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Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

Hong Kong
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Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

If I go on trekking up, I wonder whether I should wear glasses or can do contact lens.

I had experience of wearing glasses in cold weather and did strenuous exercises, and my glasses turned foggy and I had a hard time looking at things. But if I use contact lens, first I am worrying that the liquid holding my lens would be frozen, and second, without hand wash, I am not sure about the health hazard if I just use alcohol wipes to clean my hands. And would it be too dry for my eyes too? But wearing contact lens would be easier for sunglasses.

Any advice here?

13 replies to this topic
Minneapolis...
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1. Re: Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

I've never been in your situation - not a trekker. However, I've worn contacts for 40 years. I know glasses are a pain in cold weather, but it sounds like they would be safer for your eyes. Maybe you could get the contacts you toss every day - assuming you wear soft lenses. Talk your eye doctor.

Manassas, Virginia
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2. Re: Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

I wore contacts and was fine the whole trip. I brought baby wipes to make sure my hands were clean before taking out my contacts (or putting them in) and I made sure to bring a small mirror plus a fingernail file to dig out the dirt from under my nails. Your contact solution won't go to the top of the mountain, just to the highest camp so there shouldn't be a problem of freezing. Even if there is you can always stick your lens case in your sleeping bag with you at night to keep it warm.

Birmingham, United...
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3. Re: Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

Go with daily lenses. No need for solution etc and since sunnies will no doubt be a must will be worth it. One down side is at altitude contacts dry out quicker but I had dailies up to EBC with no issues. Also most shops that do lenses will let you have a month trial for free haha.

Asia
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4. Re: Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

I am trekking up Kilimanjaro later this year and am in the same situation, I am taking daily disposable contact lenses, with a lot of extras and a lot of hand sanitiser. i did the same on my Everest Base Camp trek with no issues due to cold and altitude. I never experienced freezing issues and I assume the reason for that is that the saline is quite salty, hence a lower freezing temperature. If you are concerned for the cold days, keep a few pairs in your pocket next to your body to prevent freezing. Also take some eye drops which may come in handy, and if it is windy on the summit, have sunglasses, which you no doubt already will to prevent dry eyes from wind.

However YMMV, and take these comments with a grain of salt as I haven't done the trek yet!

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Kilimanjaro National Park
Kilimanjaro National Park
Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania
Phoenix, AZ
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77 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

We recommend going with dailies for contacts and glasses in the evening. That way you can throw away the dailies when you get to camp and put on glasses. That is what our staff does on their treks.

Ireland
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6. Re: Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

I'm going to Tanzania in February. I wear glasses and never used contact lenses. However, I have been having lots of problems with my glasses fogging up and reduced visibility - it's been dangerous! So, I'm heading to my opticians next week to get some contacts. Hiking in cold or wet weather with glasses just isn't feasible. Fingers crossed I'll have leads how to use the lenses for my hike in February 😊

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Washington DC...
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7. Re: Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

Here's a tip from my ice hockey playing days for keeping glasses from fogging. Rub liquid dishwasher soap on the lenses. Buff until lenses clear. The soap coating reduces/eliminates fogging.

Ireland
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8. Re: Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

Thanks for that steveb... I'll definitely try that in the meantime.

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

Thanks for that Steve. I am plagued by steaming up in the early morning cool air and have been seeking a solution other than taking off my specs until body temp an ambient temp reach equilibrium. (usually around ten o'clock when it is way too late for birdwatching. )

So the solution is another solution. Nice touch!

Washington DC...
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10. Re: Experience with prescription glasses and contact lens

You're welcome, guys! I hope it works for you. It worked for me....most of the time. ;-)

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