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Corrective Lenses or Contacts

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I don't need glasses quite yet, but as I get older, my eyesight seems to be getting worse.  I definitely need to buy some cheaters for reading.  But, it definitely makes me think about the not-too-distant future, and the fact that I'll probably need corrective lenses at some point.

 

I did a thread search, but most of the threads are several years old.  Ski equipment technology progresses, so using that logic, eye wear technology progresses too.

 

I guess the question is, for those of you who wear corrective lenses, which do you prefer when you ski... glasses or contacts?  What are the pros and cons of each?  Are there any tips or tricks you've figured out, that make wearing one or the other a more pleasant experience?  Is there a certain brand of ski goggles that seems to work better with glasses or contacts?  If you prefer glasses, is there an anti-fogging product that works better than others for skiing?  Any additional information you'd care to share that may be helpful to me or someone else?    

post #2 of 25
I preferred contacts to glasses, and then had LASIK done which beat both. Glasses with goggles just didn't work for me. I had no issues with contacts while skiing other than my eyes would at times be tired and dry in the late day.

Other opinions may differ but other than some folks having difficulty wearing contacts for one reason or another, I can't see (no pun intended) glasses as the better option.
post #3 of 25
Contacts. No fogging. However, eyes will water or dry out unless you use goggles. No issue which goggles.

On the other hand, I've worn contacts for forty seven years. Started with hard lenses, and then discovered soft lenses, would never go back. I have an astigmatism and the lenses are perfect. However, don't send me a text while I'm skiing, since I need reading glasses to see stuff closer than three feet. Not everyone is able to get past the bit about sticking something in your eye, but I'm pretty sure at this point, I could even allow someone else to do it to me if I was ready.

Aside from comfort, I don't think my lenses at least have changed much technology-wise in the last 25 years. The cleaning process has gotten way easier with disposable lenses. Mine are supposed to get changed every two weeks or something, but I think I generally go a couple months before opening a new pack. Sleep-in lenses ended up not being a good idea. I got little veins in my cornea and had to stop wearing contacts for a while. Apparently that cleared up.

I think @Phlox had LASIK, but it didn't last? I seem to remember something about that.
post #4 of 25

I far and away prefer contacts.  I find glasses a hindrance for three reasons:

1) fogging

2) limited peripheral vision

3) I like to switch between wrap-arounds and goggles, depending on conditions.  With glasses, you would need have to both prescription wrap arounds and either prescription goggles or your glasses plus OTG goggles.  Prescription wrap-arounds have distortion because of the curvature, and are necessarily heavier.   Prescription goggles have limited peripheral vision, and are heavier.  OTG goggles plus glasses means having to mess with two things, an additional physical presence on your face and, again, limited peripheral vision.

 

Contacts free you from all of this -- you can choose non-prescription goggles and/or wrap arounds, giving you much greater choice, less weight, and less expense.  

 

The downside of contacts is cleaning them.  So I've switched to one-day disposables, which have come down significantly in price since they were introduced -- they now cost a little over $1/pair.  Wear them for a day, and throw them out.  In addition, since they're so inexpensive, if one pops out, you don't need to bother searching for it -- just carry a couple of spares in your ski jacket. 

 

Using Google I  found there are about 7 different models available.  I went to my optometrist and, after he determined my prescription, I asked him to get me three pairs of each of them (since they're so cheap, he can easily get free samples of all of them from the lens companies).  I tried each of these, and kept notes on the comfort and vision.  In addition, I downloaded an eye chart and taped it to my living room wall to objectively test the clarity each offered. In this way, it was easy to pick out the best one for me.  That was about 1.5 years ago, and I haven't looked back.

 

To put them in, I just open the packages, briefly rinse them with preservative-free saline (Arm&Hammer Simply Saline) and insert them. I then put in a couple of drops of GenTeal Mild to Moderate, followed by a couple of drops of Blink Gel Tears.  After doing this I rarely have dryness, regardless of whether I'm using goggles or wraps.  But you should experiment yourself to see what works best for you.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Edit: I decided against Lasik for two reasons.  First, my corrected distance vision is between 20/15 and 20/13. I think Lasik is considered a success if you get 20/40.  That wasn't good enough for me.  Second, I would need reading glasses when using the computer and for any close work.  Currently, to use the computer or do close work, I simply leave out my contacts.


Edited by chemist - 4/11/15 at 3:29pm
post #5 of 25
If you can tolerate contact lenses, you should ski in them for safety. Glasses crumple on impact and mar your face (and can slice your eyeball, blinding you) when that out of control snowboarder slams into your back at high speed sending you into a 100+ ft yard sale.

They also work with most goggles and don't fog up.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I think @Phlox had LASIK, but it didn't last? I seem to remember something about that.

I had LASIK 6/2011 at age 40. My vision was ~ 20/400 in one eye and 20/600 in the other prior to LASIK and I wore gas perm hard lenses to correct for astigmatism. Post LASIK, I had about one year of correction free 20/20-20/30 vision. One eye remains around 20/30, while the other now requires correction for mid and far distance. Last year I had an optometrist who specializes in sports vision fit me with contacts and I now wear disposable lenses in one eye only for distance vision. I've skied with both eyes corrected but then I have no near vision. My right eye, which is corrected for distance, compensates for my uncorrected left eye, which I use for near vision. I'm told that I will "enjoy" the difference in vision between my eyes once I get into my later 40's and near vision starts to go. I revel in the fact that I can see well enough to find my way around without lenses - for someone who wore lenses from age 6, this was worth the cost of LASIK even though I did not get a "perfect" result.

 

I love the convenience of daily disposable lenses. The only problem I have is when I forget to take them out at night. Gas permeable lenses were more challenging to ski with, mostly due to eye dryness, but greatly preferable to goggles over glasses.

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I need reading glasses to see stuff closer than three feet.

 

I'm in the same boat when I wear regular contacts..without them I can read just fine. If you haven't already you might want to try a multifocal lens...I use ones with the reading focus in the center and it actually works pretty well.  Not as good as bifocal glasses but better than standard lenses.

post #8 of 25
Lasik for me after wearing contacts for 15years. The eye feel healthier from not sticking plastic in them everyday. And the fear that I will blink out a contact then truly be in trouble is removed.
By chance this topic came up on a 6pack at canyons and 4skiers had lasik myself included and the 5th was scheduled. All outdoorsy looking folks ( not newbiees) and all so super glad they did it, 2 of which only regret was not doing it sooner
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Contacts. No fogging. However, eyes will water or dry out unless you use goggles. No issue which goggles.

 

Agreed.  I had to ski in glasses again this year for the first time in over 15 years.  I went on a trip and forgot to bring my contacts (I don't wear them every day, I wear glasses most days).  Definitely contacts for me in the future, no question.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post
 

So I've switched to one-day disposables, which have come down significantly in price since they were introduced

 

Yes!  As I said, I don't wear my contact every day because I'm happy enough with glasses most of the time.  I mainly wear them for activities (skiing, biking, running, etc.) or in the summer when I want to wear sunglasses on the weekend.  So for me, who usually wears my contacts at most 2 days a week unless i'm on vacation, the one day disposables are absolutely perfect.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abox View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I need reading glasses to see stuff closer than three feet.

I'm in the same boat when I wear regular contacts..without them I can read just fine. If you haven't already you might want to try a multifocal lens...I use ones with the reading focus in the center and it actually works pretty well.  Not as good as bifocal glasses but better than standard lenses.

I had those damn things, makes you constantly move your head like a bird. Returned them for bifocals, then I can at least look left and right without moving my head. I'm used to contacts, can look every direction and the correction is the same. I can put on cheap readers to read a book or another pair for the PC. I really hate wearing glasses.
post #11 of 25

jaobrien6 and sibhusky have both noted dry eyes with contacts unless you wear your goggles. But note that this varies with the individual.  In my case, my eyes are almost always fine with my wrap-arounds.  But I do need to use the drops right after I put them in, as I described in my first post.  And on the unusual occasions when I experience dryness, I just put in a couple of refresher drops from a tiny plastic bottle (~.5 oz.) I bring with me.

post #12 of 25

I always wear contacts. Never had a problem. I also always wear goggles. 

post #13 of 25

Glasses worn under goggles can fog up often at inopportune moments.

 

I used soft contacts when skiing hard when I was younger, worn with sunglasses with side [ leather ] pieces to cut down watering issues. Never had any issues losing a lens despite some serious yard sales.

 

Nowadays I ski with prescription sunglasses and that works EXCEPT when it is snowing and it is wet snow. Then it is back to the contacts and goggles.

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post


I had those damn things, makes you constantly move your head like a bird. Returned them for bifocals, then I can at least look left and right without moving my head. I'm used to contacts, can look every direction and the correction is the same. I can put on cheap readers to read a book or another pair for the PC. I really hate wearing glasses.

 

I was talking about multifocal contact lenses..

post #15 of 25
Not sure I understand how those would work. My pupil is always shrinking and enlarging. Seems like with a need for three different focal areas, I'd be looking for the right light source to see certain things and couldn't really look suddenly at a book, for example. Sounds like a recipe for a migraine.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by checksix68 View Post
 

I don't need glasses quite yet, but as I get older, my eyesight seems to be getting worse.  I definitely need to buy some cheaters for reading.  But, it definitely makes me think about the not-too-distant future, and the fact that I'll probably need corrective lenses at some point.

 

I did a thread search, but most of the threads are several years old.  Ski equipment technology progresses, so using that logic, eye wear technology progresses too.

 

I guess the question is, for those of you who wear corrective lenses, which do you prefer when you ski... glasses or contacts?  What are the pros and cons of each?  Are there any tips or tricks you've figured out, that make wearing one or the other a more pleasant experience?  Is there a certain brand of ski goggles that seems to work better with glasses or contacts?  If you prefer glasses, is there an anti-fogging product that works better than others for skiing?  Any additional information you'd care to share that may be helpful to me or someone else?    

From your post it sounds like you are becoming farsighted--you say you need reading glasses--in which case you likely will not need correction to ski. If you do wear glasses to ski my experience has been that the only thing that works for fogging in all conditions--wet days with high exertion level--is fan goggles, like Smith Knowledge Turbos. If you do buy goggles look for those labelled as OTG. I've never worn contacts but my kids wear them to ski and prefer them, although on a recent trip my younger son didn't want the hassle of contacts and chose to ski with his glasses, which worked fine for him.

My situation is the opposite of yours--after wearing glasses for 60 years my nearsightedness has been corrected by the farsightedness of aging and I can now ski without glasses. What a treat that has been. I do need glasses to read fine print. The only downside--after wearing glasses every waking moment, I have stopped wearing them all day long just at the age when I start forgetting where I put things, plus my current glasses--old fashioned gold wire frames--tend to vanish into the furniture when I lay them down. 

post #17 of 25
Just because you need reading glasses doesn't mean you are getting far sighted. Your eye muscles just can't adjust to changes in distance. I'm 63, need both PC glasses and reading glasses if my contacts are in. PC glasses and distance glasses if they are out. Anything farther than 1 foot is fuzzy. The reading glasses thing started at forty. I think if that was a sign I was getting far sighted it would have happened by now. Instead, the PC problem has been added.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Not sure I understand how those would work. My pupil is always shrinking and enlarging. Seems like with a need for three different focal areas, I'd be looking for the right light source to see certain things and couldn't really look suddenly at a book, for example. Sounds like a recipe for a migraine.

 

Apparently your eye/brain decides which focal point to use...it can take a few seconds to adjust so you're correct that text won't be crystal clear the moment you look from far to close.  But I've found that it works perfectly for computer screen reading and adequately for menus, checks, the usual things.  It's not practical for me to walk around all the time with reading glasses so they fill the gap nicely.   These are what I use...you might be able to try a sample from your optometrist.

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abox View Post
 

 

Apparently your eye/brain decides which focal point to use...it can take a few seconds to adjust so you're correct that text won't be crystal clear the moment you look from far to close.  But I've found that it works perfectly for computer screen reading and adequately for menus, checks, the usual things.  It's not practical for me to walk around all the time with reading glasses so they fill the gap nicely.   These are what I use...you might be able to try a sample from your optometrist.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Not sure I understand how those would work. My pupil is always shrinking and enlarging. Seems like with a need for three different focal areas, I'd be looking for the right light source to see certain things and couldn't really look suddenly at a book, for example. Sounds like a recipe for a migraine.

 

When you attempt to read something up close, that triggers the accommodation reflex. When you're young, this allows your crystalline lens to become more spherical and add power, allowing you to focus on the near object. When you start moving in to your 40s, the lens becomes stiffer and accommodation becomes less effective. Hence, you start to need reading glasses or bifocals.

 

Another aspect of the accommodation reflex is that your pupils constrict. So with a bifocal contact lenses, the "reading" portion is placed in the center of the lens so when the pupil is constricted, it dominates and you can see up close.

 

Abox is also correct in that there are multifocal contact lenses that use concentric rings to create multiple focal points (near and far, or intermediate and far) and your brain "chooses" the image it wants.

 

Edit: FYI, many people do not adjust to these types of lenses (men seem to do worse than women). And I would never recommend them for skiing. Multifocal lenses probably reduce contrast sensitivity, too. You should ski with standard monofocal lenses with your distance prescriptions.

post #20 of 25

I had much better luck with contacts verses glasses, glasses just distorted everything and made me feel like I was 8' tall. About 15 years ago I got Lasik and it was BEST thing I ever did for myself. I now have to wear reading glasses but I would have to have worn bifocals or reading glasses anyway. 

post #21 of 25

Contacts.....No contest!

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kauffee View Post
 

 

 

And I would never recommend them for skiing. Multifocal lenses probably reduce contrast sensitivity, too. You should ski with standard monofocal lenses with your distance prescriptions.

 

I've skied with mine for two seasons and haven't had any problems.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Just because you need reading glasses doesn't mean you are getting far sighted. Your eye muscles just can't adjust to changes in distance. I'm 63, need both PC glasses and reading glasses if my contacts are in. PC glasses and distance glasses if they are out. Anything farther than 1 foot is fuzzy. The reading glasses thing started at forty. I think if that was a sign I was getting far sighted it would have happened by now. Instead, the PC problem has been added.

Starting to need reading glasses when you get older is presbyopia, caused by stiffening of the lens, as Kauffee said. Presbyopia is a form of hyperopia, the lay term for which is farsightedness. Hyperopia is the inability to focus on things that are close. Myopia (nearsightedness) is the inability to focus on things that are far. I was myopic as a kid, up to middle age--I could always read without glasses. As I've gotten older my myopia has improved to 20/40--I no longer need to wear glasses to drive, ski, or just walk around, but I now need glasses to read fine print. Most myopics aren't so lucky--they stay myopic as they become presbyopic and need glasses for both near and far--like my wife didn't become myopic until her 50's.

 

In any case the fact that the OP needs glasses to read doesn't mean he will need them to ski.

post #24 of 25

I've worn hard contacts (the old standard ones, then gas perm) for more than 40 years.  After about age 45, as reading became harder, my optometrist suggested mono-vision lenses -- the non-dominant eye (left in my case) dialed for close vision, the other for distance.  It worked really well, though every few years I've had to update the prescription.

 

When I ski, though, I go back to my old left contact for vastly improved depth perception -- it must be 20/15 or better, because I can read the bar code on a bug's wing at a hundred yards with them.  Driving with mono-vision is no problem, though.

 

According to the optometrist, gas permeables are much better for eye health as well as for long-term stabilization of corneal shape -- the prescription doesn't change as often.  He complained that most people don't have the patience to get used to them, so he doesn't sell as many as he'd like.

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

I've worn hard contacts (the old standard ones, then gas perm) for more than 40 years.  After about age 45, as reading became harder, my optometrist suggested mono-vision lenses -- the non-dominant eye (left in my case) dialed for close vision, the other for distance.  It worked really well, though every few years I've had to update the prescription.

 

When I ski, though, I go back to my old left contact for vastly improved depth perception -- it must be 20/15 or better, because I can read the bar code on a bug's wing at a hundred yards with them.  Driving with mono-vision is no problem, though.

 

According to the optometrist, gas permeables are much better for eye health as well as for long-term stabilization of corneal shape -- the prescription doesn't change as often.  He complained that most people don't have the patience to get used to them, so he doesn't sell as many as he'd like.

 

My opthamalogist also suggested I stay in gas permeables (which I've been wearing for 35 years) because I can't be corrected quite as well with soft lenses (I'm only 20/30 at best even in the gas perms).

 

That said, I'm very, very used to them now, and can't imagine skiing in glasses, or trying to get goggles that work over glasses comfortably.

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