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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
    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.

  5. #5
    Sorry, just getting back here now: main risks are scratching your eye with sand or some other particle contained in ocean water and the chance of infection...

  6. #6
    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.

  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    South Shore, MA
    Also never lost any that I can remember. But I never open my eyes under water so that helps

  10. #10
    The problem of contact lenses has been solved long ago: Ocufilcon D 45%. 55 % water. Just pop the lenses in and wear them for like a year or so between cleanings and you'll be fine. If you get stink-eye (this may be more frequent at some beaches and during certain seasons), just wash your eyes out right away. Maybe some ice cream cones or water or champagne or whatever. Whatever gets the crud out! Then wash the lenses - I still use those little protein-dissolver tablets sometimes. Beware of your lenses getting rough on the surface. If so, find out if it's 1) wear or 2) protein deposits. If it's wear, you may need a new set of lenses (they're only like 13.95 a pair if you go with the Premier 55's I mention below).
    For those of you who need a new type of lense, try these, they are sold by Coopervision:

    Biomedics Premier 55. They come with UV-blocking. There are probably 50 different lenses that will work but
    these are aspherics for those of you who have some astigmatism. And they are generally thinner than other
    types of lense. Almost everyone who tries these, likes them. They recommend taking them out at night but I wear mine for about a year before removing them. The only real problem is when I accidentally get stink from the ocean in them. Just be careful about the stink. Treat your eyes right away when this happens.

    Eventually, you should find a lense that works for your eyes. And don't be afraid to take a little squeeze bottle of water and wash your eyes out once in a while. Your eyes will feel great.

    Anyways, this works for me. I have no idea why my lenses don't fall out of my eyes, other than I don't open my eyes much when they're near the water. You may need goggles sometimes but I know how hard it is to keep the goggles from coming off - next to impossible. So you may need to have the goggles built into your hood and have a stronger hood. It might take some engineering.

    But feel free to wear contacts out there so you can enjoy yourself. You'll get the hang of it eventually.