Specs or contacts?

Inland paddling
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pdean13
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Specs or contacts?

Post by pdean13 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:57 am

Until now I've used a spare pair of specs with a headband for paddling. I've not really paddled anything beyond grade 2... Maybe a tiny bit of 3 on the Tay.

I'm hoping to step things up a bit in the year ahead, but realise I'm now likely to swim and so the specs question has become a bit more important.

So....shall I:

1. Get a proper pair of sports glasses with a decent headband (seem to be loads available - mostly for racquet sports)
2. Stick with cheap plastic framed specs with headband
3. Get some disposable contacts and carry spares in BA.

Whatever I go with, one thing I have learned is that you absolutely must have a spare pair back in the car....

Keen to hear your experience/thoughts.

Cheers,

Paul

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Matto
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Matto » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:18 pm

Plenty of people seem to wear specs whilst paddling WW and get on with them fine from what I've seen. They paddle harder stuff than I do which is generally up to Gd3+.

Personally getting water on my glasses drives me absolutely crazy, even the rain drives me nuts, so I always wear contacts (I wore them for a long time before switching to specs for daily use because I'm getting old and my eyes dry out a lot more now) when doing anything outdoorsy. However after a recent easy swim on the dart loop I found my vision a little blurry and after a little poking and prodding in my eye was rather surprised to find that one of my contacts had decided to continue on down by itself. I don't remember it saying goodbye. First time that's ever happened. So do carry spares. Maybe more than one of each!
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Big Henry
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Big Henry » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:43 pm

I've never been able to tolerate contacts, my eyes are too dry, and used to paddle wearing an older pair of specs with a band to keep them on. After consideration, and realising that there is always the potential of a face full of rock during a swim that could result in eyes full of broken glass/plastic, I decided it was time to invest in some proper eye protection. I ended up getting a pair of hinge-less Oakley's with polycarbonate lenses (photochromic to double up as sunglasses) and a band to keep them on. I tried a fair few of the sports glasses that are about and didn't like any of them, so I ended up having to get the most expensive option! They have vents in them, which reduce fogging, but you at times you have to face the wind or keep moving to stop them fogging up. I now have an advantage over contacts as I am essentially wearing eye protection!

If I were you I'd find as many different varieties of sports glasses and try them on. If you like a pair you then have the choice of them or contacts, narrowing the choices you have to make.

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Badknee
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Badknee » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:57 pm

I use disposable contacts. Opticians advise against using any contacts in water so I paddle and then throw them away as soon as I am finished. I have only ever lost one.
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Chalky723
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Chalky723 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:12 pm

I used to wear my glasses, but found that they mist up as soon as you get them wet & if you're on decent water you don't always have time to wipe them before the next thing comes along (in winter anyway).

I now wear daily disposable contacts when paddling rivers. Just bin them at the end. Occasionally one'll get knocked to the back of my eye, but it'll come back in a minute or 2. A months supply will last me ages as I only use them when I'm paddling WW rivers.

I always have a spare pair of glasses with strap in the back of the boat "just in case" and my regular pair are left in the car.

For artificial courses I don't wear either - as long as I can see 20 feet in front of me, that's enough!! I found that the Olympic course was continually knocking the contacts all over my eyeballs....

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Grian
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Grian » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:23 pm

This topic caught my eye (oh look, an unintended eye pun!) when I logged in because I have just been on the phone to the optician. I wear lenses that mould my eye to the right shape while I sleep so when I wake up and take them out I can see perfectly, its amazing!! I've had them for years and I never tire of the 20:20 result! This approach only works for certain prescriptions, but if you are lucky enough to be in the right category I really recommend them. Once you have removed them you are good to go and aren't vulnerable to anything breaking or falling off or out.

http://www.ortho-k.co.uk

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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Chalky723 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:37 pm

Bah! My astigmatism is too much to use these - I looked into it a while ago.

Very envious!

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PolecatApollo
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by PolecatApollo » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:11 pm

To reduce water landing on glasses, would 'rain X' not work? Ment for car windshields but I use it on my Gopro when paddling, significantly reduces the chance of a drop staying on the lens. There's also a mist preventer version, can be bought as a set. Don't wear glasses myself but may work?

http://www.rainx.co.uk/rain-x-products/ ... repellent/

http://www.rainx.co.uk/rain-x-products/rain-x-anti-fog/

pdean13
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by pdean13 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:27 pm

I'd forgotten about nocturnal contacts - my sister in law has been using them for a couple of years and thinks they are great... Hasn't had any issues either.

Lots of enthusiasm for disposable contacts though - I had heard opticians weren't keen on folk wearing contacts for swimming etc, but I think that's to do with infection risk. Guessing that improves if you are using disposables?

I'm happy wearing glasses the rest of the time so a box of disp. contacts should do me ages.

One of the coaches at our club isn't keen on glasses - in case of an accident that breaks the glasses - that said, sports glasses with polycarbonate lenses should help there...

I'll go and get my eyes checked out for disp. contacts and take it from there.

Thanks all, cheers, p.

Dan Yates.
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Dan Yates. » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:50 pm

I would recommend daily disposables and remove them as soon as you finish boating then wear your specs for the rest of the day (or at least leave it an hour or two until you put a fresh pair in). Obviously buy them from a reputable opticians (not online) and discuss your requirements with them , they can adjust the fit so they stay in better. Get regular checks and always wash your hands before handling them , bottle of hand wash gel in the car works well. I am an Optometrist.

pdean13
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by pdean13 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:48 pm

Thanks Dan, that's great advice. Was going to go with my regular optician (of 20+ years) for advice, fitting and supply.

I carry a gel wash a part of my "lunch" kit and alcohol wipes in my first aid kit so would have used one of these to wash before poking my fingers in my eyes! tbh with all the lurgies that can be in river water it's probably a good precaution whether putting in contacts or tucking into a sandwich!

Cheers, Paul

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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by StillNewish » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:57 pm

Interesting thread! I've worn glasses all my life, and have a second pair for paddling. The main problem I find is with them misting up / getting droplets of water on them. I've never found any way round this, and have recently got some two-week contacts, but haven't been over impressed with the vision I get with them; so the search continues. I was a bit put off by the dire warnings of infections etc, but if using daily disposables and binning them when off the river, does anyone know how much of a problem this is likely to be?

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Matto
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Matto » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:11 pm

My lenses are also daily disposable lenses. They are also multi-focal (because I'm getting old and am now long and short sighted). My understanding is daily disposables mitigate the risk of infection substantially because nothing builds up on the lenses so quickly that it can cause you any real problems before you throw them away. I guess there is a slight risk of bacteria being held behind the lens during the course of the day and causing an infection , but whether this is significantly worse than just getting bacteria in your eye by direct contact (without any lenses) must be open to debate.

FWIW I also wear daily disposables when on multi-day journeys, sometimes putting in pretty long days. This takes a bit more careful hygiene management, making sure my hands are really super clean before I put them in each day, and also trying to make sure I clean my face and around my eyes each morning to prevent any dirt build up. Anti-bacterial wipes are great for this.
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Peter Brown » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:28 pm

I wear disposables on the river. I loose one fairly often, usually due to a splash in the face rather than being upside down. I can get by with only one but if it's a hard river I'll put another in in the next eddy. This can be quite a challenge with wet hands and wind but I have a mirror in my BA and normally manage it. Sometimes one goes astray or gets a bit messed up but sorts itself out in a minute or two. Some kinds stay in better than others, and they seem to come out easier when your face/eyes are dry so I give them a controlled splash when I get on. Never had a problem with infection even after weeks of wearing disposables all day every day. Don't see why the risk would be that high as long as you bin them at end of day.

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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Kizzie_St-As » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:39 pm

I wear monthlys, never had any issues with infection. Daily toric lenses are too expensive and I wear the monthlys for other sports. I've only lost three contacts so far - two of them on the upper moriston! In the exact same non impressive wave near the end too.
Carry spares and eye wash, pre splash your face when you first get on and get good at paddling with your eyes shut! Eventually you learn the reflexes to shut your eyes when they're about to get splashed.
They're just so much better than faff with glasses.
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Dan Yates. » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:57 pm

The increased risk of infection from contacts comes from bacteria entering into the matrix of the lens material then being held against your eye for far longer than it would be than if you just get splashed with no lenses in. This is why you should remove and bin your lens as soon as you leave the water. Technically you could use monthlies but this would only be safe if you still removed them immediately after use then cleaned them with a two step peroxide solution (one where you put them in the peroxide leave them for several hours then neutralize it with a tablet) hardly anyone uses that system anymore and the all-in-one solutions are not really going to cut it.

Daily Torics are more expensive than monthlies but the cost increase will be insignificant compared to the cost of your kit , or the petrol driving to the river , or the pint you have in the pub after. I assume people who would worry about that wear an AP2000 helmet because it is cheaper than a Sweet lid.

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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Kizzie_St-As » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:43 pm

Huh, I hadn't ever really been told about this - despite telling the optician exactly what I was planning to do with my contacts. I think I'll maybe go in and ask again about dailies...
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callwild
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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by callwild » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:04 pm

Dailies for me.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is dailes themselves can vary quite alot from different manufacturers.
I always had no problem until my optician changed brands without telling me and i went on an overseas trip with the new batch. What a pain I lost one every day with even minor splashes.
They seemed to be thicker than my original ones and not conform and stick on as well.
I had to change opticians to go back to the ones that work as my original optician said he was tied to the new company.
The ones that work for me are Bausch & Lomb.

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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Dave Manby » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:27 pm


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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by goatboy » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:30 pm

I use full scleral lenses. They will definitely will never wash out, & according to my optician are much less likely to cause infections. A fair degree of protection from spray and wind as well.

The downside is the fitting process - which is long - and of course the cost. It takes a while to learn how to use them as well.

G.B.

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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Dan Yates. » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:56 pm

Kizzie_St-As wrote:Huh, I hadn't ever really been told about this - despite telling the optician exactly what I was planning to do with my contacts. I think I'll maybe go in and ask again about dailies...
Remember you can stick to monthlies for everything but in the water wear. I have lots of patients who wear monthlies most the time and dailies just for watersports. This means they might only wear dailies a couple of times a week and only use 1 or 2 boxes a year this keeps the cost down compared with dailies all the time.

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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by sundaykayaker » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:53 pm

Prescription swimming Goggles. :)

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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Robert Craig » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:41 pm

I find ordinary specs work fine. I use a rubbery strap thing on the legs of the specs, and this plus the helmet has always kept them on, despite many swims. Misting up usually isn't a problem - usually. Only time I had bad misting was with a cold Alpine river and a suddenly moist day (thunderstorm weather). Nowadays, never even think about it.

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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by jamiemagee » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:44 pm

Only time I've had problem with glasses is when I left them in the car at the start... And then forgot about them so they have now disappeared

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Re: Specs or contacts?

Post by Garry » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:31 am

I have tried various options over past 15 years or so in water up to 4+ and suspect there is no ideal solution as both have different issues. suggest you try both and make your own call but key points from my experience are as follows:-

Glasses:-
Can fall off, but with a head band and a helmet on this is very unlikely
Can fog up at the wrong time! - much more likely and especially somewhere like the alps where water is cold and air temp varies e.g. as you go into a canyon
Splashes on the lens can be a pain.

Contacts:-
Risk of infection - but never been an issue for me in 15 plus years
Can move around (or even fall out) at the wrong time in big water! e.g. I find in Grade 4 or above I now close my eyes briefly on hitting big wave/hole to prevent face splash and unintended movement.
If they do move you are then struggling to see for the next feature!
Dailies more likely to move around than monthlies in my experience.

On Grade 3 and below I typically always go contacts as within my "comfort zone" so typically don't get hit in face to cause movement and not really worried if they do move, on Grade 4 and above, particularly long/continuous stuff I seriously think about glasses with a head band as they don't move around in big water hits to the face, though try and make sure they are anti fog coated.

That said a friend of mine who paddles all of the above and has done for much longer than me has always worn glasses for everything :-)

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