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Old 01-10-2005, 18:24   #1
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Question Eye Wear??

I figure this is something that doesn't get talked about much here. We all know that wearing no eye protection while exposed to the harsh glare sailing results in cataracts.

So... being near sighted, I have the following to choose from:

Contacts/Sunglasses - great, but are tough after 12 hours a the helm, eyes tend to get really red

Glasses - offer no protection in the sun

Sunglasses with lenses that change in different light - Eye doctors say these lenses don't offer the same protection a good sport sunglasses set offers

Laser Eye Surgery - Kind of scary and expensive

All in all there doesn't seem to be a great way to block out the glare we get sailing, while being able to easily head to the dim engine room in an emergency.

Any tips? What are some of you doing in this area?
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Old 01-10-2005, 20:34   #2
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Glasses

I wear regular sun glasses, but to stop the eyes from stinging from too much spray from over the bow, ski goggles. They come in a variety of shades.
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Old 02-10-2005, 02:45   #3
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I wear prescription Poleriod aviation design sunglasses and a hat, eerrr I guess you guy's would call it a baseball cap. In other words, it has the peak type brim. I found the Poleriod glasses take away the glare off the water. However, I am due for an eye exam update and I am going to see if they will do a more "sporty" design for me. As in more like a fishermans glasses that have the visors around the side. The biggest danger to eyes is the UV and the UV can get into the eyes from around the glasses. It's not just what you look directly at. I didn't realise it can cause Cateracts as Sean suggested, but I will ad that to the list. It can cause Malinoma(spell) as the extreme, but you can actually get sunburnt eyes. Just ask anyone that has had welding flash what that is like. That's what gives you the tired sore eyes and eventually a good headacke.
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Old 02-10-2005, 06:09   #4
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Sunglasses

UV Protection Standards:

Several regulatory agencies have set standards for UV protection. The most widely recognized are ANSI (The American National Standards Institute), CSA (Canadian Standards Association), CEN (European standard), BSI (British Standard) and AS (Australian Standard).

ANSI Z80.3-1996
ANSI is one of two U.S. organizations to set standards and labeling for sunglasses. The other is the Sunglass Association of America in conjunction with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Both standards and labeling programs are voluntary.

ANSI sets requirements for cosmetic quality, refractive properties (e.g., distortion or blur) and impact resistance. ANSI standard Z80.3-1996 divides sunglasses into three groups:
1. cosmetic: sunglasses that block at least 70% of UVB and up to 60% UVA
2. general purpose: sunglasses that block at least 95% of UVB and a minimum of 60% UVA
3. special purpose: sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVB and 60% UVA

In the USA, unless sunglasses meet standards of the International Standards Organization (ISO-14889) or ANSI Z80.3-1996 section 4.6.3, they must carry a caution that reads: "not recommended for use while driving."

CSA Z94.5-1995
The Canadian standard for non-prescription sunglasses is similar to the ANSI standard. This standard also provides guidelines for color transmission, has special requirements for different kind of lenses (e.g., polarizing to photosensitive) and tests for impact resistance.
- Cosmetic sunglasses have lightly tinted lenses for use in sunlight that is not harsh. They block from 0 to 60 percent of visible light and UV-A rays and between 87.5 and 95 percent of UV-B rays. These glasses are not usually recommended for daylight driving
- General purpose sunglasses block from 60 to 92 percent of visible light and UV-A rays and between 95 and 99 percent of UV-B rays. These sunglasses are good for driving, and are recommended whenever sunlight is harsh enough to make you squint
- Special purpose sunglasses block up to 97 percent of visible light and up to 98.5 percent of UV-A rays. They also block at least 99 percent of UV-B rays, and are suitable for prolonged sun exposure. These sunglasses are not recommended for driving

CEN
European standards classify sunglasses into four groups based on their ability to block UV rays: weak, medium, strong and intense. Sunglasses in the latter group are not recommended for driving.

BSI
British standards are similar to but slightly more stringent than European or American standards for UV blockage.

AS 1067.1-1990 & 1067.2-1990
Sunglasses that do not met Australian Standards (AS) 1067.1-1990 and 1067.2-1990 cannot be sold in Australia. Like ANSI and other standards, they ensure that sunglasses provide adequate UV protection and identify lenses that interfere with the ability to recognize the colors of traffic lights or other roadway signals.
Category 2 - 18% - 43% Transmittance - Medium sun glare reduction, good UV protection
Cat. 3 - 8% - 18% Transmittance - High sun glare reduction, good UV protection
Cat. 4 - 3% - 8% Transmittance (Special Purpose) Very high sun glare reduction, good UV protection - MUST NOT BE USED WHEN DRIVING

Tips:

Contact lenses have not yet been proven to block UV rays. If you wear contacts use sunglasses as well.

Polarized lenses minimize the sun's direct and reflected glare from smooth surfaces like pavement or water. Polarization, however, has nothing to do with UV protection.

Check the lenses for surface distortion.

Anti-reflective (AR) coating can reduce glare, reflections and ghost images (unless the ghost is real).

Tint doesn’t really matter when it comes to UV blockage. Darker-tinted sunglasses don't block more UV rays than lighter-colored lenses. Tints can help light sensitivity and cosmetically help to add color to your face plus hide wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes.
Gray prevents distortion so that colors remain true.
Green allows high levels of green-yellow light waves, the ones to which the eye is most responsive.
Yellow or Pink lenses help for hazy days and at dusk
Brown and brown-amber absorb blue light waves, which are refracted on hazy days to improve contrast and reduce glare.
Orange seems to work for brighter days.
Cool Blue and Warm Yellow are mostly for fun although some yellow tints enhance contrast. Scientists disagree on whether blue light poses a risk to the eye, but this is not a high-priority concern for cruisers, since the greatest exposure to blue light comes from snow reflection.

Further Reading:
http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/ode/sunglass.pdf
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/iyh-vsv/prod/...unettes_e.html
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Old 02-10-2005, 06:51   #5
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Sean, we've found one major variable WRT choice of sunglasses is the degree of peripheral vision NOT blocked by the glasses. As you know, glare is coming at your eyes from every possible angle on a boat and so a wraparound style will provide more UV eye proection. Probably hard to believe up in Maine (especially now that it's October...) but in the Caribbean my main problem with wraparound glasses was the absence of ventilation to the eye orbits; I didn't know that small amount of my face could produce so much sweat! Wraparounds in hot/humid climates are like putting plants inside a hot house, it seems...but wraparounds provide much better protection.

Another surprise was when we started doing longer ocean passages, meaning many hours non-stop in the cockpit over a period of days, and reading a lot. I found that even with dark lenses and in non-Caribbean latitudes, the glare of the page of a book over time would tend to create eyestrain and even a headache...and I almost never get headaches. This may be directly relevant both to your own use of your boat and to that of any charter guests, once you get back into the sailing season. This convinced me that, altho' grey medium density sunglasses are often recommended for best color representation, darker is better aboard a boat at sea.

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Old 02-10-2005, 09:12   #6
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Yeah, chalk this up for exeprience.
When I was in the US Navy. We had a port call. I worked on 50 foot motor whale boats. Liberty boats, they call them.
Well, while my first day out. I was topside the whole entire day. It was summer. And in the Mediterrean, the sun can get to the eyes too.
Later that night. My eyes were hurting. Like they were exposed to the welders arc.
So the next day. I went to the ships store. And bought myself some wrap around sunglasses. This was in 1988. And I spent $80.00 on a pair made by Oakley. I hear they make some of the best sunglasses. And Ray Ban makes some good ones too. I know aviators (airplane pilots) wear them due to flying around in the glaring sun.
So you have to ask yourself. Is the sun gonna get you. Or will it. The answer is: YES. Buy sunglasses. Like the others above my postings have said. They paid the price. And so have I.

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Old 02-10-2005, 12:20   #7
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What ever one does, don't get the mirror type lenses. It'll burn the nose right off your face.

When I was a kid, in the Navy, in the S. Pacific I thought it was cool to wear mirror sun glasses. 15 years later I ended up with melinoma on the side of my nose. Fortunatly, I caught it in time to keep it from spreading.

The stupid thing was, I was seeing a doctor on a monthly basis at the time and he, looking me in the face didn't even see it. I had to point it out to him.

The moral of the story is: When out to sea protect you skin and eyes as much as possible!

BTW Cataracts were detected in my eyes 20 years ago but haven't change since.
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Old 02-10-2005, 15:00   #8
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Good to see what people are using...

I ask because I just snapped the frame of my Oakley wrap arounds. I normally have to wear these glasses AND contacts to be able to see where I'm going in the sunlight.

Now is the chance to "do it right" and find some kind of solution that will allow me to see clearly (fix my nearsightedness), protect eyes from bright sun, and most difficult - go from deck to cabin and STILL be able to see. This is the tough part.

Sunglasses and contacts are the only way I can do this now, but contacts get really annoying after 10 or 12 hours on the helm. Your eyes end up really burning.

What I WISH I could get is Oakley sunglasses that have a tint that vanishes when I go inside. Unfortunately, the optometrist suggested these don't provide good enough protection against the brightness of the outdoors for sailing. (as in they block UV, and can be polarized, but cannot block enough visible light to make your eyes comfortable)

So I guess there is no perfect solution.

PS: I actually noticed the opposite with my Oakley wrap-arounds in the tropics (Bonaire). I noticed that when the heat was beating onto my face from the white deck of the boat, the wraparounds gave me some tiny form of relief on the edges of my eyes.
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Old 02-10-2005, 17:36   #9
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I'm too near sighted to do anything but glasses. Best investment I ever made was a perscriprion pair of Ray Ban's. I go nuts if I forget to bring them aboard. I keep a pair of clip on's if I ever do. The water is terrible on the eyes. You need the best glasses you can buy.

The ones that get dark in the sun - suck! I had them a few years when I didn't sail. You need a good dark pair as far as I am concrened.
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Old 02-10-2005, 18:08   #10
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Quote:
Pblais once whispered in the wind:
I'm too near sighted to do anything but glasses. Best investment I ever made was a perscriprion pair of Ray Ban's. I go nuts if I forget to bring them aboard. I keep a pair of clip on's if I ever do. The water is terrible on the eyes. You need the best glasses you can buy.

The ones that get dark in the sun - suck! I had them a few years when I didn't sail. You need a good dark pair as far as I am concrened.
That's exactly what I hear, Paul.

Question: Is there anything you do when you go down below. I mean say you have on your perscription sunglasses, and there is a problem with the engine, or something below requires your immediate attention. Given that you are using prescription sunglasses, when you go below, you can't see anything, right?

Do you just keep another pair of glasses handy below, where you don't have to hunt for them?

I am leaning toward the prescription sunglasses solution myself, but was worried about not being able to see after being out in the sun and moving into a dark area.

Thanks,
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Old 02-10-2005, 18:15   #11
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Foster Grant

Makes sun glasses. If you here someone talking about Finster Glints, that is the street name for Foster Grants. Just so you know.
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Old 02-10-2005, 21:02   #12
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That's what I do Sean. A normal pair and a dark pair,. Being polaroid, they aren't as dark as a really dark tint glass has to be to do the same job. I seriousely recomend Polaroid. It is fantastic to view things on water with Polaroid. You see things that you simply don't with anything else. And because they don't have to be as dark, you cans till see down below in most situations.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:15   #13
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Prescription Polaroids...

I have a pair of prescription polaroid sunglasses. They are too dark for everyday use but just about perfect on the water.
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Old 03-10-2005, 15:29   #14
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Sean, one thing I did that has proved very useful is to cement some velcro tabs on the back of a glasses holder (the kind your new glasses come in at the Optomitrist) and then attach the holder to a bulkhead at the nav table. A pair of untinted prescription glasses lives there, they only come out when I'm using the chart, sending an email, etc., and then they go right back in the holder. This means they require far less cleaning than the grody pair I use in the cockpit, never see salt water, and at least one 'working' pair of glasses are always available if the 'working' pairs have lost themselves, are smudged with sun cream and salt water, etc. I can also grab them to take with me if I need them to be portable.

No one's mentioned glasses 'strings' (attached to the temples, allowing you to hang the glasses around your neck); I'd be lost without them!

Paul's right: eyes really take a beating out on the ocean.

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Old 03-10-2005, 16:25   #15
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Genius!!!

That's the solution!! A dedicated pair for use with the nav/engine/etc... below.

Simplicity is the key. I'll get a pair of prescription Oakleys and keep my "indoor" glasses below in a case at the nav station.

cool!

Quote:
Euro Cruiser once whispered in the wind:
Sean, one thing I did that has proved very useful is to cement some velcro tabs on the back of a glasses holder (the kind your new glasses come in at the Optomitrist) and then attach the holder to a bulkhead at the nav table. A pair of untinted prescription glasses lives there, they only come out when I'm using the chart, sending an email, etc., and then they go right back in the holder. This means they require far less cleaning than the grody pair I use in the cockpit, never see salt water, and at least one 'working' pair of glasses are always available if the 'working' pairs have lost themselves, are smudged with sun cream and salt water, etc. I can also grab them to take with me if I need them to be portable.

No one's mentioned glasses 'strings' (attached to the temples, allowing you to hang the glasses around your neck); I'd be lost without them!

Paul's right: eyes really take a beating out on the ocean.

Jack
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