Steamed up glasses!

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John K
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Steamed up glasses!

Post by John K » Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:54 pm

I'm after some advice from paddlers who wear glasses. How do you stop them steaming up when it's cold? Anything particularly effective?

Whilst peril-sensitive glasses do have a certain appeal at times, they're not always particularly helpful!

Ta

dexter123
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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by dexter123 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Check out dive web sites, there is an antifog spray that divers use to prevent their masks steaming up, can't remember the name

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Yellow boat » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:32 pm

I've worn glasses for all my paddling career (40yrs) I've tried all sorts, nothing works for more than an hour or two at best. I just wipe them or paddle by touch. Worst I've had recently was at LV in the summer in a rain storm. Warm water, rain and me with a hot face. Couldn't see a thing had to stop.

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Dave Manby » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:41 pm

Spit works as well as anything

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Mal Grey » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:01 pm

I wear glasses too, so far haven't find anything totally reliable. Some help, will try to find the name of the one I've been using recently but left the bottle somewhere...works for a while and just about enough to mean I don't steam up just putting the helmet on.

My biggest problem is that after/during a swim (open canoeist so no rolling!) I can see bugger all and normally have to pull the glasses down a bit to see anything. Fortunately eyesight isn't too bad (shortsighted, but only 1.5)

So, wondering exactly how I'm going to manage during upcoming WWSR course...

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Jim
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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Jim » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:04 pm

I just wipe them with a finger at the appropriate moment, usually just as a break in, and then again right before I drop into a rapid.

Worst problem I've had recently was playing polo in the rain, face guard makes it really difficult to get your finger in to wipe...

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Chalky723 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:27 am

Another vote for a quick wipe here! Peer over the the top until I have time to do it...

Not found anything else that works reliably.

Wasn't really a problem when I did the WWSR - if you're in the water just dip 'em, if you're out just wipe 'em!

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1993FreeStyle
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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by 1993FreeStyle » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:59 am

I am really short sighted and have worn my glasses a couple of times when kayaking and know how annoying it can be. But almost always wear contact lenses surly that’s the easiest way to avoid steaming up... unless you can’t wear them maybe?

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Kelvin » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:36 am

[quote="Mal Grey"

So, wondering exactly how I'm going to manage during upcoming WWSR course...[/quote]

Just don't be like the guy on a course I did, he volunteered to be the upstream lookout for an exercise then during the debrief he mentioned he could hardly see anything because he wasn't wearing his glasses.

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Chalky723 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:51 am

Don't know - it's always seemed a bit of overkill just getting conatcts just for kayaking TBH, quite happy with glasses in the rest of life.

Are there not problems with water in the eyes messing with contacts?

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Erewash » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:50 am

yes, potentially there is an increased risk of eye infection.

When paddling, water droplets may splash into your eyes that carry microorganism which can cause konjunctivitis and keratitis (an inflammation of the epithelial lining of your inner lids and eye ball). River & canal water is more dangerous than sea water.

The normal tear exchange in the eye helps to wash out such contaminations. Under lenses you obviously have reduced tear exchange and therefore a higher risk of developing an infection; this risk is increased when wearing “extended wear” types instead of “daily disposable” types of lenses.

However, you see that there are so many “ifs” involved that in practice you don’t need to worry too much. Just keep it in mind and check your eyes when you remove your lenses. Also, remove the lenses perhaps sooner rather than later (i.e. at the end of the trip rather than at the end of the day).

I'm using extended wear lenses on multi-day sea kayaking and river touring trips, and daily disposable lenses on day trips, and haven't had a problem so far. The only time that I caught an infection of the eye, and quite a bad one. was when I had muddy water splashing into my eye while riding my mountain bike through a muddy puddle.

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Jim » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:13 pm

I have quite a strong prescription (I think) which used to rule out some kinds of lenses (maybe not any more), but the biggest issue I had was the strength of my blink reflex making it a huge wrestling match to get the damn things in and out (and I broke few doing it - soft not glass). Couple that with possibility (probably remote) of infection and the chance of splashes moving or knocking them out and I quickly gave up on contacts for paddling.

I have rarely lost lenses out of spectacles on the water and only once a whole pair but that was over 20 years ago. The incidents I recall were on the Fresquiere section of the Ubaye in about '99 when i lost a lens from prescription sunnies (almost turned my head inside out, one eye shaded and in focus the other dazzled and out of focus, I got off at the next eddy I could catch), and another on the middle Spean just approaching Spean Bridge, which unfortunately meant I had to get off there instead of continuing into the gorge with the others for a nice high water run.

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1993FreeStyle
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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by 1993FreeStyle » Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:55 pm

Contacts aren’t really that expensive you can get 30 pairs every 3 months for about £11 per month (Also normally get free eye sight tests and often half price glasses which almost works out cheaper then not having them :)) and I find that is enough to cover kayaking and the off days when I don’t want to wear glasses.

They can sometimes move when getting splashed but rarely come out which I carry a spare pair just in case, you may want to just bring glasses as back up because you really need to wash you hands when prodding your eyes which can prove difficult in a muddy ditch...

In terms of infection and that nasty stuff I’ve never had anything wrong but I wear daily disposable ones and remove straight after kayaking. But I supposes there is that risk.

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John K
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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by John K » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:31 pm

I've been wearing glasses a long time, and generally get on OK with them. I did try contacts some years ago, but was never very happy with them and have stuck with glasses since.

I'm finding it more of a problem now that the water is getting colder again, as every time the lenses get wet they cool down and fog up. Lee Valley yesterday was more exciting than it needed to be.

I'll try some of the dive mask stuff and see how I get on.

Thanks :)

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by sundaykayaker » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:49 pm

I have strong prescription. with a prism.

A mate hit the side wall at serpents tail, (just past the under cut, river right) - wearing glasses, resulting a quite a deep cut.
Could have been really serious.

So I tried
* Contact lenses. I don't normally wear contact.
It was a big cufafale. Plus they can't add a prism to a contact lens.
The optician suggested wearing one contact lens in the dominant eye.
That resulted in a lot of squinting :(

* swimming goggles. Because of my prescription ~£125.
"near enough" Standard lens, without a prism would have been ~ £30 from optical express.

THE GOGGLES STILL STEAM UP - because of the temperature differences we experience during a paddle.
HOWEVER... I have found a way rounds this.

The droplets are attracted by dirty surface, any thing and including finger prints/smudges etc.
Clean the lens with very mild detergent (which I keep in a small bottle in my kit bag). Once cleaned. do not touch the lens or spite on it etc. I then trap a small amount of clean (tap) water in the goggle. so When they steam up... I shake my head the small amount of trapped water wipes away the steam and I am good to go again.

THE ONLY PROBLEM is fellow kayker find it funny and attracts comments like " Thinking of going for a swim " ha..ha.
or " R U wearing them for bet" etc... a small price to pay for being able to see.
Hope that helps..
Happy paddling.

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by jiw123 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:11 am

I must admit I've always worn contacts. I was always more concerned about smashing the glasses if I capsized and hit a rock or something than the minior risk of an infection. I've found with contacts if you use a good cleaner like Easy-sept then the risk is basically none existent, I've not had a single infection in 4years of kayaking in contacts.

However RainX works great for keeping water droplets/fog off go-pros though, it just forms a hydrophobic layer so the water runs straight off it, can't see why it wouldn't work with glasses.

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by DaveBland » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:51 am

Anyone got any experience of wearing contacts [thinkng disposable sort] on harder grades where there's more water in eyes and with impacts from drops etc?
dave

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1993FreeStyle
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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by 1993FreeStyle » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:01 am

DaveBland wrote:Anyone got any experience of wearing contacts [thinkng disposable sort] on harder grades where there's more water in eyes and with impacts from drops etc?
I have never run massive waterfalls or anything, but some difficult grade 4 and done some big cliff jumps wearing contacts. I try to always close my eyes before getting hit by a big waves or rolling ect... In terms of impact I don’t really think it would dislodge lenses I’ve had some brutally hard landings when skiing and they never budge. But on big water with lots of holes and waves or on prolonged swims it could become a problem with water splashing them out or moving them so you cant see. Also on a side note if you are finding them uncomfortable or the are making your eyes itch get higher water content lenses more expensive but if find it so worth while :).

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Chalky723 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:25 pm

I find the glasses help in "high splash" situations to keep water out of my eyes.

I may try some contacts if the glasses become a real issue, but at the moment they only really steam up if I'm not moving - the air flow clears them pretty quickly.

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by goatboy » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:28 pm

DaveBland wrote:Anyone got any experience of wearing contacts [thinkng disposable sort] on harder grades where there's more water in eyes and with impacts from drops etc?
Well, I wear them surfing (boat & board), where there's quite a bit of water flying about. Never lost them (in many years ...), though I do keep my eyes closed when rolling / getting spin-cycled.

It occasionally takes a few blinks to re-align them, but that's about it. However, I do think there's something about saltwater, as opposed to fresh - they're much more likely to dislodge in a pool.

G.B.

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by jiw123 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:20 pm

I've paddled up to grade 4 in them no issues both in the UK and the alps. Haven't really done anything in the way of big drops though... biggest straight drop I've done is high force on the tees which unsurprisingly didn't cause any issues. Try and close your eyes when your upside down but it doesn't matter massively if you don't.

To be honest doing bigger stuff I really wouldn't want to risk glasses incase they broke then you'd have metal and glass and all sorts to stab you in the face.

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by DaveBland » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:32 pm

Cheers.
Sorry, reading my post again – I sounded like an arse.
I meant that I have spoken to loads of people who paddle G3 and a bit of 4 who wear them ok. But I find it's the higher volume grade 5 stuff where I can't gust close my eyes and I regularly get quite painful hits of water in. I imagine that would be an issue with contacts. As for drops, it's not the entry - eyes closed for that, but often open them under water to see what's going on.
dave

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by jiw123 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:35 am

With water hitting your eyes theres always the possibility of the contract getting flushed out of position or out of your eye completely. At the bottom of a drop I'd wouldn't be concerned about opening my eyes. I haven't done any grade 5 (well technically I have but the levels where so low it was really grade 4 in my opinion). I have paddled in the alps with contacts though and that was reasonable flow. I didn't have any contact issues despite being in a rather nasty pin at one stage.

Theres pro and cons of both really, My vision isn't so bad that I'd be completely knackered if I lost one lens (if I lost 2 I hope theres nothing too big coming up!) so I prefer contacts to the risk of having glasses smash. Googles like someone mentioned may be answer at least there'd be no metal frames should they break and the flex in the cup would hopefully prevent the glass smashing.

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by MikeB » Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:51 pm

Glass spectacles? Surely everyone uses plastic lenses these days ?

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Chalky723 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:12 pm

jiw123 wrote:so I prefer contacts to the risk of having glasses smash. Googles like someone mentioned may be answer at least there'd be no metal frames should they break and the flex in the cup would hopefully prevent the glass smashing.
I mashed my face off of a rock and broke my nose, I scratched one lens & the glasses frame spread, once the bleeding stopped I straightened the frames & we carried on paddling. I think it'd be harder to break a plastic lens than my helmet to be honest!

I'm sure I read somewhere that if you have an impact with swimming type goggles the resulting suction can cause some nasty effects - bleeding capillaries, sucked out eye etc. - but don't take that as gospel!

C
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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Yellow boat » Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:25 pm

I've also been hit in the face a few times, paddles, rocks, trees and other boats. Usually just scratched lens and a bent frame at worst the frame might break and you will lose the glasses. I think you can still get glass lenses but they are rare.
If you think about it, if you work in an environment where you might get things in your eyes you would where safety glasses, wouldn't you?

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Garry » Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:56 am

On subject of contatcs and harder grades of water, in my experience they can start to be less useful/more problematic as the volume gets bigger. I have used contacts for river boating and play boating for many years and generally found that contacts are fine most of teh time, and never had a problem with eye infectiosn or losing them etc. However as the volume gets bigger then I found they tend to get "moved around" more on the eye. e.g. drop through a big G4+ rapid entry wave/stopper and you get hit in the face with water, this causes the lense to move a bit on the eye. It can generally be sorted easily by a couple of quick blinks to reposition, but you can be effectively blind/non focussed for that couple of seconds just when you dont want to be! I therefore tried switching to glasses for the big stuff, but of course then hit the issue of fogging up as above (seems to be a particular issue as you drop from bright sunshine into walled in canyons, again, just when things get interesting!

So in short, if you are short sighted then nothing is ideal, but both contacts and glasses can work but be prepared to lose visual focus at key moments and adapt e.g. if in contacts, close your eyes through the entry drop wave (to avoid the splash moving the lenses) and save vision for what comes next, if in glasses give them a quick wipe/spit and polish before you go into canyons etc.

And a final point, whichever you use, glasses or contacts, carry a spare set as driving home without them after you lose a set at the bottom of the river is not good - have come close a couple of times but so far been saved by the spare set!

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by Adrian Cooper » Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:00 pm

jiw123 wrote: Haven't really done anything in the way of big drops though... biggest straight drop I've done is high force on the tees which unsurprisingly didn't cause any issues.
Just thought you'd mention that. ;-)

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by John K » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:20 pm

Jim wrote:I just wipe them with a finger at the appropriate moment, usually just as a break in, and then again right before I drop into a rapid.
Having got into the habit of never touching the lenses to avoid smears and smudges, it hadn't occurred to me to do this as I would expect it to just make things worse. Since you and others suggested it I thought I'd give it a try and I was pleasantly surprised. Thanks!

Not particularly impressed with the Cressi dive mask stuff so far, but I'll give it another go. I've also found some FogTech which I used to use on motorbike goggles and worked well, so I may give that a go too.

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Re: Steamed up glasses!

Post by MikeB » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:46 pm

Back in my m/cycling day, I recall there being a sort of "wiper blade" type thing you could get which fitted on your finger. So you could wipe the visor (or googles) if necessary. Maybe worth investigating?

I'm of the "clean lenses" thinking - with spec cleaner and/or something like a touch of detergent, just before I paddle, Never used RainX but I can't see why that would be a problem. I might try it on an old pair. Certainly in my river paddling, all I do is splash water over them on the approach to something where I need to see - seems to work ok.

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