The convenience of contact lens can be labeled one of the best inventions since sliced bread. But with all of the options to enhance one’s beauty, some might forgo a doctor’s prescription and opt for cheaper alternatives, like those at the gas station. One young man learned a harsh lesson at why the easy route is never the best route.
Julian Hamlin, who currently works as an administrative assistant and a receptionist, says he bought the pair of contact lenses for $15 without a prescription back in 2010. “Local gas stations and beauty stores sell these cheap color contacts, and many teens in his area would buy them,” he said. Hamlin wore the lenses almost every day, and took proper precautions to disinfect and replace them each month. “There were no warnings or instructions about the risks,” he says.
After nearly 2 years, he developed a severe eye infection. He told BuzzFeed, “It was so out [of] the blue…I just woke up and my eye felt weird, so I went to the doctor, but he thought it was pinkeye.”
But it was not pinkeye; it was something far worst. It was a sore in his eye lining known as a corneal ulcer. A couple of days later he was in the hospital, partially blind in one eye. His problems did not stop there, however. He developed glaucoma as a result of the increase in eye pressure.
Since the ordeal, he has had over 15 surgeries, almost half of which were corneal transplants. The young man has racked up nearly $250,000 in medical bills and has to wear sunglasses or an eye patch because of increased sensitivity in his eye.
His struggle is a lifelong one. He has to take glaucoma medicine for the rest of his life. He warns others to wear contacts that have been prescribed.