Gigi here, One of my New Year’s resolutions is to give you beauty and health tips from my life which will make yours easier. If I wrote a novel about my pre- and post-surgery eye woes it would never be published. It would seem too bizarre to be real. But it was. Now that I’m feeling better, I have to take it in stride and, honestly, the ridiculous parts are nearly comical (emphasis on “nearly”). But may you never experience this type of humor.
My horror story began with the specialist who first intended to do cataract surgery, the start of my problems. He was a tall man, so egotistical and condescending that two nurses had to hold his swollen head down to enable him to enter the exam room. He sat and coldly recited a litany of statistics on what could go wrong. He touched on the fact that the surgery was generally harmless now but that one in every half million patients suffer nerve damage annually, possibly resulting in multiple problems.
I needed the surgery STAT. Teaching without being able to see my students’ faces was a challenge and it was medically dangerous to go on without an operation. What if I could not find another specialist quickly? Plans formed in my head on how to deal with Dr. Frankenstein at our next meeting. At the least I would eat a clove of garlic, top it off with onion, and breathe heavily with my mouth open when his face was in mine. I considered slightly moving his rolling stool from behind him so that he found his next seat on the floor. And then I had another great use for the water bottle I would carry in my purse. While he was writing his notes at the counter, I would christen the stool. His meticulous white coat would be wet in the back and I was anxious to see his expression. But I did none of the above, as I found another surgeon with a much more pleasant manner and, evidently, less skill when he does cataract surgeries. I am patient 500,001 with nerve damage which generally doesn’t occur. I guess I’m special.
Dr. Frankenstein (or, Dr. Frank for short) made an impression on me by one thing he said. He pointed a long finger and warned, “If I learn that you ever use Visine again, I will have nothing to do with you.”
Honestly, was that supposed to be a punishment? But the same words were echoed after the surgery by other specialists. Visine dangerous? The little bottles that soothe and cool and makes the red disappear? Ben Stein promotes it and look how smart he is! I never left the house without it. I had a bottle in every size, every formulation. My routine has changed permanently.
Visine is a vasoconstrictor, and redness disappears because your blood vessels cut off the flow of blood to your eyes. With continued use, it actually causes more crimson and you reach for your bottle to stop it more and more frequently. It creates the ultimate Catch-22 and your chances of being permanently harmed by it are high. This liquid can also affect the cornea and cause complete blindness. If you need it once in a great while, it is safe. If you find it helpful and rely on it more than once or twice in a month, as I did, you become a junkie. There is such a thing as addiction to Visine–who knew? Lots of women across the country are suffering permanent vision loss because of the drops we thought were as safe as milk.
Gather your Visine together. Pull the containers out of your purses, vanities, medicine cabinets, glove compartment, and office drawers and empty into a trash bag. Don’t even think about stashing them under sofa cushions or in coat pockets–I know those old tricks. It was difficult for me to say goodbye to something that I had used as a type of cosmetic for much of my life. I find that singing Frankie Valli’s “My Eyes Adored You” will help with the pain before you ditch the product for good. So now what, especially if you are plagued with allergies and sinus problems? Make the switch to GenTeal®, an anti-irritant found in the drugstore, my second home, and watch for an immediate improvement. It is completely free of preservatives.
Like Visine, Genteal®, comes in a large array of strengths, depending on your degree of discomfort. I prefer the gel version. It is a clear lubricant that liquefies upon contact, creating a non-blurring, protective film. Now, doesn’t that sound cozy? The main ingredient in Genteal® is completely different than that contained in Visine and works with your eyes’ enzymes to clear away debris, thus preventing the invasion of harmful bacteria. Red, what red? Tired, dry, strained eyes are hydrated and comforted. If dry eyes are particularly irritating, try the “P.M. Gel Version” and awake with eyes which are hard to resist. There is another benefit–GenTeal® offers long-term corneal protection, so this is a win-win product. Visit www.genteal.com to print money-saving coupons.
So, it is death to Visine for the Drugstore Deals Reviewer (and hopefully her treasured readers). As a memorial to this icon, in lieu of flowers, please send monetary donations directly to me.