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Workshop Contact Lenses

Regarding the use of contact lenses in the workshop, I can offer
my own experience. I have worn extended wear lenses for over 12
years and have had no adverse experiences with them. In fact the
often repeated warnings regarding foreign objects in the eye and
the possibilities of damage by grit or shavings becoming lodged
between the lens and cornea is the opposite of my experience. I
use Optivisors to view all of my close up finishing & grinding
and these have served well to shield my eyes from most debris,
however on the rare occasion that I have had grit in my eye, the
lens acts as a protective covering, sort of a corneal condom if
you will. In fact I have had eyelashes in my eye that have been
quite painful while on the schlera (white part of the eye) but
when they travel onto the surface of the contact they cannot be
felt at all. I beleive the cautionary statements given by
professionals fall into the “cover your ass” category, I know
that hard contact wearers have extreme reactions to anything in
the eye, and perhaps the warnings are left over from that era. As
to acid splashes, etc. the proper use of pickles and quenching
procedures, as well as some form of eye shield will prevent any
contact, if fumes are a worry for your eyes you should really be
concerned for your lungs, your mouth is located just under your
eyes and produces suction about 18 times a minute. If your eyes
are bothered by fumes, you should not work in that environment
until the air quality issues are resolved! I myself use cold
pickle, it takes longer to work, but the aerosol issues are much
reduced. Steam cleaning will remove any stubborn boric acid glaze
remnants, and if oxides persist a gentle reheating and quenching
(with a new glaze coat) will generally effect a cure.