Me and my contact lenses

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Ambassador for Acuvue Oasys 1-Day speaks to OT 

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

How long have you worn vision correction for and what prompted you to go for your first sight test?

I had my first eye test when I was in primary school, I think I was seven-years-old. An optician came in for the day to offer vision screening and afterwards there was a brag between us kids about how many letters we got right. As friends boasted about getting them all right or reading to the bottom line, I remember thinking that the optician didn’t tell me that I had been correct. I later found out that I needed vision correction.

My mum tells me that after I was prescribed spectacles she realised that the signs that my vision was not great had always been there. For example, when I would watch TV in the living room, I never used the couch, I used to lay on the floor really close to the TV.

How has wearing vision correction changed your outlook on eye health?

I’ve known since I was very young that I needed vision correction, which means I’ve always visited the opticians for regular check-ups. However, when I first started wearing contact lenses during my secondary school years, it was great to be able to see without wearing my glasses and still be able to see well. I understood first-hand the difference that the right vision correction could make.

What made you first try contact lenses?

As a teenager, contact lenses became a huge part of me, not just for sport. I regularly used the excuse that I needed to wear them as I was playing sport even on the days when I wasn’t. I would put them in before leaving for school and wear them throughout the day as I felt so much more comfortable and confident wearing them.

"Besides spectacles being quite impractical for me as an athlete…I find contact lenses so much more comfortable"

How did it feel the first time you tried contact lenses?

I remember my first contact lens fitting appointment and how I wasn’t allowed to leave with them unless I could show the optician that I could put them in and remove them myself. Soon after starting secondary school, I remember really wanting to wear contact lenses. I would imagine that this is a natural progression for most teenagers who require vision correction – it certainly was for me. Contact lenses made me so much more confident throughout my school years.

Why do you prefer wearing contact lenses to glasses? 

Besides spectacles being quite impractical for me as an athlete, I find contact lenses so much more comfortable. Particularly my new Acuvue Oasys 1-Day astigmatism lenses, they are so comfortable and they fit so well.  

I have astigmatism, which I understand is quite common, and as a result I was told that for some contact lenses that I have tried previously, I would feel them particularly when I was moving my eyes. However, I can’t feel these at all, I can wear them throughout the day – from the moment I get out of bed, to the moment I go to sleep, from going outside to using Snapchat and watching TV, they are not something I use just for sports anymore.

How have contact lenses helped improve your performance as an athlete? 

As an athlete, I couldn’t be without them. I certainly wouldn’t want to wear my glasses when I compete because, not only would I feel uncomfortable wearing them for events such as the high jump, they probably wouldn’t stay on. I literally wouldn’t be able to complete the first hurdle if it wasn’t for my contact lenses.

Having recently switched to Acuvue Oasys 1-Day contact lenses, how are you hoping they help your performance when you compete in the World Athletics Championships in August?  

With my old contact lenses, even though I could see, I still found myself squinting at times to see better. For me, there is nothing better than the lenses I’m currently wearing – I feel like my vision is sharper too. They will definitely help me in my events such as the hurdles and the long jump – I feel like I’m fully-equipped now.