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Sunday, April 05, 2009
By Yokota Fritz


I'm typing this on Saturday afternoon after a pleasant ride through the Santa Cruz Mountains. My vision is a little blurry, however, because I lost my left contact lens as I zoomed down the 14% grade of Empire Grade Road at 40 mph. I tell you it's a little terrifying traveling at that speed and suddenly you can't see where you're going.

Losing contacts when I go fast is a consistent problem for me. I've worked with my eye doctor and tried everything -- some contacts stay in my eyes a little better than others, but about the only thing that keeps my contacts from falling out is ski goggles.

I think the only thing that will really work is prescription sunglasses.

Does anybody else have this problem? What's your solution?


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Comments:
I haven't made the switch to contacts yet. I currently use prescription sunglasses. Yesterday one of the guys riding with me lost a contact on the descent. It is not something I would want to have happen.

Good luck on a solution.
 
I one go bad on a descent yesterday. It didn't fall out, but was still quite problematic.

Are you wearing disposables? (What almost everybody wears now.)

They rarely fall out for me, but I have much more trouble with them "going bad" after they are a little "old" - so maybe being rigourous about swapping in new ones every 10 days or something will help.

Also, don't rub your eyes! I find my contacts don't fit well for some time after I rub my eyes.
 
I have a pair of sunglasses that closes all around my eyes... wind rarely flies through it. There's enough spacing on my face to let some air in so it's not totally tapped. You might want to tell your eye doctor of the situation and they will probably give you smaller lenses.
 
I had the most radical solution, corrective eye surgery. This was almost 3 years ago and it's been a blast unknown to me since I was born! I know people still flake out at the thought of it but it's worth considering.

Still, if you wear contacts and bike, just carry a pair of prescription glasses with you. If you lost a lens, just stop, take the other one out, put on the glasses and keep going. The extra weight isn't worth bothering about.
 
=v= I think I look much better in contacts (Laurie says I'm "ravishing"), but this is exactly why I wear glasses instead. Someday I'll get around to trying out those fancy wraparound glasses (except Laurie calls them "Devo").
 
I've been wearing contacts for just a few years now, but I find that on those windy days (or fast descents) that dry your eyes out enough that the contacts come out, just keep 1 eye closed the whole time & switch back & forth. I seems to keep them moist enough that they don't fall out as much. YMMV
 
I've been wearing contacts for the past 15 years ... actually, I only wear contacts when I'm riding. I guess the trick is to have the right glasses, or I don't go as fast as you. I even went through a double century, 16 hours worth, on contacts.
 
I always wear glasses when I ride. If I'm wearing contacts, I'll use sunglasses with replaceable lenses. If you get ones from Performance (for example) they come with grey, amber, and clear lenses, so you can even wear them if you are riding at night.

If you are thinking about getting prescription sunglasses, I'd recommend checking out either Rudy Project or Smith, as they will be able to put prescriptions in the more "sporting" frames that have the greater coverage you need to keep from tearing up too much at high speeds. You do get a little distortion from the curvature of the lens, but you adjust to it eventually. I had a pair of Ekynox SX glasses with racing red lenses from Rudy and I LOVED them!
 
this is why I am behind the curve and still wear hard gas perms.
 
wow! I am surprised you don't wear glasses when you ride, just for the protection. I have gotten plenty of stones tossed in my directions from passing cars and semi's(not on purpose) and they have scared the crap out of me. I switched to prescription sunglasses three years ago and feel much safer. In ohio you can use pre-tax money for healthcare costs and prescription sunglasses are covered. Its a nice excuse to get new rudy projects every year.
 
I wear daily disposables....and in case I lose them, I bring my rx glasses with me, just in case. I also tend to wear sunglasses anyways, unless it's really cloudy.

I've only had a lense come out once when biking on my way to work, and I somehow managed to bike all the way with just one lense in my eye. I also had a spare lense in bag which I put in when I got to work.
I'm getting 2 weeks contact lenses on Tuesday, but for biking, rafting etc..., I think I will keep using my dailies so that I won't worry about losing them. Still, a pain biking with one lense, or none. Spare glasses a must!
 
The contact I lost actually fell out earlier on the ride -- I caught it, washed my hands and the lens with water bottle water, and put it back in my eye.

@Bryan: Disposable indeed. This was a brand new lens fresh out of the package.

@Danh: I've gotten every free trial lens available from the doctor. Just soft lenses, though -- I've never done Murph's hard lenses.

@Russ: I'm a big believer in eye protection. I wear sunglasses over my contacts.

@Spingineer: another problem I have is sometimes my contacts just plop out even when I'm just sitting there. They dry out and out they go.

@Jym: I'm ugly either way.

I have Devo shades (with replaceable lenses) around someplace, but I also have a young teen son who likes to borrow all of my things. I should probably go with the prescription shades suggestion.
 
Have you asked your eye doctor about laser surgery? It is great for bike riding, not to wear glasses.
 
I close my eyes when going fast.
 
Why not fix it permanently with Lasik. That's what I did. My eyes have stopped getting dried out ever since I did that.
 
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