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Using contacts instead of glasses?

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#1 GOLGO13

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:59 AM

One problem I have with star hopping (besides crazy light pollution) is using glasses. I try to find the objects with my glasses on...then I go to the finder scope and I usually have to take my glasses off. This is especially true when I'm looking for something near zenith. However, then I lose where I am in sky and have to put my glasses back on. This causes a lot of frustration for me.

While using non-magnifying finder scopes like my rigel quickfinder is better, it still can be an issue. Plus, using magnified finders can help when star hopping faint stuff.

So my question is...has anyone found using contacts takes care of this issue? Is there any downsides to using contacts? Thanks!

#2 REC

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:22 AM

Good question as I have wondered the same. I have bi-focal regular progressive eyeglasses that I use all the time. I do not have to wear glasses to read, work at the computer ect. just need them for distance. So yeah, a pain looking up at the sky to see the stars and whole sky and then trying to find stuff in the scope. That is why I bought a Go-To telescope so I do not have to rely on "star hopping". But, when I use my refrator I have to find things manually through my RAF. Also I can't use the Red Dot finder on my SCT because I can't use my glasses to look through it! Constantly taking the glasses on and of and I have dropped them a few times and scratchpad them.

So...last week I was at my eye doctor for my annual exam and asked him if contacts would be a good option for my astronomy hobby. I thought that perhaps I could just get one contact and use "mono vision" to see distance and take in the entire sky and then the other for thr eyepiece? He said I could do that, but why bother when you can use two?

He then went on to say that I also have slight astigmatism, which I did not know I had, but do recall a few times when using my binoculars for the stars, some of them I could not focus the brighter stars to a pin point light and had a few "spikes" here and there! So he told me he could set me up with progressive contacts that would be sharp at infinity, mid range objects like seeing detail inside the car while driving, but you may have to add reading glasses for newspaper, computer ect. close up.

Ok then, let's try out a pair I said. I get in the car to drive home and the trees in the distance are sharp and in focus as well as my surroundings in the car....so far so good. I get home to read my email and I can't...too blurry. A $10 pair of reading glasses fixed that!

The we finally get a clear night the other day and I set up the scope. I look up and all the stars are in sharp focus. Now for the big moment, I look in the EP and the stars where perfect pin points and no spikes or anything, so perhaps better viewing that without any optical aid as I now have my astigmatism fixed. It was really nice to be looking through the scope at objects and look up at the sky and see everything in focus without have to put my glasses on:)

There was another post on the forum about all this and how some people where wearing Hi-Index lenses and other types to make observing better, but don't remember where it was. Perhaps doing a search for glasses will help? Bottom line so far, contact lenses seem to be a good solution for this problem and try them out I would say.

Good luck,

Bob

#3 GOLGO13

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:29 AM

Thanks Bob...that sounds pretty good in your case. Certainly could be worth a try.

#4 David Pavlich

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:45 AM

For viewing, I wear contacts. I have astigmatism, so I use Toric lenses. I do keep a pair of reading glasses at hand just in case. One thing that I also keep at hand is eye drops. Continual staring, especially in low humidity climates, will dry your eyes/lenses in a hurry.

David

#5 thetortoise

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:59 AM

They now have astigmatism correcting daily disposable contacts. I have left eye astigmatism and so have the astigmatism correcting contacts for left and regular dailies for right. Just another option to consider as before you needed rather uncomfortable lenses to correct astigmatism. I really like wearing contacts better than glasses because of the switch between finder and EP that you describe. It's super annoying in the dark as it's just one more thing to try to keep track of - and I'm always afraid I will drop an EP because I'm fumbling with my glasses. I wear my glasses about half the time and contacts the other half - the problem is that when I wear contacts it will usually be a cloudy night, and when I wear glasses it's clear as can be...

#6 REC

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:23 PM

David, yes that's the one my Doctor told me I needed Toric. I never heard of them before and they do correct the astigmatism. Mine are good for 30 days and he also told me to put drops in them a few times a day. So far so good and they are very comfortable and I hardly know I have them on.
The brand that I am using is called Air Optix.

Bob

#7 David Pavlich

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:03 PM

David, yes that's the one my Doctor told me I needed Toric. I never heard of them before and they do correct the astigmatism. Mine are good for 30 days and he also told me to put drops in them a few times a day. So far so good and they are very comfortable and I hardly know I have them on.
The brand that I am using is called Air Optix.

Bob


I've been using Torics for a long time. I use J&J's Accu Vue Torics. (Full disclosure: my wife works for J&J :grin:) I wear them a month and toss 'em as well. Drops are kind of normal for me since I work in A/C all day and they tend to dry out. I don't help by staring for endless hours at tennis racquets in a stringing machine. But for observing, they are terrific.

David

#8 GeneT

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:28 PM

I never had a problem wearing glasses and looking through a Telrad.

#9 GOLGO13

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 10:44 PM

Gene...yeah. It's a bigger issue for magnified finder scopes. I don't have much issue with my Rigel quickfinder either. However, if I want to try to use the finder for star hopping (especially in light pollution) it's an issue.

Much of the time I cannot see guide stars. That's probably a bad sign for observing anyways...but still, I'd like to be able to utilize the finder.

But also, I'd like to not have to take off my glasses for the actual observing. I may give it a try...I'm paying for eyecare anyways so I may as well make use of it ;)

#10 Deb and Todd

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 03:57 AM

I too have astigmatism and in the last several years bifocals as well. I dislike toric contact lenses at the scope. I f
Have to constantly blink when staring down in my Dobs.

My solution was to eventually own all long eye relief eyepieces. I have a separate set of observing glasses with a bifocal in only one eye.

#11 REC

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 10:35 AM

Still waiting to get a decent night for more observations with these new conatcts I am trying out. It's just like getting the "new gear curse" with clouds and rain everyday since I have had them!

I did notice the other night when looking at a street light and looking down at the light it created some very large spikes of light and that's not good I think? Looking straight at the light they went away?

Over all in daytime they seem to work ok and also when looking through binoculars. I have to start taking some notes on different targets before i go back to the doctor for first review.






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