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Glasses vs. Contact Lenses

NYCPilot

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I presently wear contacts when I fly. Sometimes, when they’ve been in too long especially after a long day, by the nighttime my vision tends to get a little hazy due to the dryness. Usually it isn’t a problem during the day, but at night there is a little haloing effect I notice. My medical stipulates that I must carry a pair of glasses with me at all times in order to exercise my airman privileges, which I do.

Just wondering if anyone else relies more on their contacts than glasses, and their opinions on them while flying.

Also, do the regionals/airlines prefer that you wear glasses instead of contacts while flying. I imagine the constant exposure to the A/C creates a very dry atmosphere in the cockpit that may dry out your eyes with the potential risk of a contact popping out. Not sure if this can happen though, as it’s never happened to me. Also, if you experience a decompression, could this be an issue too.

One thing nice about contacts is that you can see better overall compared to glasses due to the entire coverage of your eye. You can also wear sunglasses over them, rather than having specially fitted tinted lenses.

One more inquiry here, are there any uncorrected vision limitations other than what the FAA requires for a 1st class.

Thanks.
 

Dash8

alllll riiighht!!
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i wear contacts aswell, used to wear my glasses but won't go back to them now, the contacts are too convenient (for the most part) sunglasses issues and whatnot

i've never heard any preference from companies for one or the other

about the problems, i just use some good rewetting/lubricating drops when they feel funky, which with my new lenses isin't as much of an issue, you may want to mention to your optometrist about the flying and dry air, they might be able to suggest a different brand of lenses, i use the new accuvue2 advance and they're pretty good, comfortable as hell, and don't dry out easy can wear them pretty much the entire day with minimal issues, but they are really thin, and a little hard to handle outside of your eye
 

flyguy81

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i recently had my yearly eye appt. and the dr. said the reason most pilots complain about contacts is due to long hours in a pressure vessel with recirculated dry air.....so he switched me to a silicone contract lens that was a little bit more expensive than my other ones....10 per lens, but you can also sleep in these if you want to...they are the montly throw aways. Been using them for a month now and no longer have blury vision late at night or at the end of a long day....might check into it.
 

Apache 5

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Contact lens wearer myself...cant stand glasses, especially having to work out some other sunglass plan with the glasses.



Another question: the FAA requires 20/20 uncorrected OR corrected. Went for my medical in April to a doc I have never been to before. She almost didnt grant me the medical. She said that contacts CANNOT be used for near vision correction- I cant find this anywhere on the medical standards. All it says is 20/20 uncorrected or corrected for everything- near, far. I've been wearing contacts for everyone of my medicals since 2001 and never had someone question this. Anyone to comment? Is this doc just out there or misreading things?

I wear Acuvue Advance too...was told by my previous optomotrist that they could be slept with and try to take them out at least once a week...throw out after 30 days. And, of course, the new eye doc says that this is not a good idea at all..take them out every night. Who knows....
 

socalrookie

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NYCPilot said:
I presently wear contacts when I fly. Sometimes, when they’ve been in too long especially after a long day, by the nighttime my vision tends to get a little hazy due to the dryness. Usually it isn’t a problem during the day, but at night there is a little haloing effect I notice. My medical stipulates that I must carry a pair of glasses with me at all times in order to exercise my airman privileges, which I do.

NYCPilot,

Ask your eye doc. about wearing the FOCUS Night & Day contact lenses. They are FDA approved for 30 CONTINUOUS days of use. I take mine out once a week (my own personal preference). I switched to these after years of wearing the accuvues and recently complaining to my doctor about dryness and haze after long days (and I took my accuvues out every day). I've been on the FOCUS N&D ones for a couple months now and they are so much better than the accuvues! It's amazing the difference you feel. Only catch is they are more expensive, but I think it's worth it.

As a precaution, I do pack my eyeglasses in my flight bag and a spare set of contact lenses in my overnight bag should something happen to the ones I have in (pop out, tear, etc.).

Just a suggestion, Best of luck....
 

groundpointsix

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Jan 28, 2003
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372
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Apache 5 said:
Another question: the FAA requires 20/20 uncorrected OR corrected. Went for my medical in April to a doc I have never been to before. She almost didnt grant me the medical. She said that contacts CANNOT be used for near vision correction- I cant find this anywhere on the medical standards. All it says is 20/20 uncorrected or corrected for everything- near, far. I've been wearing contacts for everyone of my medicals since 2001 and never had someone question this. Anyone to comment? Is this doc just out there or misreading things?

You didn't check the "near vision correction contacts" box did you? When I did my medical a couple weeks ago the doc told me to double check that I hadn't. I guess there was a big discussion about it at some AME conference he went to and as to whether it was disqualifying or not. Then again, I'm sure those docs are just like FSDOs and DPEs and each make up their own interpretation of the rules.
 

dogismycopilot

Who is John Galt?
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Apr 23, 2005
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I couldn't stand wearing contact lenses, so I invested in a pair of prescription sunglasses. They work out nicely, as long as my 'regular' glasses are handy as dusk approaches. However, I haven't tried the new lenses and may consider that next time I have to visit the optometrist.
 

MOONBEAM

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Any other experiences with the Night and Day or Acuvue Advance lenses? Just curious...
 

dash8driver

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i wear contacts as well and have worn many, many types including night and days and accuvue. i havent had any of the problems with dryness or halos or any of that, i guess i have been lucky.

i went to night and days for a while simply because they are better for your eyes. i still took them out most of the time, but slept in them for those early morning shows.

if you're having a problem with your eyes drying out, just keep a copy of your paycheck with you and look at it every once in a while. the tears should keep your eyes sufficiently moist. :)
 

Dizel8

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Feb 27, 2003
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Huh?
Apache,

I think your "problem" stems from the crash where the pilot were wearing a contact lens for near vision in on eye and for far vision in the other. The argument was, that it adversely affected depth perception, so that is now a no no!
 

chperplt

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Nov 25, 2001
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Accuview Advance lens are AWESOME!!!!

I have a thyroid problem which makes my eyes very dry. I started with the Advance lens about 5 months ago and have no problems with dry eyes. I very rarly have to blink to reposition the lens and they are extreamely comfortable.

www.contacts.com has a great price
 

CA1900

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Mar 17, 2002
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I'm using the same lenses; they're the best I've ever used. Other lenses would drive me crazy after about 10 hours -- it was to the point that I'd commute to work, and put them in just before start time, because otherwise I couldn't make it comfortably through the evening. These are good for about 15 hours for me; I'm totally satisfied with them.

I got them from the same place you did. Ordered another year's supply just before my prescription (still good for me) expired. Great product.

The solution you use with them has a big impact on the wearability, too. I had been using the AMO "Complete" stuff for a while, with very good results, but at ~$7 a bottle, it's expensive. So I tried the $2/bottle multipurpose stuff from Target. My eyes started stinging within an hour, and got dry. Complete is slippery; it makes a huge difference.
 

pilotmyf

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Jul 16, 2004
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393
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3:15am
NYCPilot said:
I presently wear contacts when I fly. Sometimes, when they’ve been in too long especially after a long day, by the nighttime my vision tends to get a little hazy due to the dryness. Usually it isn’t a problem during the day, but at night there is a little haloing effect I notice. My medical stipulates that I must carry a pair of glasses with me at all times in order to exercise my airman privileges, which I do.

Just wondering if anyone else relies more on their contacts than glasses, and their opinions on them while flying.

Also, do the regionals/airlines prefer that you wear glasses instead of contacts while flying. I imagine the constant exposure to the A/C creates a very dry atmosphere in the cockpit that may dry out your eyes with the potential risk of a contact popping out. Not sure if this can happen though, as it’s never happened to me. Also, if you experience a decompression, could this be an issue too.

One thing nice about contacts is that you can see better overall compared to glasses due to the entire coverage of your eye. You can also wear sunglasses over them, rather than having specially fitted tinted lenses.

One more inquiry here, are there any uncorrected vision limitations other than what the FAA requires for a 1st class.

Thanks.
Just shove red hot ice picks in your eyes, then you don't have this dillema.
 

NYCPilot

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Dizel8 said:
Apache,

I think your "problem" stems from the crash where the pilot were wearing a contact lens for near vision in on eye and for far vision in the other. The argument was, that it adversely affected depth perception, so that is now a no no!

Actually each eye contained the same contact, albeit ones that were bifocal - split for correcting for near on top and far on the bottom half.
 
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