If you are a spectacle wearer and your vision without your glasses is poor, you may think there are activities you can’t participate in such as swimming. The good news is that there are many solutions available. Our philosophy is for glasses to enhance your lifestyle so we love finding options for you. Here are a few of my suggestions to help you enjoy some of your favourite activities and be able to see!
Swimming and Glasses
Q: Can I swim with glasses? – this is a common question and concern for patients.
A: One option is to wear contact lenses and swimming goggles over the top of them. Another option is to have swimming goggles made up with a prescripton lens built in to them.
Q: How can I play contact sport? My glasses will break or fog up or get damaged?
A: One solution is to wear contact lenses. A second solution is to have specially designed sports glasses made. These have a solid and flexible frame and have a head strap to hold them in place. Sometimes the solution can be as simple as a good anti-fog cleaning spray if your glasses are fogging up. There are even solutions that enable you to have improved vision without wearing glasses this is called Corneal Re-shaping Therapy (CRT) also known as Ortho K. This involves wearing a special contact lens while you sleep that re-shapes the cornea as it is worn. Upon waking the contact lenses are removed and your vision is corrected, so you can see without your glasses.
So if you do any activity that gets you moving, hot and sweaty such as snow skiing, scuba diving, football, basketball, hockey, gym or even Zumba dancing consider one of the above solutions.
Q: What do I do if my glasses don’t fit inside my motorbike helmet?
A: Consider contact lenses or CRT as mentioned above. Laser correction may also be a solution. A third solution is a super light and thin frame that bends without breaking or losing its shape.
If you are riding a motorbike in extreme weather, anti-fog coatings and cleaners also work well.
Q: I just don’t look good in glasses and they don’t go with my clothes when I dress up for special occasions. Do I have other options?
A: This problem is less common today with modern fashion frames being very attractive and able to suit just about everyone. However some people are still very self-conscious when wearing corrective eyewear especially if they have thick lenses. For these patients we can offer specialty lenses that are very thin. Another great option is contact lenses or CRT as discussed previously. A more permanent solution is available for patients over 18 years of age with a stable prescription is Corrective Laser Surgery where an eye surgeon uses a special laser to re-shape the front of the cornea (the thin, clear tissue at the front of the eye) to correct any refractive errors and help you become spectacle free!
So, as you can see, when patients put up a road block and say “But with my glasses I can’t….” there are many simple and effective solutions we can suggest to allow them the freedom that they crave to live their lives without needing to compromise just because they need a visual correction to see well. That means no more excuses! See your optometrist, ask for help and get out there!
By Dr Ian Clemens Optometrist and Director at Kosmac & Clemens Optometrists