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AimeeCat

Glasses/Contacts/Prescription Goggles/Bifocals Advice for Newbie

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I plan to start AFF next spring. Before then, I will be due for my eye exam, and I like to plan ahead. I've read old threads, and think my best bet is glasses and goggles, but I am open to advice about what I should ask for at my appointment related to my skydiving plans.

I prefer to wear glasses, I wear my contacts a few times a year. I find contacts irritating, never did get used to them even when I wore them full time. I wore goggles over my glasses for my 2 tandems, and had no issues other than it was a different sensation, and a little distracting for a few seconds during freefall. I didn't think to ask opinions on this issue when I was at the DZ asking them all my other questions.

If it helps you give me an opinion, my near-sighted eye is much stronger than my farsighted eye, and I am pretty sure I will be getting bifocals this time. I have to wear glasses all the time. I had no interest in LASIK as my sister had a bad experience with hers.

I am also curious about prescription goggles. The prescription goggles I've searched all seem to have solid sides, which I don't like in theory. I know I'll have to be turning my head anyway to look around, but that seems it would limit my vision field more than I would like. Since I don't have any experience, I may as well ask if this is something I should explore.

If I do get bifocals, are there any special requests I should make? I did read in past posts about having the line made lower. I have no idea if eye doctors have training in glasses skydivers would need!

Thanks for any advice! :)

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if you can afford it, get bendy glasses! that way you can wear "normal" goggles, and not the huge "over glasses" type as these cause too much air resistance and feel like they will rip off.

I wouldnt like to wear bi focals for skydiving, you need to flare at about 20ft, so I would recommend wearing what feels good at that distance, remember under canopy you need to be able to see everyone else!
saying that, you need to be able to read your alti at all times and angles!

once passed, get a full face :D

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When you are at the eye exam ask for the "numbers" on your eyes.
I can't remember what it's called.

Do your AFF, and some more.
Then, if you are still in the sport and having fun you can start thinking of prescription goggles/glasses.
I bought two pair of 7eye Bora (clear/dark) from www.sportrx.com and later a pair of Oakley.
I can use the Oakleys on most jumps but the Boras are far better at higher speeds.

The quality of the Oakleys are much better than both my Boras and my normal glasses, they are very sharp.

If you buy from Sportrx, get the antiglare. Yes it might be expensive but it's worth it.

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I started skydiving wearing contacts/glasses. I was always worried I would lose a contact, as I wore highly water permeable ones that would easily come out; however they never did! Although it sounds like you don't like contacts too much (neither did I, the highly water permeable ones were the most comfortable I've ever worn, if you haven't...ask your eye doctor about them). I agree with what others have said. Full face helmets are also GREAT options, and I love mine even though I don't wear glasses anymore. For the time being, getting a pair of goggles that fit over your glasses (bendy and expensive or boxy and cheap) is probably the best bet while you figure out what you like, what's most comfortable, etc. I know you said your sister had a bad LASIK experience; I just got PRK (the precursor to LASIK) last year and it was the best thing that I've ever done. If you DO decide to get eye surgery eventually, take a long hard look at both. Many pluses and minuses but if you want to hear my personal diatribe on why I think PRK is better than LASIK for action sport people shoot me a message. Good luck in finding what works best for you and welcome to skydiving!


AnalMike

HEE HAW!!!!
http://www.droguedonkey.com
Anal Mike

HEE HAW!!!
http://www.droguedonkey.com

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I jumped in contacts for years (even wearing only sunglasses without goggles under an open-face helmet). No problems. Talk to your doctor about finding a lens type that works for you. I wore them for decades and changed types and brands over the years many times as my eyes changed (and technology improved) to maintain comfort levels.

I had custom Lasik performed almost two years ago and it was literally the best money I ever spent in my life. My vision was so bad previously that as my optometrist put it, "If the building caught on fire and you didn't have lenses in or glasses within reach you probably wouldn't make it out." Now it's better than 20/20 in one eye and 20/20 in the other. Don't let one person's bad experience limit you arbitrarily. Talk to doctors who actually know what they're doing. I still hear a lot of those "my boyfriend's cousin's uncle had a "bad experience" (whatever the hell that is) with Lasik" stories. Frankly most of them are BS, people didn't follow the recovery procedures properly, or are simply from a long time ago when they were still cutting flaps with blades instead of lasers, and the measuring and shaping of the eye wasn't as accurate as it is today. Only once you sit down in front of the measuring machines will you know if you are a good candidate for surgery.

IIRC my brother had custom goggles made with prescription lenses and that worked well for him. That was pretty expensive though, YMMV.
NSCR-2376, SCR-15080

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Eh, do what you normally do (in this case it seems like glasses) and we will adjust to you.

After a while, you will learn what you want to do and will have enough experience to do it.

Me? I never have made a single jump with glasses. I always wore contacts before I started jumping so I wore them for jumping. I lost a contact on two separate occasions while wearing goggles in my first 100 jumps so I bought a full face helmet and had no issue for the next 3K jumps. I then had lasik.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I am -6 in both eyes. I have jumped with contacts but have been jumping with my normal glasses the last few years.

Wear your normal prescription and tell your instructors if you have any challenges.

Had a case earlier this year where an AFF Student wore a prescription that "he thought" would help him judge when to flare but did not let him read his altimeter. Go figure, he had no clue he was going through pull altitude. When I quizzed him on his pull issues, he came clean as to why... Led to a discussion on priorities and glasses...

Regards,

Major Dad
CSPA D-579

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I wear the huge "over-glasses" dork goggles. I have fairly big glasses, so I need the huge goggles. The only issue I've had with them is that they can flip up if you tip your head up too far (arching really hard). This can be managed by keeping the elastic fresh. I replace my elastic every season and haven't had any problems since doing that.

I have lineless bifocals. They take a bit of getting used to (for everything, not just jumping) but I don't have any issues with them as far as jumping goes.

I've thought about getting a pair of high-end sunglasses with the scrip inserts (Liquid or Gatorz), but haven't gotten them yet.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Thanks, all! :)
I had forgotten about the bendy glasses, one of my nephews had them when he was younger and breaking glasses regularly.

I am not really interested right now in the prescription goggles, unless for some reason the eye doctor or instructors steer me that way, but I just figured I may as well ask while on the topic, as vision is a pretty important safety feature. B| If I am going to do this, I want to do it right!

Thanks again!

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TsunamiGilligan

You may want to just use the over the glasses type goggles as a student, and then get a full face helmet when you have your A. I normally wear contacts and sunglasses under my G3, but I like knowing I could easily wear it with my normal prescription glasses if I needed to for some reason.



And a good reminder to always have a backup if you want to keep jumping. A guy I was jumping with this weekend lost a contact on one of our first jumps, and just had to run out to his car to get his glasses to be able to keep jumping for the day (full face helmet in his case, btw).
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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NWFlyer



And a good reminder to always have a backup if you want to keep jumping. A guy I was jumping with this weekend lost a contact on one of our first jumps, and just had to run out to his car to get his glasses to be able to keep jumping for the day (full face helmet in his case, btw).



Good point. I don't always keep a spare pair of glasses with me when I jump, but I always wear Croakies or a similar glasses strap to keep from losing the glasses should the goggles flip up.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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If you end up using bifocals spectacles, consider this:

I found that I had far less trouble reading my altimeter when I had old fashioned "lined" bifocals than when I switched to "no-line" (progressive) bifocals. I am pretty sure that the reason for that is that the portion of the lens which is usable for corrected near vision is HUGE on lined bifocals as opposed to the tiny strip on progressives. As such, it was hard to get that tiny bit of clear near vision lined up with my altimeter in the brief moment I had to look at my altimeter while doing busy relative work skydives. My solution was to move to a digital altimeter which has HUGE digits on it.

Further, if you intend to get an electronic altimeter with a LCD screen....DON'T get polarized lenses! If you line the polarized lenses up just right.... you won't be able to read the LCD screen.

I use eyeglasses and a full face helmet without any difficulty. The glasses I wear are sport glasses which sit very close to my face (as opposed to sticking out at the corners (hinges).
The choices we make have consequences, for us & for others!

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Just finished AFF and I wear glasses. The regular old bendy goggles fit right over my glasses. For $15 a pair, you can't beat that. If your glasses aren't too big, you probably won't need the boxy over-glasses goggles. The standard cheapies may fit just fine. And they work a treat! Good luck and have fun, fun, fun :)

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I've worn glasses and I've worn contacts. I prefer the contacts, but I have to wear sunglasses with an insert (7eye) because I've had contacts flutter off even with a full face.

I would advise sticking to what you are comfortable with until you get off of student status.

You may want to try working on wearing your contacts. I had a similar experience and was convinced I would never be able to wear contacts. What I discovered is that I wasn't wearing them long enough to condition my eye to the lens. When they would start irritating me, I would take them out and stop trying to wear them. I finally sucked it up and started wearing them a couple of hours a day, every day, and increasing the time until I could wear them all day. Occasionally when my eyes are really dry or the lens is getting old, they will still give me fits, but overall, they work well. May be worth your time to consider giving them another shot.

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If you are getting new glasses, consider getting a set with a small flexible frame that "might" not be the most stylish. That way you should be able to wear a standard set of goggles instead of the mondo huge ones.

Save the sexy ones to wear on the ground between jumps.B|
50 donations so far. Give it a try.

You know you want to spank it
Jump an Infinity

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This is a great question to ask that I hadn't really considered so I'm glad you asked this!!

Maybe wearing my contacts has become so second-nature to me that I didn't really think about them falling out…but after reading this thread I'm now aware it's a real possibility.

I'm the opposite and that I hate wearing glasses because I feel limited in the scope that I can see. I don't plan on getting Lasik either so I can understand that.

So people are still losing their contacts with a full face helmet on? I've been thinking about what helmet to get and this is good to know. Is it better to get an open face and wear goggles then?
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
-Raymond Lindquist

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I suppose the possibility of losing contacts while wearing a full face depends on the specific fit and design of the helmet. For me, I've never had any issues with about 80 jumps using a Cookie G3. I normally wear sunglasses, but have also jumped without the sunglasses on days with high overcast clouds.

On the other hand, I did lose both contacts once while wearing an open face and a new pair of goggles that I probably should have adjusted a little tighter.

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