Prescription Glasses wearers, what do you do?

8:28 a.m. on October 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I wear tri-focals to see, really can't do much, including hike, without them.

Just upgraded to a new pair this summer and the doctor convinced me to get the self-darkening lenses. I said they never get dark enough for my eyes, they told me the new once get darker than the older ones. So I bit, and bought. And now regret.

I find if I don't have a hat that I am looking at the ground because its often too bright to look up.

Do you hike in prescription sunglasses? Glasses and a hat?

8:47 a.m. on October 13, 2013 (EDT)
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After 10years with lasik surgery, I found I had to go back into glasses 2 years ago (nothing wrong with the lasik--it's called getting old. I still have 20/20 vision IF I stare long enough, but when I shift to a new object, my eyes take forever to focus).

These days when I'm outdoors, I wear an old, cheaper pair of glasses and a hat. I leave my bifocals at home. When camping I only need the glasses to see long distances. When I want to read, I just take off the glasses and hold the book closure than I normally would.

I'm fine for now, but I'm also not in the desert or fields of snow with a ground glare.

9:57 a.m. on October 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I have my normal eyeglasses and I have pair of prescription sunglasses---and I take both on every trip.  One is always stored in a single lightweight but sturdy case which is in the top lid pocket of my pack.  One time I was at a fire ring burning trash and inadvertently stepped on my sunglasses laying on the ground.  Oops.  So I had to use my normal specs for the rest of the trip.

After the trip I took my shades to the eye clinic and they spent 20 minutes working on the frame to get it back to new.  Neato.

11:44 a.m. on October 13, 2013 (EDT)
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Multifocals, whether bi-, tri-, or progressive "blended", are problematic. There was a good article that I read recently about this type of corrective lens that noted that there is a lot of work going into trying to solve the distortion and "shifting" problems. No solution yet. Even multifocal contacts have problems, including the trick of having one eye distance only and the other reading only.

My solution is to go to distance only for unimproved trails, especially steep ones going downhill and climbing. Or I can get along with just taking the glasses off.

My glacier glasses (which I use for skiing as well) are distance only. I carry a reading pair for the map, GPSR, compass, etc. for orienteering competitions, I use the distance only (which are "transitions, I.e. auto-darkening), plus a flip-up clip-on magnifier for reading the map and compass. The flip-ups are hard to find and inordinately expensive for a simple, nonprescription lens, though.

5:31 p.m. on October 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I have my single vision transitions lenses, and get by fine on them. even though I should really have bifocals, I am avoiding that as long as possible. for reading I just take the glasses off.

6:21 p.m. on October 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I walk with my transition distance only glasses, good for me in daylight from about 4 feet onward, and carry my trifocals (blended) clear ones for camp . I always wear a cap with a visor.

6:37 p.m. on October 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I used to have prescription sunglasses that changed from light to dark and back again as the light changed. The ones I had last a few years ago would change darker even more than in normal temps if it was cold outside. I got into the habit of warming them up by running them under warm water when I went indoors so I would not have to wait for them to warm up by them selves. They worked fine for me with or without a hat. Tho I generally wear a hat when outdoors both for warmth and the sun visor.

8:18 p.m. on October 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I use fit-over sunglasses -- that fit over my prescription eyeglasses.

They make them durable and stylish these days - a far cry from the boxy, bulky ugly looking things your grandparents wore.  And they are easy to size/fit properly.

And this is an inexpensive solution, too.  Fit-overs are cheap compared to the cost of prescription sunglasses.

 

 

10:12 a.m. on October 14, 2013 (EDT)
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The "photogrey" as they used to call them in the 70's seem no better at getting dark than theyw ere back then. I simply put my tri-focals on the case and wear my raybans if I need to read (they are preseciption) or just wear good outdoor sun glasses that keep out light on the side as well.

11:27 a.m. on October 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Well I'm unsure what I will do.

I have a pair of older prescription sunglasses, they are for DISTANT vision only. I can't read my watch, let alone a map, if I have them on, but they are close enough to my current prescription and dark enough, that they are probably what I will be going back to . . . if I can find them! I used to use them when I would go out on my tractor in the field.

The self-darkening glasses just don't work for me. I will have to carry them with me, only because that is the only way I can see anything up-close. Without them there is no way my eyes can read a map. The doctors assured me this new pair would be dark enough but, without calling them liars, I can just say my eyes must be too light sensitive.

I do like the idea of the sunglasses OVER the regular glasses, but that may prove to be too heavy on my nose for comfort???

11:43 a.m. on October 14, 2013 (EDT)
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I go with the fitovers. Walmart has a wide variety of dark lenses that fit over your existing glasses and grab the edges with little rubber posts. They cost about $20 and work quite well. I add my Trailspace cap to those and I'm usually good in the brightest sun.

I always bring an old pair of eyeglasses as backup.

11:48 a.m. on October 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Quite honestly, with fit-overs, I've never noticed the additional weight.  I've backpacked all day while wearing them and do not find them uncomfortable.  They make them fairly light weight.

I do wear a croakie with the fit-over sunglasses, so I can just easily remove them when I'm doing compass/map work... or when the weather changes and all of sudden there's cloud cover and no bright sunshine.  And if the weather changes back, I just slip the fit-overs back on.

9:40 p.m. on October 14, 2013 (EDT)
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I have progressive lenses...and I wear a big pair of polarized sunglasses over them.  Walmart, about $20.

 

And a hat. 

 

Stylin'!

12:10 p.m. on October 15, 2013 (EDT)
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I always wore my contacts and sunglasses during the day, then switched to glasses in the evening.  I may have to look into the Wal Mart fit-overs - it would save carrying contact solution.

6:25 a.m. on October 16, 2013 (EDT)
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My last pair was not auto darkening and I would just the fit overs in different colors and darkness as I need then.  I think I have three different kinds.  It worked and I never notices any extra weight. 

My current pair is self darkening and they work fine on the trail, could they be darker, sure but I almost always wear a hat and it just does not seem to effect me that much.  Although I could use by-focal's I decided not to get them, I just take off my glasses (for distance) if I need to read or check a map or something up close.  When hiking I also use one of those strings that connect to the glasses and go around you neck, that way if I need to take them off I am not siting them down some where, they just hang on my neck.

The only thing that drives me crazy is the fact that the auto darkening glassed don't work inside a car, they require UV rays to darken and the class, actually any glass, blocks the UV rays so they stay clear.  Make it tiring to drive.  I have used some of the fit-on's, they work, but don't fit to well as the design is different. 

Question:

For snow and High country, where you want to protect your eyes from snow glare and high UV levels, what is the best way?

Do you need to go to the expense of prescription glacier glasses or can you add something to an existing pair?

8:41 a.m. on October 19, 2013 (EDT)
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I always wear prescription glasses except when sleeping or bathing. For outdoors I add cheap UL clip-on polarized sunglasses from Walmart. I have found this to be the simplest and most effective combination for me whether hiking or doing anything else. Both my glasses and the clip-on sunglasses are frameless so potentially a bit fragile, but it's no big deal to take a little extra care and have never broken or badly bent anything.

9:31 a.m. on October 19, 2013 (EDT)
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I always wear prescription glasses except when sleeping or bathing. For outdoors I add cheap UL clip-on polarized sunglasses from Walmart. I have found this to be the simplest and most effective combination for me whether hiking or doing anything else. Both my glasses and the clip-on sunglasses are frameless so potentially a bit fragile, but it's no big deal to take a little extra care and have never broken or badly bent anything.

 

Your glasses wearing sounds just like mine. They are ALWAYS on my head. Heck I even walked into the shower with them on a couple times by accident.

I just picked up a pair of cheap "flip-up & clip-on" sunglasses that I will be trying.

Cost me $9.

I'm hoping they are 'dark enough' for my eyes. Won't know that for at least a week or more since its projected to be overcast here for about a week!

10:56 a.m. on October 26, 2013 (EDT)
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melensdad said:

.. the doctor convinced me to get the self-darkening lenses... ..(He)  told me the new once get darker than the older ones. So I bit, and bought. And now regret.

 

I used to own prescription, automatic tinting eyewear in my early twenties.  The stuff currently marketed doe not get darker than the old version of auto-tints.  In fact opticians will not prescribe any sun wear that darkens beyond a surprisingly limited tint density.  The problem is our pupils dilate in dim light, such as behind a pair of dark glasses.  This not only lets in more light, it also lets in more damaging UVs.  Even UV blocking lens aren’t sufficient protection, as UV can infiltrate from the portion of our field of vision not covered by the glasses.  That may not seem a big deal, but most eyewear covers only a portion of the total field of vision.  I suggest you get lens that cover a greater portion of your field of vision.  

Ed

11:08 a.m. on October 26, 2013 (EDT)
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Wolfman (Wolfgang Greystoke) said:

..The only thing that drives me crazy is the fact that the auto darkening glassed don't work inside a car, they require UV rays to darken and the class, actually any glass, blocks the UV rays so they stay clear.  Make it tiring to drive.... 

 True the tint is triggered by UV light, and true, ca car's interior is shaded from UV.  Yet my auto-tints worked just as well driving as while out and about on foot.  Go figure.

Question:

For snow and High country, where you want to protect your eyes from snow glare and high UV levels, what is the best way?

Do you need to go to the expense of prescription glacier glasses or can you add something to an existing pair?

Most quality sunware blocks 100% of UV light.  The only improvement glacier glasses provide over conventional eyewear is they may have a closer fit to you face than conventional eyewear.  Additionally many glacier glasses are equipped with blinker hoods covering the field of vision not covered by the frames and lenses.  Otherwise the lens are similar to other sporting glasses. 

Ed

10:49 p.m. on October 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks Ed,  I am going to try to find some side blinders (covers) that will fit my glasses.  Well sooner or later, I won't need them until nest summer.

11:16 p.m. on October 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Given the trail name, handle, whatever - y'all know I was bound to contribute to this thread.

Mine are Transitions lenses, and - in my experience - darken well enough on the trail when directly exposed to sunlight. When the sun's bright enough to be a problem, they come in and darken accordingly. I can't ever tell because the tint changes in a slow and subtle way, but they are effective, and they do work.

They don't do as well in overcast weather or when you're underneath or between the sun (say, driving a car).

I have to add, though, that there are (last I checked) 3 different tint levels you can choose. The darkest-tinted Transitions, geared toward athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, weren't the ones I chose. 

Transitions, however, do serve double-duty and do save you the weight and hassle of a clip-on pair. 

EyeglassPeople.com or similar sites will make lenses for you for a FRACTION of what an optometrist or retail shop would charge. Simply send a copy of your R/X and your frames, and they take care of the rest.

To put it into perspective: a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers from a retail shop with Transitions lenses? $420.

I purchased Ray-Ban sunglasses frames from an outlet store for $60, sent them to EyeglassPeople, and the lenses (polycarbonate w/ Transitions tinting) ran $110. 

$420 retail, or $170? I think we all know the smarter option.

Long story short, for what you save in weight and hassle, get the automatically-tinting frames. A clip-on option is too fragile and too much fuss to prove worth it. At that point, you're better off wearing a cap to block the sun, and at least you know it won't break when stuffed into your pack.

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