Wearing contacts in China?

Jan 23rd, 2002, 02:49 AM
Posts: n/a
Wearing contacts in China?

I'm considering going to China in the spring. I wear rigid gas permeable contact lenses, that hurt when particles get under the lenses. Some messages have complained about all of the pollution in China. Did any other contact wearers experience problems? Would you recommend just wearing my glasses? (I prefer contacts because I see better with them than with my glasses and because it is more comfortable than wearing glasses all day.)
Jan 23rd, 2002, 03:51 AM
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Where in China are you planning to visit? The pollution is much less in Beijing and Shanghai than it used to be.

I used to wear gas permeable lenses (don't any more for various reasons). I found that wearing sunglasses helped keep most of the particles out.
Jan 23rd, 2002, 10:02 AM
Peter Neville-Hadley
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Beijing is indeed one of the world's most polluted cities, and indeed according to the Chicago World Watch Institute, nine of the world's ten most air-polluted cities are in China.

The problem for wearers of rigid lenses (and perhaps others) is more likely to be soreness of the eyes from the pollution, and discomfort resulting from the flu-like symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, watery eyes) caused some of those who arrive from significantly cleaner environments. Both effects tend to wear off after a while, however.

Sharper discomfort can indeed come from the dust, both that which blows in from an increasingly desertified area of high ground to the northwest, and that which is the product of Beijing's constant construction--a problem in the build-up to the 1999 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic, and a problem now with the continuing destruction of vast areas of Beijing in anticipation of the 2008 Olympic Games.

However, I do wear rigid lenses all the time I'm there, which is usually twice a year, and has included periods of residence. I survive by wearing sunglasses, as has been suggested. Windy days can be good because the pollution is blown away, but less comfortable because the dust is whipped up. On average, though, it's bearable. But if your eyes are particularly sensitive, you may wish to take your preferred brand of eyewash with you, although many are available in Beijing's pharmacies and department stores.

Peter N-H
Jan 24th, 2002, 02:47 AM
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Thanks for your help Deej and Peter. I appreciate your taking the time to give me the benefit of your experience.
Jan 24th, 2002, 11:03 PM
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Maybe you can check the website of www.travelchinaguide.com, a excellent site full of travel travel information and knowledge!
Feb 9th, 2002, 12:32 PM
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I wear rigid gas perms and didn't have any more trouble than I do in the states. One thing that was very useful though: on our first day I bought a bottle of water that had a squirt top on it rather than a twist off. That made it very handy for cleaning off my lenses as you can't use the tap water.

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