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  #11  
Old 03-15-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Mike from NS
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I've been using goggles from : www.aquagoggle.com for a number of years.

They were mentioned in these forums years ago when this topic did the rounds. The goggles, this outfit in Kitchner / Waterloo in Ontario, Canada offer are most comfortable; each eye has it prescription specific lense and they sell for a very reasonable $24 +/-. I found them a good company to deal with.

Mike
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If you're not swimming; then you should be skiing......
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2011
daveblt daveblt is offline
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I had contacts for quite a number of years and used them for swimming but I stopped wearing them about 5-6 years ago because they started getting uncomfortable making my eyes feel too dry. However my vision isn't really that bad for swimming purposes . I have been thinking for quite a long time about getting laser surgery, most preferably PRK but I'm just not certain if I'll do it unless I find out for sure it's perfectly safe and not just because the doctor says it is just to fill his pockets.

Dave
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  #13  
Old 03-15-2011
kentakirk kentakirk is offline
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kentakirk
Default Laser Vision Correction is a good contact lens alternative

I am an Ophthalmologist and have had personal and professional experience with contact lenses and goggles. Having participated on many age group teams as well as masters swimming I would say that this is the most common way swimmers correct their vision. It is certainly safe as long as you have a good seal on your goggles(I don't know any swimmers who don't) and you remove your contacts and see a professional if you develop an eye problem.

I put up with contacts until 11 years ago when I had laser vision correction surgery. As I tell my patients, chlorine water and contacts don't mix very well. It is the best thing I have ever done. There is nothing better than waking up and seeing clearly. I always hated messing with contacts at 5:30AM before practice. The advancements in the surgery make it very safe. I contend that it is safer than contacts because over time you have less risk of an eye infection.
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  #14  
Old 03-16-2011
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Kentakirk
Thanks a lot for that info. I have also heard that it is safe but then I had also heard that there can be and their have been some that had complications from the surgery in the past. I guess that I want to make sure with 100% certainty that I'm not going to have any problems if I decide to do it . I know there are complications to any surgery but when it comes to my eyes I need to be triple sure. That's what's holding me back from doing it.

Dave
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  #15  
Old 03-16-2011
kentakirk kentakirk is offline
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Unfortunately no procedure is 100% safe. It is important to see someone who has lots of experience. My advice is to make an appt and talk with the doctor to get all of your questions answered. If you still have reservations about having it done, then stay with your glasses or contact lenses.
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  #16  
Old 03-19-2011
KenInCa KenInCa is offline
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KenInCa
Default What about CRT?

For an other alternative to both contacts (during the day) and laser surgery, how about CRT, corneal refractive therapy:
http://www.paragoncrt.com/

where you wear hard contacts while you sleep which shapes your eyes. The you can take them off and you can see for up to 2-3 days without contacts. I've been doing this for about 3 years now and will not go back to glasses or contacts. I've broken/lost too many glasses/contacts to count. There are many draw backs, and one most irritating one (for me anyways) is once in a while the contact can shift at night and you can see double in that eye for the rest of the day till you put your contact back on at night. But as with anything, you just cope. If anyone would like more info, I would be happy to give you my experiences...

Ken
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  #17  
Old 05-11-2011
Mempho Mempho is offline
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Here's my conclusion.

1. Contacts and plain vision goggles.
This is a great solution if you wear contacts most of the time. I cut back on wearing contacts 7-8 years ago and now I find it too much trouble to put them in and take them out for just one hour in the pool. Great solution, but not for me.

2. Glasses and corrective goggles.
I don't like putting my glasses away at poolside. They could get stepped on, etc.

3. Plain vision goggles, no glasses.
At the pool I can see the black line but that's all. I can't even see the lap clock -- and I don't mean I can't tell the time, I mean I can't locate the CLOCK.

4. Corrective goggles, no glasses.
This is what I ended up with. I leave my glasses in the locker. I can find my way to the pool okay. To find an open lane I can put the goggles on. And I like having sharp vision while I swim.

General advice.
My prescription is different for each eye, left -4.00, right -2.5, -0.75 cyl. I sort of split the difference, adding the spherical and cylindrical correction on the right, and ordered -3.50 goggles. The result has been great. Some people obsess about getting their exact prescription, but from my experience, close enough is okay.

Jim
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  #18  
Old 05-11-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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I used to be extremely short sighted (-6.5 in both eyes with an astigmatism of -3.0 and -3.5), and here are my thoughts on the three main options:

1) Prescription goggles. These are great, and the safest option. The downsides are that if you're very shortsighted you've got to wear them from the changing room to the pool and into the shower afterwards, which is a bit of a pain. You also can't relax at the end of the pool or chat to your coach without them on, because you may miss people swimming up the lane and needing space, or someone getting into the pool near you etc. You also need to wear them when swimming or in water the whole time, so head up breaststroke on holiday or when playing with the kids requires goggles, which is annoying. Lastly, vision through the lenses is often not as good or as straight and level as with contacts or glasses that you're used to. Those negatives depend on how shortsighted you are though. I couldn't even see my own feet without glasses :-D

2) Contacts under goggles. These give the same effect as above without the need to wear the goggles poolside or with the vision problems. However, opticians do not recommend the use of contacts when swimming. The person who said they've been doing it for years without problems is forgetting one important thing - this damage isn't certain, it just makes it more likely. That's like saying "smoking's safe, my granny's 70 and she's been doing it all her life". It's all about probabilities. That said, I've been told that if you wear dailies and dispose them straight after swimming the risks are minimal. That's what I used to do before option 3...

3) Laser treatment. This is what I've now had done. This solves all of the above problems, plus allows you to partake in watersports. Since being lasered I've been waterskiing a few times, have learnt to sail, learnt to kayak and bought my own boat. I can also scuba dive without sitting on the RIB going to dive sites wearing my mask, or being completely blinded if I need to take my mask off underwater (very dodgy!). None of this was possible before. I can also mess about or socialise in the sea or in the pool whenever I want without changing into contacts or wearing tunnel vision inducing goggles. I can also see in the shower, which is very useful! It carries risks, but it's totally changed my life and it was like being re-born all over again - I could suddenly do so much more than before and without any hassle.
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  #19  
Old 05-11-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveblt View Post
I had contacts for quite a number of years and used them for swimming but I stopped wearing them about 5-6 years ago because they started getting uncomfortable making my eyes feel too dry. However my vision isn't really that bad for swimming purposes . I have been thinking for quite a long time about getting laser surgery, most preferably PRK but I'm just not certain if I'll do it unless I find out for sure it's perfectly safe and not just because the doctor says it is just to fill his pockets.

Dave
If you see a good surgeon they should be honest with you. I bypassed the high street practitioners, saved some money up and went to see a private surgeon. He gave me an hour and a half's consultation, and the first thing he told me was that I was already using the safest option: glasses. He then went on to describe how I should never really have been prescribed contacts as they were ruining my eyes (my girlfriend at the time actually went partially blind through over use of contact lenses - this guy had to operate to cure her vision). So he wasn't trying to sell the operation basically; in fact he only did one refractive correction a week, preferring to specialise in more interesting areas of surgery. After surgery I had follow ups at 3 days, a week, a month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months; and I could phone his secretary at any time, and get a call back from the surgeon if I wanted. It's the aftercare and advice where a lot of the problems occur and often where paying more gets a better service.

It's not perfectly safe, but I was utterly desperate - fed up completely with glasses and having problems with contacts. It has completely changed my life and I'd have paid £10k or even £20k to have it done - honestly.

Last edited by RobM77 : 05-11-2011 at 12:58 PM.
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  #20  
Old 05-11-2011
Mempho Mempho is offline
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Rob, if I were younger I'd almost certainly get laser surgery, especially if my vision was as bad as yours. But for me, cataract surgery is more likely.

When I had the lens in my right eye replaced I requested a correction to only -2.00 diopter. I'm used to wearing glasses for distance vision, but I really hate wearing reading glasses.

Eventually I'll get the other eye done. Mono-vision is a possible option, one eye for close work, one for distance.

And, yes, wearing contacts in the pool does increase the chances of an eye infection. And that can be extremely serious.
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