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Old 09-10-2019, 09:32   #1
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Contact lenses/Glasses

I have been using glasses for several years now because my eyes, unlike the rest of me, seems to be aging. Have always used cheap dollar store readers, although I think I am about ready to graduate to real glasses. I have a weird vision problem with my left eye much worse than right and I have recently brought it up to match the other by using a left contact lens only.
I use a mask to clean the boat bottom. With murky water and low demand, vision has not been a problem. Recently went snorkeling in the Galapagos with pretty clear water and lots to see. Clearer vision would have been nice.

Planning an extended tropical cruise with more snorkeling expected. Wondering if I should switch over to full time bilateral contact lenses. More potentially troublesome in regards to maintenance and insertion, eye irritation, particularly in the tropics, especially as I am a newbie to it. Might be less troublesome with salt buildup on glasses in inclement weather however. I imagine there are snorkeling masks that allow use of glasses but that seems like too much trouble.

Interested in pros and cons I might have not considered and how others made the choice.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:38   #2
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

I love contacts for both sailing and diving. No salt spray issues. No special masks. For me, just makes everything easier.

I've used them all around the world - tropics, high latitudes, sun, cold, wind without any problems. But, there can be problems with contacts, so YMMV. My experience there are no more problems on the boat with contacts than anywhere else, but that's just one experience.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:01   #3
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

I had a similar problem as I wore my contacts continuously. Now however, my prescription is too strong and I cannot read with contacts.

Off shore sailing it is hard to read the compass or chartplotter with out bifocal glasses. I tried the contact lenses and readers (Maui Jim make sunglasses with readers) but this did not work too well, especially in low light and I went back to regular glasses.

Diving, you can get prescription lenses for your mask, but I usually use the contacts for that. When I was younger, the refraction of the water matched my prescription and I could see better underwater than at the surface!
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:37   #4
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

I think it depends how your eyes handle contacts. My wife and daughter wore them every day during our circumnavigation. I used glasses and prescription Maui Jim sunglasses and only wore contacts for diving and snorkeling. My eyes are too dry to wear them all the time.
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Old 09-10-2019, 13:51   #5
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

I used to wear contacts, and also have the dry eye problem. I bought a dive mask with corrective lenses, and that is what I always wore snorkeling or diving. I've known a number of people who've lost their lenses while swimming, so would suggest that if you want to use them for snorkeling, you always have at least one set in reserve.

Also, as to polaroid sunglasses, yes, they help a lot, especially when you're learning to spot coral heads.

I did like my contacts, especially for when it's rainy or there's spray flying, but my eyes wouldn't let me use them any more.

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Old 09-10-2019, 14:30   #6
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

I suggest that the key step is to work with a qualified professional and work with the lenses for long enough to get used to them and ensure that they do it for you. Different people have different results, and changes like this can take some time for your eyes (or brain) to adapt.

Extremely nearsighted, I've used contacts for decades with no problems but recently added glasses with progressive lenses (so I can see the horizon and read the chart plotter without flipping reading glasses on and off all the time. I had less trouble than others have reported with this change, but still find my eyes tire more quickly when wearing the glasses. An optician gave me an explanation of this; it's something I'll just have to live with but it's worth it for the other benefits.
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Old 09-10-2019, 17:34   #7
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

Like you, I only wear one lens in the left eye. Took me a long time to find the type of lens I could tolerate. I also lap swim and dive with contacts in, but if I'm doing a multi-dive trip or the first dive of the day is at some ungodly hour, then I have a mask with prescription lenses. There's also greater risk of infection if showering with contacts left in, but that's not something I've looked into that much though I avoid it when I can. I also have bifocals, but not really ready to get fully used to them so I just read with one eye closed. I think a lot might depend on your eventual preferences for different activities. I can tell you that if the lenses are not comfortable, find another type. There's going to be one that you'll be happy to use above the others for just about anything you do.
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Old 09-10-2019, 19:12   #8
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

I bought mask with corrective lenses while in Bonaire. It's made snorkling much more fun.
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Old 09-10-2019, 19:54   #9
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

If you haven’t see a real ophthalmologist in a while, you are older, etc. do yourself a favor and get a pressure check, dilation and inspection. I wear progressive bifocals. I am very near sighted so I read without. I found a prescription mask was cheap and effective. You are going to wear the mask. It might as well do the correction too. Beware of polarized glasses. They make many LCD screens appear black.
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Old 09-10-2019, 22:24   #10
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

Contacts are available as multifocals, I an shortsighted, and wear multifocal contacts when diving, they do take some getting used to.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:52   #11
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

If you want a forever solution
consult a proper ophthalmologist and
investigate Lasik Surgery
I was a glasses and contact lens wearer for 30
years, then 15 years ago had Lasik and threw out
all my glasses, contacts, solutions and cleaners.
It was a 4,500 expense but over the next
15 years saved much more and enjoyed
significantly better vision in all environments.
Fire and forget, the best 4,500 I ever spent.
No more sticking my fingers on my eyes.
Cheers
Neil
PS: Since I had It done ( in US) I think it has become
less expensive, and might be much less in other countries
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:06   #12
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

Get into an ophthalmologist. Get some professional advice that you can't get in a sailing forum. An ophthalmologist will be able to do a professional diagnosis of your problem(s) and come up with the best possible solutions.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:29   #13
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

Neither my ophthalmologist nor my neuro-ophthalmologist have experience sailing so I inquired specifically regarding impact of different solutions on this activity here.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:36   #14
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

++1
Life changing. Another plus is that now I can get any polarizing sunglasses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
If you want a forever solution
consult a proper ophthalmologist and
investigate Lasik Surgery
I was a glasses and contact lens wearer for 30
years, then 15 years ago had Lasik and threw out
all my glasses, contacts, solutions and cleaners.
It was a 4,500 expense but over the next
15 years saved much more and enjoyed
significantly better vision in all environments.
Fire and forget, the best 4,500 I ever spent.
No more sticking my fingers on my eyes.
Cheers
Neil
PS: Since I had It done ( in US) I think it has become
less expensive, and might be much less in other countries
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:45   #15
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Re: Contact lenses/Glasses

Polarization reduces the brightness of or eliminates being able to see many monitors and screens. This is why commercial pilots are banned from wearing polarized sunglasses. Modern glass cockpits have a number of monitors/screens. I have a number of monitors in front of me on the research boat...so I can't wear them either.

I was told by my ophthalmologist that I could trade my nearsightedness for farsightedness, but I could not have both with Lasik surgery. So I chose to keep wearing glasses that allowed me to see in the distance.
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