Poor Vision while Surfing

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by DosXX, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. DosXX

    DosXX Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2013
    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. ziptiespec

    ziptiespec Well-Known Member

    Aug 31, 2010
    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. WLP215

    WLP215 Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    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.

    CBSCREWBY Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    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. seldom seen

    seldom seen Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    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. MFitz73

    MFitz73 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    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. lancer1991

    lancer1991 New Member

    Aug 24, 2010
    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. skimdog

    skimdog Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 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. PhiloSurfer

    PhiloSurfer Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2010
    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. pinkstink

    pinkstink Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2012
    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...
  11. pinkstink

    pinkstink Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2012
    Also never lost any that I can remember. But I never open my eyes under water so that helps
  12. Pursuitofhappiness

    Pursuitofhappiness Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    I used Silverfish prescription sunglasses. Very pleased with them. Dusk and dawn were a little tough, so I wondered if transition lenses would be better. Had the glasses and a hat tethered to a lanyard and after a very busy surfing season, they got swept away on a big day in September when a hold-down pulled the hat, toward shore, stretching the lanyard to a breaking point. Need another pair.
  13. MFitz73

    MFitz73 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    Hey their your eyes man. I used 2 week reusable and I started getting eye infections. Even though I cleaned them after every use. My eye doctor said if you must use them get 1time lenses. No infections since.
  14. DosXX

    DosXX Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2013
    Thanks for everyone's inputs. Soft contacts appear to provide the most success. I'll have to do something if I'm going to continue surfing in the years ahead.
  15. iLL

    iLL Member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I have surfed in my soft contacts for years, never had any type of infection and have only lost 1 in the 10 years of surfing. I for one NEVER open my eyes underwater, in florida mush you never really have to open them to figure out which way is up. I always keep a spare set with me because if I lose one I wouldn't want it to ruin my session.
  16. Driftingalong

    Driftingalong Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2008
    I wear monthly disposable soft lenses. No issues to report except that I think I've lost one maybe two in the surf. I never open my eyes underwater. I'll usually just flush them with solution/drops after a session when I get home.
    The big key to avoid infections is not trying to extend the life of the lens.
  17. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Good thread, been weighing the options to get Lasik or contacts for a while. I had glasses a while back but they got destroyed and I never got another pair. I just don't like wearing them all the time. So it's good to see those with contacts and those with lasik are both happy, so it doesn't seem to matter what choice I go with, it's just a matter of preference I suppose. Last time I saw an eye Dr. he suggested I not get the surgery because my eyes weren't that bad and I was still young, but who knows what 5-6 years could have changed.
  18. MFitz73

    MFitz73 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
  19. fupafest

    fupafest Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Go to your eye doctor and get daily contact. I used them for a few years before I got the LASIK done. Reason you want to go with daily contacts is you can toss them after your sess. I had an eye infection from using the 2 week contacts after a sess. Also, its better if you lose one you dont lose your supply for the next two weeks for that eye. I used to keep a few pairs in my glovebox in case one falls out or you have a surprise session.
  20. fupafest

    fupafest Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Keep in mind though that daily contacts are more expensive and if your young enough Lasik would be a more valuable and better option for you.