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View Full Version : Advice pls - contact lenses vs optical goggles



couldbebetterfly
September 5th, 2010, 09:29 PM
So which should I wear for my OW swim? Thought I'd do contacts as that way I'll find my way to the start more easily before I put on my goggles. Then I was talking to someone yesterday who pointed out that you will get swum over at the start, so I'm now worried about my goggles getting knocked off and thus losing my contacts, and hence having no hope of seeing where I'm going.

Answers on a postcard please....on second thoughts - let me try a poll...

Ok poll seems to have gone.....just answers on a postcard then......

E=H2O
September 5th, 2010, 10:11 PM
Contacts. Start off to the side if you are worried

jbs
September 5th, 2010, 10:24 PM
I always use optical goggles and never use contacts, so I can't give a lot of advice about the choice. I can say that though I understand the worry about finding the start, it might not be as big of a deal as you think. I figure out where I need to go first, and wait until the last moment to take off my glasses. Then if I need help seeing to navigate, I just put the goggles to my eyes. Looks stupid, yes, but gets the job done. Plus, by that point everyone is generally walking in the same direction.

As far as getting run over at the start--it can happen and you can get your goggles knocked off. However, while you can't absolutely prevent it, you can do things to minimize the chance. First, understand that no one is out to run you over on purpose. It is just something that happens. Second, people often get run over at the start because they have put themselves at the middle of the front of the pack but cannot swim fast enough to stay there. The sides and back are usually much safer. I personally don't like the chaos at the start, so I usually go to one of the sides--you swim further, yes, but you can often can get to clear water, and thus into rhythm, faster.

slknight
September 6th, 2010, 06:58 AM
I wear contacts and have done lots of open-water swims. I have never had a problem with losing my goggles while getting run-over. I have had my goggles start to leak and almost fall off during a race and have had to stop to fix them but it was not a big deal. If you do get your goggles knocked off, you won't necessarily lose your contacts.

trout
September 6th, 2010, 04:00 PM
LASIK!

philoswimmer
September 6th, 2010, 06:09 PM
I've tried both ways and never had a problem either way. One thing I don't like about the contact lens strategy, though, is that I generally get some water in my goggles and then that gets into the lenses. I've been told by my optometrist that that's a good way to get some nasty bacteria in your eyes. So, you'll want to get your contact lenses out as soon as possible after your swim. If that's a problem, then go for the optical goggles.

Also, you might think about what you're used to. I've started wearing optical goggles in practice, so that's what I'm going to use for my next open water swim (Alcatraz). If you're used to swimming with contacts, though, perhaps you'd be more comfortable that way.

couldbebetterfly
September 6th, 2010, 09:00 PM
Thanks everyone - I'm erring on the side of contacts. Right now I always train in my optical goggles as when I started masters and swimming in my contacts, the chlorine just irritated my eyes too much. However when I scuba dive (which is rarely now) or go snorkelling I wear my contacts, so I'm used to wearing them in the water to some extent.

LASIK is tempting....then I get all squeamish and park the thought!

sjstuart
September 8th, 2010, 01:07 PM
Contacts.

Having your goggles knocked off is possible, but not all that likely. Especially if you don't start in the thick of things.

Your contacts won't necessarily fall out if your goggles come off, anyway, since you'll close your eyes. I can swim without goggles with squinted eyes -- or a goggle half-full of water -- and (usually) not lose a contact. (Mine are soft contacts.)

Wear your goggles under your cap instead of over, and they're less likely to come off.

If you're really worried, and you wear disposables, bring a spare pair and tuck them into your suit or swim cap. You could put them in midway if you had to.

aquaFeisty
September 8th, 2010, 02:53 PM
Make sure you bring a pair of glasses along with you just in case. Unless you are truly blind, you will probably be fine finishing the race even if you do lose a contact. But driving home might be a challenge!

Ever since I drove home from a meet with one missing contact, I always bring my glasses along! :)

couldbebetterfly
September 8th, 2010, 10:04 PM
Make sure you bring a pair of glasses along with you just in case. Unless you are truly blind, you will probably be fine finishing the race even if you do lose a contact. But driving home might be a challenge!

Ever since I drove home from a meet with one missing contact, I always bring my glasses along! :)

Oh yes - I always do. Wouldn't find my keys without them, let alone drive home! I actually wear RGP contacts and have had this particular pair for about 7 years - they're my only pair - so even though I'm planning on swimming in them I really don't want to lose one.

I keep thinking I'll need to replace them and thus keep these ones as swimming ones/spares, but they're lasting for ever!

clyde hedlund
September 11th, 2010, 03:00 PM
If you wear soft disposables or RGP rigid lenses, they will come out in salt water real fast. Soft disposables work fine in the fresh water pool playing water polo, but are just too loose a fit in salt water. Tighter fitting custom made soft lenses have a better chance of remaining on the eye than disposables in salt water. Trouble was disinfecting them after swimming, which is pretty easy now with the hydrogen peroxide solutions that also kill the amoeba. Since Step Diopter goggles are reasonably priced, I use them mostly and don't worry about fussing with contacts and possible infections.:)

couldbebetterfly
September 11th, 2010, 10:31 PM
If you wear soft disposables or RGP rigid lenses, they will come out in salt water real fast. Soft disposables work fine in the fresh water pool playing water polo, but are just too loose a fit in salt water. Tighter fitting custom made soft lenses have a better chance of remaining on the eye than disposables in salt water. :)

I'll be swimming in a lake, so freshwater I guess, but I'm now intrigued - why do they come out easier in salt water?