A Guest Post by Michael Harris
For many outdoor sports and activities, the first step to taking part in them is getting the right equipment. Cyclists and mountain bikers require bicycles and helmets; kayakers, distance swimmers, and divers need to find the right goggles and, occasionally, wetsuits; and hikers and runners alike require footwear ideally suited to their activities. In addition to these specific equipment needs, there’s one issue that any outdoor athlete or adventurer needs to address carefully: corrective vision.
Generally speaking, athletes tend to prefer contact lenses to other solutions for their vision problems, though there are exceptions. There are plenty of athletes who opt for either ordinary eyeglasses or prescription sports goggles. For outdoor athletes and adventurers, however, contact lenses are almost a necessity, rather than a preference.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Clear Vision – While both contact lenses and eyeglasses will help to correct imperfect vision, glasses (and prescription goggles) are more vulnerable when it comes to obstructions. From sweat and condensation, to splashes and precipitation, there are a lot of things that an outdoor athlete will encounter that will cloud or smear external lenses. This can be both inconvenient and, in certain cases, unsafe. Contact lenses are not vulnerable to these same issues.
- Ability To Wear Necessary Gear – Depending on your outdoor sport or activity, you may require gear that is difficult to wear with glasses on. In some cases, helmets can be uncomfortable. More importantly, though, activity-specific goggles and sunglasses are difficult, if not impossible, to wear over eyeglasses. Swimmers and water sport participants, skiers, and even cyclists who prefer to wear athletic sunglasses, like those offered by Oakley, would all do well to opt for contact lenses.
- Better Field Of Vision – This is a vital point that ACUVUE notes in an article on the benefits of contact lenses in sport. Essentially, contact lenses provide a full range of vision, whereas glasses, and even goggles, leave you without corrected vision on the sides. In many outdoor sport and adventure activities, peripheral vision is a necessity, which again makes contacts the safer and more convenient option.
- Low Probability Of Emergency Issues – It’s always unlikely, but occasions do arise when glasses or prescription goggles can fall off or become displaced at an inopportune moment and cause injury via distraction. Again, it’s not something one counts on happening, but it’s a risk that is eliminated for contact lens wearers.
For these reasons, I would recommend that any athlete looking to get into an outdoor activity should consider contacts if he or she isn’t wearing them already. It’s certainly not necessary to switch to them in everyday life if you’re more comfortable with glasses. Rather, just look at it as part of your preparation for outdoor sports and adventures. Just as you might visit Go Outdoors before embarking on an adventure, count contact lenses on your checklist.