Glasses or Contact Lenses?

Umpqua Hunter

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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 in 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!
 

JNDEER

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I would try both and see what you prefer. My eyes are very dry and off shapeds. I cannot use a contact lenses for long periods of time because they get too dry. I have been hunting with Glasses on for about 10 years with no issues.

If you can use contact lenses I would think they could be better for hunting, but I have zero issues arrizing from hunting with glasses on.
 

Manosteel

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Use contacts if you can rather than glasses. Contacts are better, don't fog up or break, you might lose them but you can lose your glasses easier. Get contacts and have glasses as a back up.
 

swat8888

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Depending on your corneal thickness you can get LASIK again....at least PRK I know you can. Like you my first round only lasted 5 years. Been good for two years now since the latest surgery.
 

Solitude

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I use disposable contacts with a hydrogen peroxide cleaning agent. Nice thing with this is you can take an extra pair or two in trips and the hydrogen peroxide solution works great for blood tracking (foams white). I have some color blindness so this is a nice feature for me.

I have contemplated eye surgery, but I am over 40 and as posted above it typically only lasts for a few years at my age....and it's not cheap.
 

littlebuf

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contacts. just last year I needed corrective measures for the first time in my life, I was having a hard time spotting deer in low light conditions and id never had that problem before. needless to say that is/was unacceptable. I went strait to contacts, luckily my wife has a really good eye doctor and she worked with me to get the best fit. I cant even tell im wearing them any more. it took some getting used to but once I did its pretty sweet. plus its real easy to pack a couple extra sets of lenses in my hunting pack or backpacking stuff. only draw back is now after wearing them when I don't have them in im freaking blind
 

Craig4791

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I have worn contacts for 10 years now and never had a problem with them. The only downside is having to take them out at night. I have the kind that will allow you to sleep in them but they leave my eyes in pretty bad shape in the morning so I just take them out. On all my backpacking trips I bring a full replacement set just in case and a small bottle of hand sanitizer to wash my hands with before removing them and putting them in.
 

blb078

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I have almost 20 years of wearing disposable contacts. But the past year I've been wearing glasses about 75% of the time. I do wear my contacts when hunting though. If you can get both I would. One thing about disposables if you go that route is you don't have get rid of them after X days or weeks. Mine are two week disposables and w/proper cleaning they will last a couple months, you can make them last a while by doing that and save some $$$. So one year I get a full years worth of contacts, the next year I get new glasses. Thankfully my work insurance pays for all of it so it costs nothing just rotate which I get each year.
 

squeekieslayer

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I have almost 20 years of wearing disposable contacts. But the past year I've been wearing glasses about 75% of the time. I do wear my contacts when hunting though. If you can get both I would. One thing about disposables if you go that route is you don't have get rid of them after X days or weeks. Mine are two week disposables and w/proper cleaning they will last a couple months, you can make them last a while by doing that and save some $$$. So one year I get a full years worth of contacts, the next year I get new glasses. Thankfully my work insurance pays for all of it so it costs nothing just rotate which I get each year.



^^^^PLEASE DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS PERSON!!!!! NEVER EVER WEAR YOUR CONTACT LENSES MORE THAN YOUR OPTOMETRIST TELLS YOU TO. I can tell you from extensive experience that the first ulcer you get from overwearing your two week lenses will cost you 3-4 times more than just replacing them when you are supposed to. PERIOD! I can also tell you that you are most likely wearing an Acuvue brand lens based on the fact that it is a 2 week disposable. Between my fiance (an optometrist) and myself, 90% of our contact lens related problems are from overwearing Acuvue lenses. Take it from me, go to your next appointment, ask to be taken out of Oasys and fit with something that will last a month. Right now, you can get many 1 month replacement lenses for as cheap or cheaper than the crappy acuvue oasys.... and they last 2X as long.

OK, Rant over....

As far as glasses or contacts go, you have many things to consider.....

1) As far as getting LASIK for the first time or again; LASIK does NOT i repeat NOT last for a shorter period the older you get. Properly done LASIK has the same odds of changing if done at 18 or 48. The problem is that after 40-41 years old you begin to lose your near vision (some will also notice distance slightly worsening.) This is called "presbyopia" and happens to 100% of people no matter what. SO, lasik will correct your distance vision but you will still need readers. It is not that it lasts less, it is just that people expect it to fix everything and it just doesn't work that way.

2) should you get an "enhancement" to your LASIK? This question has many answers. It depends on your eye, your prescription, and you wallet. Many "custom" lasik procedures come with lifetime enhancements for free.... if this is the case with you, go for it, you have nothing to lose. If not, you have to weight the cost vs benefit of having clear distance vision but still needing readers. It is a personal preference.

3) Glasses:
+'s: Do not dry your eyes out
Simple, no solution needed
Do not have to get new Rx every single year
Simple near and distance in same modality
-'s: Fog, rain, scratches
Harder to glass
Glare
COmfort, sweating etc.
Some have a tough time shooting with their glasses

Contact lenses:
+'s: Easy to carry
do everything glasses do, but sometimes not as well (astigmatism and MF etc)
Light weight
Easy to glass
No glare/fog/rain/scratches

-'s: Dryness in some
have to carry solutions for some
can lose them
must have exam every year to keep rx current

Different CL types to think about:
1) single vision, typically distance only, and you throw readers on over the top
2) Multi focal, just like it sounds, distance and near in the same lens (a bit more expensive and tougher to fit)
3) Monovision, 1 eye corrected for near the other for distance, sounds terrible, works amazing in the proper circumstances. Cheaper than multifocal, and only option to see close and far in people with astigmatism.

Modalities
1) Daily disposable, no solution to use, no accumulation of dirt or allergens, thin, comfortable, easy to handle, safest. If I had it my way, everyone I see would wear dailies. Downside, slightly more expensive. THrow a few extras in the pack, car, office... you are always set.
2) 1 month disposables, good comfort, best option for astigmatism, multifocal options, cheapest, most readily available. Downside, cleaning and care NIGHTLY.
3) 1 month Continuous wear (air optix night and day or purevision), put them in, take them out 30 days later, put new ones in. No solutions, no cleaning, no fuss. Downsides, no astigmatism or multifocal options, most cannot do it without eyes drying out, most forget to take a backup pair or solution.

Here is what I suggest to my patients.... Get glasses first and foremost. If you need a bifocal, pony up and get a bifocal. Everyone needs glasses that are fairly current even if you never plan on using anything besides your contacts... if you get an injury, infection etc, and you dont have glasses.... you are hosed.
I suggest daily disposables to all of my hunters, they are hands down the most healthy and comfortable option, and they work great in the back country. But ANY good optometrist should try as many types/brands/modalities as it takes to get what you need out of contacts. Trust me, there is a very very small percentage of people that cannot wear contacts (and it is mostly because they are bad at putting them in haha)

SOrry for the long winded post, I just wanted to make sure that the facts were portrayed and that no one was led astray by rumor or incorrect information. I live for eyecare, I live for hunting, I will do anything i can to help mesh the two. PLease feel free to contact me (no pun intended) with any questions AT ALL about eyes/glasses/contacts etc. I am happy to help. (307)679-6832.... or stop by if you are ever in Great Falls Montana.

Joe

PS: if you wear Oasys lenses, I am sorry i picked on you, but seriously, they suck hahaha
 

Mike7

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Northern Idaho
I can 100% support everything Squeekieslayer said. Great info Squeekie! I have seen corneal ulcers many times...and 99% of the time they are the result improper use of contact lenses.

I am in the same boat...46 yrs old so unable to focus as well now darn it, my eyes easily dry out with extended contact use, and have used glasses and contacts for nearsightedness for the past 25 years while hunting, backpacking, and in the military.

The daily disposables are the best in my opinion for field use because of the reasons stated above, but I always bring my glasses to have for as needed use at night once the contact lenses come out. Also the glasses are a must if you get any eye irritation while in the field. The daily disposables are really not that expensive if a person uses them just for times when you really need them...i.e. playing basketball, hiking/hunting in the rain or in cold weather when you are vigorously exerting yourself, when using binoculars a lot, etc. 90% of the time in daily life you can wear your glasses instead of contacts without any loss of function and enjoy greater eye health as a result or at least in the long run decrease your chances of a significant problem from contact lenses.
 

weaver

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Feb 25, 2012
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Squeekie pretty much covered it. Wore glasses for a long time then switched to contacts. Had lasik done a few years ago and now no more hassle. Best money i ever spent
 

Shrek

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I don't have any idea what type of cash they are hitting you for in Oregon for lisik but down here they are dropping the price way down . I heard a lasik special advertised price of $1200 on the radio last week. If you get five years out of that it seems a bargin to me. $1200÷260 weeks= @ $4.62 a week. Even at twice the price it would still be a bargin with no chance of loosing your glasses or ulcers from contacts. If you are a good candidate for lasik I can't see any reason not to go for it.
 

Shrek

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So just googled lisik here and it ran from $299 to $1299. For that little money there is no way in hades I would mess with glasses or contacts !
 

Travis Bertrand

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So just googled lisik here and it ran from $299 to $1299. For that little money there is no way in hades I would mess with glasses or contacts !

Do you trust your vision to a dr. running a special on LASIK?

I bought my wife LASIK two weeks ago, I went to the best doctor and the best laser. It ran me 3500$ and that is with the family discount!( my family has been in the optometry business forever, grandpa was an optometrist for over 50 years!)
 

Rocky

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I looking at getting a consult for the procedure next week some time. When it comes to actually doing the procedure I'm going with the doctor my eye doctor recommends.
 

blb078

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Wentzville, MO & Port Charlotte, FL
^^^^PLEASE DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS PERSON!!!!! NEVER EVER WEAR YOUR CONTACT LENSES MORE THAN YOUR OPTOMETRIST TELLS YOU TO. I can tell you from extensive experience that the first ulcer you get from overwearing your two week lenses will cost you 3-4 times more than just replacing them when you are supposed to. PERIOD! I can also tell you that you are most likely wearing an Acuvue brand lens based on the fact that it is a 2 week disposable. Between my fiance (an optometrist) and myself, 90% of our contact lens related problems are from overwearing Acuvue lenses. Take it from me, go to your next appointment, ask to be taken out of Oasys and fit with something that will last a month. Right now, you can get many 1 month replacement lenses for as cheap or cheaper than the crappy acuvue oasys.... and they last 2X as long.

To each their own, everyone's eye's are different. If what I said wasn't true explain to me how I can wear two week lenses for more than two weeks by taking care/cleaning the lenses, been doing it for almost 20 years and never had one problem. Like most things in life,what works for one person might not work for another. And just so you know I'm not wearing acuvue's, freak out a little more why don't you :)
 
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Umpqua Hunter

Umpqua Hunter

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Thank you everyone for your posts.

Joe (Squeekieslayer) dang...that is a very informative post. I appreciate the time you took to lay out the options. This is all brand new to me, and I'm the type that likes to know and study up on what my options are. You will likely get a call from me, but it may be a few weeks as I am super loaded down until the end of the month. Thanks a bunch!

I can see fairly well (my left eye needs fairly little correction) so I will likely pick up some readers and hold off until May on making the bigger decisions.

The combination of having both glasses and daily disposable contacts makes a lot of sense to me, since glasses alone can cover a big chunk of my life.

Reading: Glasses w/ bifocals
Computer work: Glasses
Ranch/yard work: Glasses OR contacts
Workout: Glasses or Nothing (stumble around semi blind...lol)
Basketball: Contacts
Hunting: Contacts with polarized sunglasses.

The parts of my life I am still not sure what to do? Do I also need a pair of prescription polarized sunglasses?

Fishing: Could use contacts with normal polarized sunglasses, but what about for tying fishing knots?
Everyday Driving: I would normally just throw on a pair of polarized glasses.

Will I need a pair of prescription sunglasses (bifocals) too? I've looked at Transitions for the everyday glasses but the "polarized" style do not darken behind a UV filtered windshield.
 

squeekieslayer

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To each their own, everyone's eye's are different. If what I said wasn't true explain to me how I can wear two week lenses for more than two weeks by taking care/cleaning the lenses, been doing it for almost 20 years and never had one problem. Like most things in life,what works for one person might not work for another. And just so you know I'm not wearing acuvue's, freak out a little more why don't you :)

Look, it's NOT "to each their own" and it is NOT different for everyone. I am not freaking out, I deal with this on a DAILY basis. If you are NOT wearing an acuvue lens, and it is still a 2 week lens you are hopefully in Avaira..... which is being discontinued by cooper vision anyway. If you are in some other random 2 week lens..... good luck. They are ancient technology and are accompanied by a slew of contact lens related problems.

You CANNOT take care of lenses better to extend their life, you have NO control over the amount of protein in your tear film. This protein builds up over time, even after washing, and makes the lens breathe less. Less O2 to your eye, the higher the chance of ulcer. PERIOD! Why haven't you had a problem you ask... 2 reasons, 1) you take good care of them 2) you are LUCKY. What happens the one time you are on week 5 with your 2 week lenses and you accidentally fall asleep in them? You cannot go backwards.

Here is another thing..... It only takes ONE ulcer to set you back to have terrible vision that cannot be fixed. Do you want to know how many times in my fairly short career as an eye doctor that I have heard from a patient that is reeling in pain from an ulcer that "I have been doing it the same way for 20 years." Yet now, for whatever reason, they have a giant ulcer, right in the center of their cornea, that causes a scar, and in a BEST-CASE scenario only diminishes their night vision with glare and halo around every light. These are real problems, NO ONE IS IMMUNE.

You want to gamble with your vision.... that's your call, it is not my eyes and you are not my patient. I mean, hell, you have 2 of them right? Chances are that you wont get an infection in both at the same time so you will still have one left..... Hope its not your shooting eye ;)

Here are the FACTS.... there are 1 month lenses that can be slept in for up to 6 nights at a time that cost LESS than a 2 week lens, are more comfortable than a 2 week lens, and are healthier than a 2 week lens. If your doctor is not willing to understand this, find a new doctor. ITS A NO BRAINER!

Joe
 
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