Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Contact Lens Solutions


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Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Contact Lens Solutions on 07/23/2009 21:27:26 MDT Print View

For me, one of the greatest irritants on multi-day hikes are contact lenses. I find it difficult to put them in and take them out without soiling them with dirt and resort to taking several dropper bottles with saline solution, multi-purpose sterilization solution, and antihistamine eye drops. I have "sensitive eyes" so have to use allergy drops regularly and can't place the contacts in my eyes straight from the sterilization solution without rinsing them with saline solution.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any solutions for contact lenses and what you use....curious also about different types of contacts and which ones work best. I'd prefer to find a pair I could wear for a week without taking them out, but haven't seem to be able to find any that I can do that with. Also, I haven't tried daily disposables but that might be a solution for hikes.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Contact Lens Solutions on 07/23/2009 22:01:31 MDT Print View

I wear Accuvue2 disposables. They're supposed to be worn for two weeks and then tossed. The eye doctor told me I *could* keep them in all two weeks, but didn't recommend it, and I take them out every night at home.

That being said, I have worn them while backpacking three consecutive days. They might be a bit gunky in the morning, but some vigorous blinking and some re-wetting drops take care of that.

My eyes aren't particularly sensitive though, but for occasional dryness.

My girlfried wears a brand that lasts for 30 days, and she keeps them in all 30, no problems. I'm not sure of the brand off-hand though.

Jonathan Boozer
(anywayoutside) - MLife

Locale: South East
Re: Contact Lens Solutions on 07/23/2009 22:22:06 MDT Print View

Acuvue Oasys...you can get a trial pair. I swear by these. I am currently using up some older lenses, and can't help but miss my Oasys lenses every day.

Most of all, I never had any build up on these in the morning. I wear them 4 or 5 days then clean them. This kept them comfortable for me well into 5 or 6 weeks of wear.

Also my choice of solution makes a huge difference for me. I keep forking out the $$$ for Alcon's Opti-free Express. I have tried many others, but the Express is the only one that really cleans my lenses well.

b s
(smyth) - F
Re: Re: Contact Lens Solutions on 07/23/2009 22:34:59 MDT Print View

Focus Night and Days are the lenses that claim to be safe for extended wear. I tried them on a thru hike and they started giving me issues after a while. Lots of crusties in the am and started to blur my vision. I didn't want to take any chances so I started taking them out every night. Problems cleared up after that.

My new eye doctor told me that there are no lenses that are fully safe for extended wear (different from what I was told when I got the Night and Days a few years ago). She told me that the lenses I have now, Acuvue Oasys, are FDA-approved for up to one week of continuous wear. Ok for a night or two according to her, but she didn't like the idea of pushing it any more than that.

That being said, I take mine out nightly and just deal with the inconvenience. I hang a mirror from my tarp or tent roof and that helps free up both hands. Still, it is a p.i.t.a. some mornings.

EDIT: Totally agree with Jonathan. +1 on the Acuvue Oasys. Best contacts I have ever worn.

Edited by smyth on 07/23/2009 22:37:18 MDT.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Wow on 07/23/2009 22:40:20 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tips. Gonna talk with my Dr. about these options. Starting to think that Lasik may be the way to go but don't want to compromise my night vision, and I've heard that's any issue with the procedure.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Contact Lens Solutions on 07/23/2009 22:58:22 MDT Print View

My night vision wasn't great (lights look starry) before Lasix, and it's about the same after. I don't miss messing with contacts, since I could never get my hands clean enough to handle them while backpacking. I've got a buddy who had a lense implant, that sounds like the best thing.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
i wear my eyeglasses all the time on 07/23/2009 23:15:51 MDT Print View

i actually have never used contacts

stefan hoffman
(puckem) - F

Locale: between trees
Eye Drops on 07/23/2009 23:15:53 MDT Print View

First off, i wear Bosch and Lomb toric contact lenses. I like Alcon drops as well, but i find that the real issue with the lenses getting clean is the case. I am HOOKED on barrel type contact cases. They hold more fluid and allow gunk to be separated from the contacts. Plus you can insert the contacts without touching the side that touches your eye. Endless advantages...Try them, they will change your life :) I cant find this type in any store or pharm but here is a link: http://www.lenscases.co.uk/barrel-contact-lens-cases-c-6.html?zenid=b0d710113fd8451775f7a40577359213

I started using the allergy and redness relief drops years ago to relieve redness caused by smoking weed. I used 'Opcon A', they made my eyes feel good and look perfectly white all day long with just a drop or two. I used them every day for a few years when i smoked a lot of weed. After not smoking weed for over a year, i was still using the drops because my eyes would be red without them. So i started to think that over time the drops had made my eyes unable to deal with any allergens or moisturize naturally (this is starting to sound a lot like the deodorant thread).

Im weening myself off of the Opcon A by using regular rewetting drops and an allergy pill occasionally if i need it. This is working really well and my eyes are starting to look and feel normal without the drops. Bottom line: redness relief/allergy drops are evil, and my eyeballs got addicted to them.

John Sixbey
(Wolfeye) - F
I gave up. on 07/24/2009 17:22:12 MDT Print View

After struggling with sensitive eyes & dirty contacts on hikes, I switched to using small, frameless, self-darkening, low-glare, high-index glasses. They weigh less than half an ounce, and I actually save weight because I don't have to pack separate sunglasses. The one mistake I made was having the edges polished, which creates a bad glare in direct sunlight.

I have a friend who went with laser surgery. She liked the results, but sees halos around lights at night.

stefan hoffman
(puckem) - F

Locale: between trees
Contacts/Glasses on 07/24/2009 22:40:37 MDT Print View

Im about to give up on contacts as well. Ive just started working in forestry and the sawdust, dust, and dry heat is killing me. I cant stand transition lenses though, so ill need to get prescription shades in the near future. Im getting closer and closer to going with lasik, but it still makes me nervous. My night vision already sucks, so i dont have much to lose i suppose.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Contacts vs. Glasses on 07/26/2009 23:45:36 MDT Print View

I wear contacts about 95% of the time but I've pretty much given up on them for backpacking. I just use my glasses and don't bring the case. I hang them from a loop in the tent at night.

I can see how contacts that you don't remove would work good though. I'd like to try these. There's just no way I can get my fingers etc clean enough to comfortably insert contacts after a few days in the bush. Not having a mirror doesn't help. Next time I buy contacts I'm going to ask for some of those leave in contacts.

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Optix Air... on 07/27/2009 08:59:38 MDT Print View

I wear Optix Air and just took mine out yesterday after having them in for six weeks straight. I used rewetting drops once or twice along the way but for the most part I've found a nice shower will take care of any am gunking or even a splash of water on the face. I usually alternate a month with glasses a month with contacts that way I can get glasses one year and contacts the next and not have to pay much for either.

Aaron Bradshaw
(bradshaw) - F

Locale: Alberta
Extended Wear lenses and allergy drops on 07/27/2009 15:33:03 MDT Print View

Nate - I've been wearing extended wear lenses (biofinity from Cooper, I think) for the last 5 years. I wear them 24/7 for a month, then chuck 'em. They're awesome - don't even know I have them in except that I can see.

I also have sensitive eyes and use allery drops during the spring. My eye doctor prescribes Zaditor for my eyes. He advises me to use them with the contacts in. Have never had trouble with them. They kind of serve double duty in the spring for allergy relief but also act as a re-wetting drop with the morning dose.

I know many eye doctors won't advise this but mine has done his research and says it's perfectly safe.

I'm not a candidate for Lasik at this time.

Good luck with the choices.

Ryan Harvey
(kulboy) - F

Locale: Meridian, ID
Switched to daily wear on 07/27/2009 16:23:06 MDT Print View

The best thing that I have ever done was switching to daily wear Focus Toric for astigmatism contacts. No more solution or cases and my eyes feel so much better. The next best decision I will ever make will be getting Lasik.

James Ennis
(JimEnnis) - F

Locale: South
AccuVue 2 on 07/27/2009 17:43:48 MDT Print View

First, a disclaimer. Do not do what I'm about to tell you, but this has worked for me for well over 20 years. I have been wearing Accu-Vue and then Accu-Vue 2 lenses for about that long and have found that I can go between 2-3 months wearing mine, 24/7, before I even start to notice that I have them on. I rarely, if ever, use lens lubricant or even saline. I am careful not to rub my eyes hard first thing in the morning, but other than that, no other precautions have been necessary. I have annual eye exams and have never had any problems. Again, this works for me and is not recommended.
Jim

Paul Vertrees
(Sawtooth) - M

Locale: Southern Colorado Rockies
Contact Lens Solutions on 08/06/2009 13:17:25 MDT Print View

I wear Night and Day disposables both at home and in the backcountry. I wear them for six days, 24/7, and then go one day without and wear my glasses. I clean them as required, and a pair lasts me a month. All of this is per my eye care professional. I love the Night and Day lenses. I rarely have any irritation, and most of the time I can't even feel them. When backpacking, I take an extra pair in case I have a problem, as well as a little dropper of rewetting solution.

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
lasik on 08/06/2009 13:48:54 MDT Print View

I've been leaning towards Lasik as well. The night vision effects freak me out a little... but I'm blind as it is, so I may as well run the risk. The whole procedure makes me nervous (as does the price) but I dislike glasses, and I hate having to worry about contacts/solution. I might be getting the procedure relatively soon.

Shawn Wandell
(stwandell) - F

Locale: Too close to lights
Ditto on James Ennis on 08/12/2009 12:20:06 MDT Print View

I have to confess... I pretty much do what James does. Not recommended but I do keep my Accuvue Oasys in for weeks and weeks and weeks. I actually have the same pair in that I got back on 5/12/09. Don't tell my eye doc...

I have taken these out perhaps three or four times to let them soak.

I had always been unable to wear contacts comfortably but I seriously think the problem was that I was messing with them daily and my sensitive eyes didn't like my fingers poking around in them each day.

I blink my eyes each day in a way that I can tell the lenses are not fusing to my eyes and that they are still "floating". Some mornings I have blurry vision but after I get up and moving around they clear right up. Very comfortable. Much more so than glasses.

I decided to try the contacts again after section hikes on the AT and fussing with my eyeglasses and bent frames.

I'll not go back to glasses if I can help it. Also, I get to wear a nice pair of Oakley Twitch polarizing shades on my hikes ;)

Btw, I never use any kind of eye drops.

Edited by stwandell on 08/12/2009 12:25:10 MDT.