A session at the optometrist is almost as painful as a visit to the dentist. No, really. Hear us out: Not only do you have to put yourself through that dreaded eye test where you know you'll bumble through 95 per cent of the charts with your less than eagle-eyed vision, you're then subjected to forking out a considerable amount of moolah to purchase corrective lenses if you don't want to walk around blind. Demoralising just about sums it up.
But there's hope yet; here to better the experience is Two of a Kind, the first direct to consumer contact lens brand in Singapore — and Asia, for that matter. Founded by Singaporeans Javad Namazie and Darryn Tan (#supportlocal), who are frequent lens wearers too, the two-years-young brand is disrupting the industry by giving the stagnant contact lens retail model a re-jig. By circumventing the traditional model, Two of a Kind is able to cut out the artificial margins that drastically mark up a box of daily disposables which consumers inadvertently end up paying for. In contrast, Namazie and Tan go directly to the source, focusing their budget on quality manufacturing and materials instead. This enables them to offer customers much lower prices, as well as a more personalised service, via the ease of a digital platform.
Another divergent element is the brand's desire to engage with their clients by way of an objective eye health assessment, conducted by their in-house optometrist. The entire affair isn't at all stressful, as the Buro team can attest when Two of a Kind dropped by our office for a meet-and-greet where a handful of us were treated to the brand's version of an eye consultation. It's as casual as you please, plus you get constructive advice on your personal lens-wearing habits.
An initial consultation is available through a quick booking on the website, and first-timers get to walk away with a free trial of Basis, the brand's flagship range of clear daily disposable contact lenses. These are manufactured in a global medical science hub in Taiwan and have the stamp of approval from the Singapore Health Sciences authority. You know, in case you were wondering. And as for cosmetic lenses, well... you'll have to cross your fingers because they're in the works as of now, with the Two of a Kind team going through samples and sussing out colours.
So have we piqued your interest to have them in your sights? We're talking daily disposables from a solid contact lens brand, delivered to your doorstep monthly, and all at a fraction of the price compared to what you get from the usual retailers.
While you sit and deliberate on whether you ought to give Two of a Kind's subscription service the greenlight, let us regale you with a few facts we gleaned from them on contact lenses that you might have known:
1. It's actually ill-advised to wear or remove your lenses at the bathroom sink as any accidental drop immediately contaminates them. The recommended locale to do so is at a desk, with a clean surface, of course.
2. The cause of lens discomfort might not always be a foreign object taking up residence in your eye. It could be caused by the fit of the lens itself, in which the curvature doesn't adhere snugly onto your eye, hence the discomfort. One indictor that your lenses are too 'loose' is if it moves around a lot whenever you blink. Conversely, there are also contacts that are too 'tight', which can cause perpetual dryness.
3. Another lesser known truth is that you might have been optically misdiagnosed. Cases of overcorrected vision — by as much as 100 degrees — are actually fairly commonplace. But isn't a prescription higher than what you need better? Rather than Superman vision though, this puts a strain on the eye muscles, especially if you're looking at stuff in close range for long hours (like on your laptop. And your phone. And your tablet.)