View Full Version : Glasses or Contact Lenses?

Umpqua Hunter
04-04-2013, 12:39 PM
I'm 48, and really hoped to make it to 50 before needing glasses, but I didn't quite make it. I tried LASIK 3 years ago on my bad eye (my right/dominant eye) which brought it back to 20/20, but now its right back where it was before LASIK.

I am trying to decide whether to go the glasses or contact lens route. One of the biggest pieces in my decision is which would be better for hunting and glassing. Glasses will be easier for everyday life. But I would think glasses would be a pain for glassing (my hunting style relies heavily on glassing), or hunting in wet weather (my home state is Oregon). What is your opinion?

If you are recommending contacts, which brand/type do you recommend. This is all totally new to me!

Kevin Root
04-04-2013, 01:33 PM
Gosh after 40 years old vision seems to fade a bit on most folks is what my eye doc told me at least. Making it to 48 is awesome. I had to get reading glasses a while back and just came to the conclusion it was just what I needed to do. For me it does not really affect me for glassing or shooting with the scope. No glasses needed there for my vision yet.

I do need help with fly fishing tying small flies now and not having glasses is terrible work and the glasses make it so much better. Any close up detail work just needs glasses now for me so I carry glasses with me.

If you have to wear bifocals now for both long and close up vision do you have the LASIK option anymore or is that out of the question now? I'm not much help on the contacts question. I think it will all come down to your gut feeling on what option you are most comfortable with.

It would be nice not to age and have vision of my earlier years, but sadly time waits on nobody. I feel your pain a bit needing vision correction. The good news is you have solutions to keep you going strong and that's a good thing.

Colorado Cowboy
04-04-2013, 04:30 PM
Well join the "old folks"! I have worn reading glasses for 25 years now and about 5 or 6 years ago had to start wearing glasses all the time. As I have mentioned before I'll be 72 this year. A couple of years ago my eye doc and I had a discussion about contact lenses. I wore hard contacts a long time ago and they were really uncomfortable, so I was a little leary. He gave me some extended wear soft contacts to try and I loved them. I've been wearing them for about 2 years now. They are called Air Optix brand and I wear them 24/7, never take them out until they are wore out. They last around a month. They will "let you know" when it's time to change them. My eyes get tired and feel kind of "gritty" when they need to be changed. They are pretty cheap too, about $10.00 a lens, so about &20.00 a month. I don't need RX sun glasses, just wear good B & L Ray Bans. I shoot a lot of competition and actually see better than with my old glasses. The only thing that I do is put in a drop of eye lube I get from the doc when I get up in the AM.

I love them:cool:

04-05-2013, 07:20 AM
I have wore contacts since I was 20 (16 yrs) I have a pair of glasses that I wear when I take my contacts out, and I love the contacts compared to glasses. With glasses I get a glare or when raining you are always cleaning them. I can't shoot my bow with glasses (can't see through the peep sight because of where the frame is) and glassing was a pain for me too. I also use Air Optix but have to take them out every few days and let my eyes rest at night.

Umpqua Hunter
04-05-2013, 08:07 AM
Thanks guys!

Kevin, I do have the LASIK option, but considering that really only improved my vision for 3 years or less, I think I'm going to hold off. I think I'll see if my eyesight stabilizes and then maybe do it again. Last time the LASIK surgeon said I would need readers, but when it came down to it, everything cleared up, so it was awesome while it lasted.

Thanks CC and Ruttin....thanks a bunch for the Air Optix recommendation. I really like the sound of that. I am leaning to start with contacts and see how that goes for a few months. Those just might be the ticket. Great info. I really appreciate it!

04-05-2013, 08:12 AM
I've worn glasses for 35 years -- first person in my grade school class to need them (had a few sets of contacts, too). Generally, I prefer contacts, but they are kind of a pain to take care of. I tried contacts again a few years ago, and they just didn't fully correct my vision, they were fine for distance but not for close (which you may think would be fine for hunting, but try reading a gps screen or tying on tackle if you fish). 2 things I love about contacts that haven't been mentioned: they don't fog up in the winter, and you can where sunglasses with them (I've never found a truly acceptable clip on, and buying a second pair of prescription sun glasses can get expensive). That said, I'm going to look into the Air Optix as well.

Colorado Cowboy
04-05-2013, 08:21 AM
One thing I didn't mention is that they do make bifocal contacts. Mine are that type, but they are only partially correctable. It all depends on the correction you need. I still use off the shelf reading glasses in certain circumstances.

One other thing ... when I was on a hunting trip to texas, an Opthomologist was hunting with me (I didn't know him) and he saw me taking my contacts out each night and told me I really didn't have to do that. He also told me let my eyes tell me when I needed to take them out temporarily and also when they needed to be replaced. I've had them last as long as 2 months. When I do take them out for short periods of time, I wear corrective lens glasses and it takes a few hours for my eyes to adjust. I guess this is a misstatement, as i've been told its the time your brain needs to change back to glasses.

All in all....I love them and never want to go back to glasses!!!!

04-05-2013, 02:52 PM
One thing about contacts - if you have dry eyes, and LASIK will make your eye drier, your contact can literally pop off your eye. Good luck finding it in the field and not getting dirt on it when you pick it up.

My eyes have always been so dry I can't wear contacts, though they sure would be nice. Nothing like sweat running down your lenses when you're in the field, at the gym and working in the shop.

If you do wear glasses, let me pass along a couple suggestions.

First, take an extra pair and keep them in your pack. You can lose a screw and the temple can come off or you can roll over them in your tent or step on them in the dark. If you're in the backcountry or even just out for the day and don't have pretty good vision, that can really mess up your trip.

If you're going to be in a tree stand, take a strap to keep them on your head so when you point your sweaty face at the ground they don't fall there. Been there, and had to take my climber back down the tree to get them while deer were starting to come by.

I have used the no-lines graduated lenses for years but I am getting a pair that is just one long distance prescription because I hate the way everything is slightly out of focus if it's not in the middle of the lens. Plus, the close vision part of the lens is so small I have to point my nose at the heavens to read anything and it makes me look ridiculous. So now, I'm carrying separate glasses for reading. Its a little bit of a hassle but worth it to have everything clear.

Keep a lens cloth in a little soft plastic case in your pocket. When you use your shirt to wipe off sweat or dirt over time they really get scratchy, even with the protective coating. Speaking of coatings, get the polarizing and the protective coating, usually as a package price.

I also carry a tiny little case in my pack with extra screws, nose pad and tiny screwdriver. It weighs about as much as a nickel and isn't much bigger. If that sounds like overkill, when you've been around awhile, you learn from experience. Behind everything I carry is a frustrating incident. Small things to solve big problems are good things to have.

04-05-2013, 03:53 PM
A fix for dry eyes is getting your tear ducts blocked. I did this 2 years ago and it made an amazing difference. I have to use my contacts while out hunting, I have such light sensitive eyes I always have to wear sunglasses. Tried with prescription sunglasses but it was a pain the change glasses,

Colorado Cowboy
04-05-2013, 04:20 PM
I always carry a spare set on contacts while I'm hunting and some drops for my eyes too.

04-06-2013, 08:30 AM
I've worn contacts for 19 years now and I'm 31. I now use Focus Dailies, simply throw away at night and put in a new pair in the morning. It's a simple, no hassle, solution that always lends itself to having an extra pair or two around (plus my eyes are equally as terrible, so I don't have to worry about different prescriptions for each eye). I have slept with them in a night or two, but I would bet an eye doctor would tell you not to.
The one thing that I would offer up is to ALWAYS carry some sort of eye drops when out away from town for any period of time (whether you wear lenses, or not). A few years ago I was hunting Coues in Sonora, MX. We stayed in a camp miles from town and a long way from U.S. eye doctors. I got something in my eye one day (thankfully the day after I shot my buck); a piece of ocatillo or something. Whatever it was, I could not see out of my eye for the next day and a half. My eye swelled up like a heavyweight boxer that was on the wrong end of a big swing. Thankfully, one of the hunters in our group brought eye drops as he is a woodworker that always gets sawdust in his eyes. If I was wearing glasses, would they have protected my eyes? I don't know. A coworker of mine years ago who had a fairly strong prescription, always complained of crosshairs in scopes not lining up right and sometimes even seeing double because of his glasses.
So, like all things, there are probably pros and cons to both. Fortunately, most eye doctors typically have "sample packs" of contacts that they will normally let you try (free of charge other than the $ for the visit). You might try that and see what you think.

04-08-2013, 11:08 AM
Other possible contact brands are Acuvue Oasis or Bausch & Lomb PureVision 2. I started with Acuvue, and loved them. Then the cute assistant challenged me to wear the Bausch and Lomb ones for a month. I took the challenge and realized they were better for my dry eyes. I too, take them out at night cause majority of the time if I slept in them they are extremely dry and uncomfortable when I wake up. This normally is cured with a few drops. I have two buddies that will wear their Acuvue Oasis' for months at a time, never taking them out. I just find its better to let my eyes "breath" throughout the evening and night, keeping them from being so dry. When I know when my next hunting trip is, I will pop a new pair in the first morning and can go a few days without taking them out when the contacts are fresh. Like I said, a few drops in the morning and I'm good to go. I always have a extra pair in my survival kit, sometimes 2 pairs if I know the trip may be long.