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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    VA Beach

    Poor Vision while Surfing

    The recent thread on Lasiks covered this to a degree. Others, including myself, wear eyeglasses on a full time basis. For me, this wasn't always the case. I used to do a wide range of aquatic sports from SCUBA to windsurfing without the need for glasses/corrective lenses. Not any more. Age takes its toll.
    I started surfing last August. Initially it was very uncomfortable going without glasses. But I wasn't ready for Lasiks or even contacts. I doubt that prescription goggles would be practical. I'd likely lose them in my first wipe-out. So I pretty much just accepted this and am grateful that I can see well enough to get out there. One adapts. But at dusk, I must get out of the water. With the diminished sunlight, I can't distinguish the swells. Has anyone successfully used soft contacts (or other, non-Lasiks, vision aids) while surfing?

  2. #2
    I'm near-sighted and have needed glasses since the 5th grade. I always wear my soft contacts when I'm out in the water. Without my contacts I'd be completely unable to get set up for waves - my vision is that bad. I considered laser vision correction (PRK, not LASIK) but at my age (37 this year) I'd have to start wearing glasses to read anyway so there's no escape from being a 4-eyes.

    I'm pretty happy with my contacts in the water. I've only had one issue with them and that's losing one. Last year I lost one lens on two different occasions. Losing a lens usually cuts the session short as the decreased depth perception does make it harder to get set up for an incoming wave. I'm just going to make sure I bring a spare set of lenses whenever I head to the beach this year.

    I also find that wearing a pair of sunglasses designed for surfing (and other watersports) helps out a great deal. I have a pair of SeaSpecs and they're invaluable in the morning when you're staring essentially into the sun. I've also never lost a contact when I've worn the SeaSpecs.

  3. #3
    I wear soft contacts every time I'm out in the water- otherwise I get horrible headaches from squinting. My eye doctor discouraged me from doing so for a number of reasons but it's a risk I'm willing to live with to be able to see clearly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Carolina Beach
    Lost one contact last time out. 1st time I ever lost one and it was the wind, not the water that dried it up and blew it out... life guarded in contacts for 2 years, had several rescues, (pool) tried to make an old pair come out by swimming with my eyes open to no avail. Watching for set waves last time out, blinked and out pops a brand new multi-focus lens... Expensive (comparably) but I don't need reading glasses any more nor do I get computer screen eyestrain. Surfing with one contact in and one out is a nightmare.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Turtle Island
    Quote Originally Posted by WLP215 View Post
    I wear soft contacts every time I'm out in the water- otherwise I get horrible headaches from squinting. My eye doctor discouraged me from doing so for a number of reasons but it's a risk I'm willing to live with to be able to see clearly.
    Just out of curiosity, what risks was you eye dr worried about? I've been wearing soft contacts forever and didn't think there were any risks of wearing them in the water.

  6. #6
    Im near sighted... and probably short sighted too lol... I wear disposable soft contacts as well.... if you surf or do any ocean water activity is must be disposable one day wear. you will get infections if you reuse the lense.

  7. #7
    I wear soft contacts in the water. Never had issues in pools growing up as a kid with losing them, but seem to loose a lot lately. I was using Acuvue Oasys wearing as a 1 month contact (cleaning them every night) and I seemed to loose those the most. I'm now using a Bausch + Lomb Bioguard daily that seems a little better, but did lose one the other day also. I seem to loose them coming up out of a duck dive and open my eyes with water running down seems to knock them out.

    Vision isn't horrible, but definitely makes it tough with only one contact in. Go ahead and give them a try, it's better than what you are currently doing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Here is some of my experience in addition to the good advise here already. Most doctors will always advise you to not expose your eyes with lenses in them to anything because contacts reduce the amount of oxygen getting to the outside of your eye and water with bacteria gets trapped against your eye. = higher eye infection risk.

    I use focus dailies as they are cheap. When I get to the beach I put them in. Never have they been irritated while im in the water even at 38 degrees and they work great. If i open my eyes underwater sometimes one or both pop out.To minimize this I open them quickly then shut them only if I get tumbled and need to orient to surface sooner rather than later...... if the water is not moving much where i am eyes open they stay in better. The huge key in this for me is that as soon as you exit the water after surfing take them out ,throw them away and right away wash your eyes out with fresh water, put your glasses on. Sand gets under and stuck on top of your lens. Also sand is in your eyelids and temperature changes affect the lens. = irritation potential high.

    So that being said Ive never gotten an eye infection from skimming or surfing using the dailies. Good luck.

    * This message is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your licensed practitioner for risks and side effects of this message * Skimdog is not a licensed LLC and just wants to push this advise on you.*

  9. #9
    I've worn contacts in the water for over 25 years, 1000s of sessions and have only ever lost two contacts, one time in VB and another at Blacks. I've surfed with them in all size of waves in Hawaii, all over CA, Europe, the Caribbean, and Central America and never lose them. I couldn't surf without them...

    As an added bonus in the past few years AccuVue has added UV blocking to their clear contact so that less harmful rays are getting in to my eyes than my fellow good-visioned surfers.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    South Shore, MA
    Hey Fitz I've been wearing one month disposables for the past 13 years and never got an eye infection. It might depend on where you swim I guess...