I were both sponsored the same lenses at the same time. True enough, her eyes hurt after wearing the first pair of lenses and after the second pair, she too had a scratched cornea. Coincidence? I think not…

After filming part of my video and giving up because my vision was deteriorating.


A day or two after filming, I went to the emergency room where they sent me to the optometrist division (they don't have an ophthalmology division at the clinic I was seen). After waiting for FIVE HOURS I was finally seen and the doctors were shocked.

Exams by two doctors showed that I had very very intense cornea abrasion. They said, and I quote this word for word, "This eye is trashed". Now before I wore circles for this video, I haven't worn circle lenses since oh say… Late December, early January. I have been, again, I stress, exclusively wearing these two sponsored circle lenses for the whole duration of this problem. I have not worn clear lenses and I have actually gone out of my way to order prescription glasses (despite the migraines). I explained what I have been putting into my eye and brought the lenses to the doctor who confirmed that this was due to the contact lenses. So they told me to continue to use my preservative-free eyedrops every hour on the hour for a week. A week later and my eye condition hasn't improved at all.

I was referred out to a corneal specialist who is the director of the cornea division at UCSF (meaning, this shit is bankkkk). I'm frustrated. I haven't worked, I can't look at the computer for more than thirty minutes (even writing this simple entry, I've had to split between four days), I can't take photos which is my livelihood..  So finally, I caved in and e-mailed the company again and their Hong Kong distributor.
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Hello Amxx,

I am here to contact your company about possible permanent eye damage to both my eye and my friend's eye from wearing contact lenses from a seller (link omitted) who claims to have bought from this company. Both I, and my friend Cindy are  fairly popular bloggers and have worn circle lenses for years without problems.

When this first started for me five months ago, I did not think it was a serious issue. I was wrong. I was very suspicious of the store who sent the contact lens to me and contacted them directly. The box of the lens they sent me had a Hong Kong address on it which drew even more suspicion. They reassured me that the contact lenses were straight from Rxxxx Vxxxxx Dxxba and sent me a certificate to prove it. Also, they noted that the Hong Kong address was required for contact lens sales in Hong Kong (I have never heard of that before). I have included the certificate in this email.

I didn't think anything of it until my vision went from bad to worse two days ago and I had to be rushed to the emergency room to see a specialist. I found out yesterday that there may be irreversible cornea damage due to contact lens wear. The medical bills have gone up to nearly 400 dollars and have cost me six months of my life (I have medical bills with proof). What I am concerned about is not the money, but the idea that my vision could no longer reverse back to what it was.

I take extremely good care of my eyes. I never wear the lenses for more than 5 hours, always put them in a good solution, use preservative-free natural tear eyedrops, and much more. Wearing lenses for years before, I have never encountered a problem such as this.

Two days ago, another popular blogger named Cindy Tan also had the same symptoms that I had (pink eye, blurred vision, intense migraines, etc.). We were both sponsored the same lens from the same store (Exxxxndylens.com).

If its possible, can you verify the authenticity of these contacts, whether they were sourced from your company, and whether you sold them to Exxxxndy?
Here are our blog reviews with photos of the packaging and the certificate the company sent me. I hope you can understand my frustration in this matter.
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Dear Cxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your email.

We received the report about your case as well from Exxxxndylens.com.
We are so sorry to hear your case. Rxxxx Vxxxxx is our brand and is manufactured by Dxxba.

We are do supplying our lenses to Exxxxndylens.com. Our lens pass the CE test. Most of the lenses are no problem, but we can't 100% make sure that there are no defective lenses. It is because there are no QC check which can 100% guarantee.

Even though, some large company can guarantee that there are no defective lenses.

Please provide your medical evidence for proofing your eyes decease which is related to our lenses.

I will try to ask our director to compensate your medical cost.

We are looking forward to hearing your reply.

Thank you.

Regards,
CS
AMxx Ltd.

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Okay before you read my response, I will tell you what my real life response was. It was kind of a face like this:

ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS…

I understand that in an ideal world, all your contact lenses will be in perfect condition but in our modern day world is it not possible to HAVE QUALITY CONTROL FOR A PIECE OF PLASTIC THAT GOES IN YOUR EYE?

By this point, I'm getting really really sick of people asking for my medical information when I've clearly provided them with doctors notes so I decided to give them all my medical information… 22 ATTACHMENTS WORTH. 10 PAGES OF DOCTORS NOTES 8 PAGES OF RECEIPTS AND 4 PHOTOS OF MY MESSED UP EYE. Now I'm not going to disclose my information on here because its kind of weird having people know how much I eat a day, what medications I use, and whatnot but I'll show you the e-mail I sent to them. It was brutally nice to say the least and I actually summarized EVERY SINGLE COST THIS ILLNESS HAS COSTED ME.
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Hello,

I will forward this e-mail to Exxxxndy Lens as well so you can talk amongst yourselves and figure out how to best handle this situation. I'm a very honest person and I actually did not contact you or Exxxxndy until my eyes were at the point where there could possibly be permanent damage (around five months after the initial incident). I have also told numerous bloggers who have found out about this to remain quiet because I understand how hard it is to own a business and how negative attention can really harm a storefront. There are actually multiple bloggers who have had problems with the Maxxxxn lens along with other lenses from Exxxxndy but did not see any reason to contact Exxxxndy.

I'm a working student and this disease has really hurt my ability to perform well in school. In fact, I failed one of my classes last semester as a direct result of this illness. I have also attached some emails exchanged between my professor and I. If needed, I can also provide testimonies from my professors regarding my hindered abilities as a result of this ailment.

After being transferred THREE TIMES from eye doctor to eye doctor, they have finally recommended me to go to a corneal specialist because NO TREATMENT was helping. The doctor has said that there may be PERMANENT damage to my cornea and vision (you will notice in Scan 1 she writes that this is due to contact lenses from Asia after examining both my eye and the lenses). She has referred me out to another institution who will help me with this. If you look at my blog, I've stopped blogging almost completely since December, stopped making videos for almost SIX MONTHS.

I think it is a rather rash statement to proclaim that no company can have a 100% guarantee of a non-defective product. If that is the case, how can companies such as Acuvue make both clear and cosmetic lenses that meet all standards of quality regulation internationally? Now what is done is done and I am not forcing you to provide me with compensation but what I do hope is that you will find it within your heart to do the right thing.

The estimated current damage of this disease would be approximately 5278.03 USD not including future doctor fees and follow up (200-300 per visit excluding eye scans, treatment, etc.) I estimate that the long term damage would go anywhere between 4000-6000 in just doctors visits/treatment and an addition 8000-10,000 dollars in missed workflow which results in future fees and loss assets of 12,000 to 16,000
    -5 months of missed work as a direct result of illness = $880 per month or 4400 dollars total [10.24 minimum wage in San Francisco source: http://www.sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=411 , I receive 11 dollars per hour which I can provide tax records if necessary, 20 hours per week, four weeks a month]
    -1 failed class as a direct result of illness - $627.6 source: http://www.sfsu.edu/~bursar/fall2011/fees/undergrad_fees.html (3138 dollars per semester, 15 units taken that semester, failed class = 3 units, $3138/15units = $209.2, $209.2 * 3units = $627.6)
    -4 trips to the emergency care room -- $220 (55$ each)
    -Antibiotic, steroids, night cream $30.43 - (16.00 + 9.00 + 5.43)
    -2 eyedrops ordered in November & late February as a result of illness $26.57 (Amazon order Systane eyedrops & Theratears eyedrops 11.52 + 15.05 = $26.57)

As a large company who proclaims to make anywhere between 10 million to 50 million USD on Alibaba, these fees may look petty to you.

Now I am going to be a nice person, and I am going to request you to make a choice in paying me whatever you want because I believe that if you give people the option of doing good, they will shine through. But know that THIS MAY BE PERMANENT and I am stuck paying all the medical fees at the end of the day (in addition to missing schoolwork and being forced to quit my job).  Know that I might no longer be able to take photos or make videos as I want to, no longer can see the world as I want to, and no longer be able to live my life to the fullest extent as a result of ONE PAIR of contact lenses that you say, might be defective because its impossible to guarantee every one quality lenses. Know that I have endured countless months of double vision, tears, and frustration over this matter.  So with that said, here are ten pages of medical notes from my doctors from november - march along with the various bills. Below are summaries of the content

Scan 1 : (most recent visit, today) I was referred to a corneal specialist because the condition is not improving at all. The estimated fee for corneal specialists are between 200usd - 300usd per visit excluding the cost of medication. NOTED: STATES THAT IT IS LIKELY A CAUSE FROM CONTACT LENS FROM ASIA (section a.1)

Scan 2: (3rd visit to the doctor, last week) I was prescribed natural preservative free tears to use to see if the condition betters itself.

Scan 3: an overview of my illness. Noted that it was persistent for at least four months.

Scan 6: (2nd visit, November) Prescription of medication for my second visit to the doctor's in November.

Scan 7: (1st visit to the doctor, November) NOTE: URGENT CARE. This visit was in November. The left eye was already blurry for three weeks.

Scan 8: Prescription of medication (antibiotics + steroids)

Scan 9 + 10: Notes from my doctor (recently) documenting the dates of my illness within the past month.

Screenshots: Here are screenshots of my grade and overall grade point average and an email that my professor sent me. If you look at my gpa, I have very good grades and I have NEVER failed a class in college (impressive due to the fact that I also have part time work and do photography, videography, etc.). The reason why I failed this class is because I could NOT SEE and it is an intensive online class with a 2 hour computer final. I physically could not see the final and thus, failed the class. If you want, I can also provide professors who will vouch for me that I have not done my best work during this five - six month period.

Also, there are some receipts of my eyedrops and treatments

Photo: A receipt that highlights the cost for ONE visit to the doctor (4 visits x $55 = $220)

Photo 1-3: Images of my eye at three different times that highlight the damage

I really hope that you guys will do the right thing. i really do.

-Cxxxxxxx Vxxxx

Here is the e-mail they sent back to me.

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Dear Vxxxx (my last name),
 
Sorry for our late reply.
 
We would give you extra US$300 for the promotional subsidy through "Exxxxndylens.com".
It is because there is no direct evidence to proof that her illness is related to our lenses. According to our record, we never receive any medical accident report in HK region.
 
Our Manufacturer also meet all standards of quality regulation internationally, their certificates have been attached for your reference. When their customers found a defective lens, their distributors will exchange a new one to the customers. They wouldn't give any compensation to their customers. In case, one of medical authorities finds that their product has problem, the company will retrieve the product from the customer. Meanwhile, the packaging box of the J&J lens has a Note: "Please check the contact lens carefully before insertion. If it appears damaged or unusual, do not use it and contact Eye Care Professional." It means that they can't guarantee that there are no defective lenses in their products.
 
Until now, we haven't received any notice from European, Korea and Hong Kong Medical Authorities which asks us to retrieve our product. We also report your case to our manufacturer (Dxxxx). They have asked the third-party lab to check their lenses. The report mentioned the quality of their lenses are fine."
 
If you can provide a lab report to proof that our lens can't meet the standard of CE, we will request our manufacturer to make a compensation to you.
 
One of the staff from Dxxxx Oversea Sale Department shared her experence:

"Usually, if the product has problem, user don’t use it when she use it at first.
But I can say that wearing contact lenses for long time should be damaged on eyes.
I also wear contact lenses when I went to university but it damaged on my eyes…dry, pink eye..
So I stopped using contact lenses because doctor said “you’d better not use contact lenses because your eyes so weak”
The wearifulness of eyes is accrued by wearing contact lenses as time goes by.

My friend also used to wear contact lenses for 10 years. She felt her eyes has some problem.
So she got laser in-situ keratomileusis, LASIK because she felt that she couldn’t use contact lenses anymore.

I mean that the problem is not only for special brand or product.
Most problems are how customers use the contact lenses or care of contact lenses and it is depending on customer’s eyes condition.

Of course some products may have problems like having hole or different color or prick on eyes.
But customer can feel that problem as they use the product."
 
I hope you can understand our situation and accept our extra promotional subsidy. Normally, we wouldn't give it to our customers in any situation, but our director considered that you are a student.
He are sorry to hear your case as well, therefore he approved to give the extra promotional subsidy.
 
I hope you can recover as soon as possible.


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 The machine used to take photos of my eye. On an unrelated note, I noticed they attached a d80 to it.

Okay now you guys will say, if you tell them to pay you whatever they want, why are you bitching that they chose to pay you a petty 300 dollars? Because I told this company to pay me whatever they feel is fair in order to give them a chance to redeem themselves. Okay let me back up a bit and try to give a detailed report of all the persons and company involved in this ordeal. The person who sponsored the lenses (Exxxxndy Lens) has a large storefront and sells a crapload of lenses. Some bloggers whose names I will omit have actually charged this company between 100-200 dollars PER BLOG POST with 3-6 photos. I have not charged a single cent for any sponsored blog post. 300 dollars is a petty amount.

The distributor of the lenses is a large distributor for most of Hong Kong. Before I e-mailed them, they stated on their Alibaba that they made between 10-50 million USD in annual sales volume. Since this e-mail, they have removed the amount and stated that they make 2.5-5million dollars in annual sales volume. Either they were bluffing in the beginning or they changed it suddenly. I don't really know. Even so, making 2.5-5million in annual sales and I'm going to pretend that this is gross and more than 70-80% of their earnings will be used in stocks/employees/etc (They have 11-50 employees), they are still left with an enormous amount of money.

Now after all of this has been said, one large storefront who pays some bloggers upwards of 150-200 dollars per blogpost and one large distributor in hong kong BOTH AGREE… THAT 300 DOLLARS.. IS ENOUGH COMPENSATION for a damage that could possibly be permanent… and yes I get it that by wearing any sort of contacts to begin with, I am partially responsible even if I am a generally sanitary person with my contacts. But the matter is that as a company or storefront who endorses these products, you have to bear in mind that there could be severe consequences if you ship out a defective lens.

 After applying yellow drops and dilated. The small dots can be seen more clearly here.

I don't think that my main problem is the money they offered me. I think the main problem is the integrity of both parties involved and the general lack of empathy. Okay if I received an e-mail that states how sorry they were without any "you should have", "if you..", or "well there was a label that says to discontinue use if theres a problem…" and that as a company, they could only offer me so and so amount, then I would have felt much better about the whole thing. Or if they compensated me right from the get go without these tedious e-mails… But every single e-mail since the beginning, I have been questioned through and through. Even in the last e-mail they told me that if I could go to a lab to get this tested then thats a different story and that I was lucky that I was getting any money.

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Dear Cxxxxxxx,
It has come to my attention that there has been miscommunication in the e-mail that my correspondent at Axxx had sent you a few days ago. As English is not his native language, I think that you may have interpreted his reply as rude or insensitive. I apologise for this, as I should have sent you the reply personally. Thus, I am writing to you in order to make clarifications as well as corrections based on Axxx's reply.
I hope that you do not interpret Amxx's reply as "a string of excuses." Rather, his reply is based on what he and I had discussed after hours of perusal of and deliberation over the evidences that you had submitted.
We have thoroughly reviewed all documents provided to us. In two medical notes, it is stated “CL wearer (Oasys and foreign brand colored contact lenses w/ reported compliance” and “Likely CL-induced, unk brand from Asia.” We have concluded that the evidence you have submitted is insufficient to claim that your illness is directly, specifically and exclusively caused by our lenses. Our conclusion is based on scientific standard; contact lenses are tested for defects using laboratory methods in order to meet the health and quality regulations that Amxx had shown you in the previous e-mail. One way to prove that you had received a defective lens is through a third-party laboratory report, without which the lens cannot be concluded as having been the direct cause of illness. Dxxba the manufacturer has their lenses tested by a third-party laboratory, and the scientific and statistical reports show that their lenses meet standards of quality regulation. As they produce 10 million lenses per month, the Korean health authorities would be the first to stop them from exporting if they did not meet quality standards. However, if you are able to provide a laboratory report to show that the lens is defective and unable to meet the standard of CE, we will ask them to make the compensation for you.
Defective lenses are a known problem in the entire contact lens industry, which is why Amxx has quoted you the disclaimer notice on the packaging of the lenses. In the event that the products do not meet quality standards, medical authorities will require us by law to immediately recall them. No company has a 100% guarantee of having 0% probability of defective products. For example, Freshlook (Cooper Vision, one of the largest contact lens manufacturers in the world) recently recalled their products from the market after having confirmed with scientific and statistical proof that their lenses had problems. However, as we have never received any similar report of medical accident caused by our lenses, no medical authorities from Europe, Korea or Hong Kong have required us to recall the products.
We are extremely serious about any claims of unsafe products which may cause defamation and have deleterious effects on our reputation. As such, we are willing to spend a great deal of time to gather and thoroughly inspect all evidence regarding your issue, address your problems and take care of your case. We  are jointly offering a promotional subsidy of 500 USD in total. In our opinion, this is the most reasonable and fair compensation that we can offer after reaching our conclusions. After perusal and deliberation over your submitted documents and additional evidence gathered regarding your issue, and consultation with our international solicitor, we have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to claim that your illness was directly caused by our lenses. However, our management feels sorry for your case and understands that there can be many financial difficulties for a student, so we would like help you with your fees. We hope that you understand the reasoning behind and accept our promotional subsidy of 500 USD.


It is our wish that you may recover as soon as possible.
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So after this e-mail I did a bit of soul searching. Well actually… by soul searching I mean I went to the corneal specialist at UCSF and after seeing three different MD's they all were shocked at the condition of my eye. I've been x-rayed, photographed, put under anesthesia, sat through three hours of rigorous testing in one day. I've missed an enormous amount of school work. At this point, I'm feeling a bit WELL A LOT angry. So I did what any regular person would do and I bitched the fuck out in an email that was not so nice. Okay I admit that e-mail was pretty damn evil and I'm not proud of it so I'm not gonna post it up here because it was all sorts of pent up anger. I've been exceptionally nice throughout this whole incident and I'm sure many people would have gone crazy by now but the summary of it was "Im angry. Im blinded. Your intentions are not as sincere or genuine at all. I will kill your company to the fullest extent. I can barely afford my medical bills let alone afford a lab test. etcetcetc"

But any who, they replied and stated that they couldn't offer me anything more than 500 and that I should get a lab test. Yeah, I get where they are coming from but the way these two companies responded to me was not ideal. Maybe I'm spoilt by amazing customer service where if there is a hint of problem, they'll take care of it without trying to pry deep into your private medical documents for some sort of evidence and then rejecting the evidence. Maybe I think its unethical the way they e-mailed me because they should not have questioned the validity of my disease. Maybe its because I feel that their actions and words were not sincere.

I mean I see double in one eye. I get intense migraines from seeing any sort of daylight. I haven't worn make-up or lenses since that two or three videos I forced myself to finish (even though I was seriously hurting). And to be honest, I have barely gone out or wore make-up even when I convinced myself the blurred vision would fade just like my first doctor told me it would. So in total, I've been in a potato-like state for months.

 I actually have no idea what this is but it just looks pretty nifty haha.

But some good did come out of this. When you lose one of the things that you hold most dear and usually take for granted, you really appreciate everything else more. The smell of fresh linens smell a bit fresher, that fuzzy and warm feeling you get when you see your lover intensifies, and suddenly cleaning your pigsty of a room seems like a terrific idea! Haha, but honestly, losing my vision really made me appreciate taking photos, making videos, and even blogging. And suddenly, all the things I ever wanted to do… I suddenly feel like fulfilling all those wishes at once. So I've decided to finally build the studio that I've always wanted (after… paying off my medical bills of course). I've always dreamed of my own studio and I have almost all the equipment to do it (stands, strobes, space, wireless transmitters/receivers, etc.) so why not spend a bit of money and have a space I can be proud of? I've always wanted to try time lapse videography so what's stopping me?… well aside from being half blind right now (Okay no more blind jokes, I swear). I've always wanted a 5d Mark III with a 28-70L lens… Just kidding I can't afford that but you get the general message.

I've chosen to omit their names because I wanted to share my experience (but I'm sure if you google around or look at some other people's tweets you can uncover the companies for yourself on your own time without my help)

So I told them to keep the money because I don't accept any money that comes out of pity. I don't know… Receiving money that I know isn't because someone truly feels responsible for the damage they directly or indirectly caused makes me feel like I have no honor, respect, or integrity for myself. Yeah it would probably help with my bills but I'd rather work hard and pay those off and then buy my dream studio.

Moral of the story? If your lenses feel funny throw them the fuck away because no one takes  responsibility for anything. Yeah its probably my fault for wearing circle lenses to begin with but think about it like the giant meat recalls. So if meat is tainted with e-coli due to improper handling, is it the consumer's fault for eating meat in the first place? Well that's another debate but you get the drift.

Would I continue wearing circle lenses? Yes but in the future, I will pay hard cash to optometrists to check if they properly fit my eye or if there are any damages in the lens. And I'd probably stick to one day or weekly disposable circle lens and nicer lens for special events or filming.

I'll update this on Friday for a bunch of cute x-ray scans of my eye and photos under UV rays since this is a long and hefty entry so check back then for a prettier (LOL) looking entry. But for now, this will have to suffice.
 

Until Next Time,
Mint

Update - 4/7/12

After consulting my cornea specialist yesterday, he disclosed to me that the damage to my eye was most likely caused by toxicity from lens wear. He said that because I am young, it is in my favor that I will heal rather quickly. By quickly, he estimates a minimum of two more months. However, he says there might be permanent scarring to my eye. This may or may not affect my vision in the future. He really can't say for sure. 

On another note, I would like to clarify a few things. I am not criticizing anything other than what I believe to be immoral and unethical business practices (involving customer service) on the part of these unnamed companies. Like I said in the beginning, there are potential risks with any contact lens. I do believe this is an extreme and not ordinary incident. What I wanted to emphasize was my personal account with, what I believe to be, lens that correlated directly with my ailment ("Most of the lenses are no problem, but we can't 100% make sure that there are no defective lenses."). The responses I received on behalf of these companies (and through third party informants who received responses as well) was appalling. The sheer lack of empathy on this serious matter is, to me, equally if not more emotionally draining as my debilitating ailment. 

Also, I received a few commenters who have questioned why I would continue wearing circle lens through this disease. I would like to say that I, myself did not know how serious my disease had gotten in this time-frame and I did not know the exact cause of this condition (though my condition has improved greatly after stopping the lenses). The lenses are prescription lenses that aid with my short-sightness. In addition, there was no pain involved in this incident (as painful as it looks). From November to February, I was under the impression that my eye was in the later parts of the healing process. Within that period, I had worn circle lens under 15 times (approximately three times a month at most) and no other clear contacts in the time being, while I do possess clear contacts. As soon as the condition took a turn from bad to worse in early February, I rushed myself to see a doctor and have been juggled from doctor to doctor, facility to facility, until now. I believe I did almost everything I could in my power, as an end-user, to get the help I needed. Obviously, if I had known that I was not healing, I would have discontinued all contact lens usage immediately until I have healed (in fact, I did for a good month in November.)

I have been reading most of the comments here and I will respond to everyone within the next week or so. I wish I could respond quickly but the time I spend on the computer is limited. Thank you guys for all your replies and support. I felt overwhelmed with happiness while reading the comments (I actually teared up reading these on the bus the other day, being a flipping pansy) and I will continue updating this with more news of my recovery. These encouraging messages are what is keeping me going emotionally. Thank you all again.

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