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Does anyone wear contacts solely for observing?

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#1 Richie2shoes

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 02:59 PM

I've worn glasses all my life, never tried contacts.  They just seemed like too much trouble.  As my astigmatism gets worse, I've been thinking about contacts just for observing since more and more I have to put my glasses on to bring things into focus.  Has anyone gone this route?



#2 EarNoodles

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 03:16 PM

I don't have astigmatism I'm just very near sighted/myopic but observing seems a lot easier with contacts to me.  I can never quite get up in the right spot with glasses it doesn't feel like.  I went out for neowise with a friend and my glasses kept fogging up that night too which makes astronomy pretty hard smile.gif



#3 Mike G.

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 03:23 PM

I have astig pretty bad as well as some other issues.  normally I wear my glasses daily but they have so much correction, and are bifocals as well, that they are a pain for observing.  I can do it, but I usually switch out to my contacts if I am planning on using my scopes or binos.  the contacts I have are Toric, so no real correction other than for the astig.  they make observing so much more comfortable but they are a bit of a pain to put in and out.  but worth the effort.



#4 ButterFly

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 03:50 PM

Mixed bag.  Glasses offer better correction.  You have to get used to contacts.  You have to learn how to blink out glare and always keep drops with you.  I stick with glasses at night, but prefer contacts for daytime bino use.  In the winter, I was having eyepiece fogging issues as my juicy eyeball was nestled in the eyecup.  I don't have that problem with glasses because air circulates around the eye lens.

 

I use torics because of my astigmatism.  Give them a try and see for yourself.



#5 vsteblina

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 03:55 PM

I can't handle bifocal glasses. 

 

So when the "change" came I went and tried soft contacts.

 

Never went back to glasses except for reading glasses.

 

Contacts are great in the rain for working or hunting.  I use them for astronomy. 

 

The toric lenses are weighed so they rest at the bottom of your pupil and therefore are correctly aligned.  I regretted not getting them earlier in life!!!  There are some studies that indicate contacts tend to stabilize your vision relative to glasses.

 

The other advantage for astronomy is you get a trail pack of five for free, with a one diopter additional correction.  These correct for night myopia.  Doesn't make a difference at the telescope, but for visual dark sky observing it makes a huge difference.  Try them at a Bortle ONE site.

 

They are now cheaper than glasses if you change prescriptions every year.


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#6 AstroVPK

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 06:25 PM

I've worn glasses all my life, never tried contacts.  They just seemed like too much trouble.  As my astigmatism gets worse, I've been thinking about contacts just for observing since more and more I have to put my glasses on to bring things into focus.  Has anyone gone this route?

 

Normal soft contacts are no good - they change shape far too much. I cannot get nice, tight stars when using contacts, both naked eye as well as through a telescope. What's worse is that because I have astigmatism, I need toric lenses that have to 'hang' on my eye in a certain orientation. Torics are made in large increments of angular rotation, so they never completely match the prescription. Also, they can 'de-rotate' on the eye if they get too dry in which case everything gets slightly blurry - no good for astronomy.

 

Last year, I tried out these new 'Duette' hybrid contacts that combine a soft outer skirt with a rigid gas-permeable hard center. These are definitely sharper during the daytime but cannot fully correct my astigmatism. I have some astigmatism that arises from the inside of my cornea - these contacts are not capable of removing this astigmatism. At night, something very interesting happens. As my eyes dilate and dark-adapt, my pupil becomes larger than the central gas-permeable surface and I start looking through the outer soft skirt which introduces a very bright halo around bright objects. My eye-doctor had warned me that this might happen but we decided to try anyway. In one particular case, I was looking at Jupiter and saw the annoying bright halo around it. Then i closed one eye and looked at my fully-lit cellphone screen with the other - the halo disappeared. After turning the screen off, I could see the halo 'grow' back to the full diameter as my eyes dark-adapted again over ~ 30 seconds - pretty cool, but that makes these 'Duette' hybrids less than ideal for astronomy.

 

This year, I've decided to give the Zeiss iScriptions glasses (not contacts) a try. These are specially designed to reduce higher-order aberrations at night when looking through most of the fully dilated pupil. Sadly, I chose a hard to get frame to go along with the glasses and with the two put together, I'm on week 6 and still waiting for the glasses to arrive. Once the glasses are here, I'll see how well they do and report back on this forum.

 

Next year, my doctor wants me to try scleral contact lenses that are large diameter contacts that sit on the sclera. Apparently, these will completely correct my astigmatism unlike the hybrid Duettes. Since they are large and completely cover the cornea, we expect them to continue to perform well at night. Lets see how it goes - I'll keep everyone here posted.



#7 Richie2shoes

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 06:29 PM

Thanks for the input so far.  I know I'm just going to have to try them an see how they work for me, but reading other's experience is helpful.



#8 AstroVPK

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 07:47 PM

Thanks for the input so far. I know I'm just going to have to try them an see how they work for me, but reading other's experience is helpful.


Talk to your doctor about scleral contacts. Mine thought they'd be the ticket. Let's see if another doctor agrees.

#9 stoest

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 10:11 PM

With moderate astigmatism I tried the contacts that are supposed to help correct astigmatism. Normally I view without my glasses and on brighter objects especially I can see the effects of the astigmatism so it seemed like it was worth a try. I just couldn't get comfortable enough with the contacts in to view effectively, I suspect that it just depends on the person and their eyes and how they view so it's worth a shot. I think it might have been more successful if I wore the contact more often than just observing but I never could do that so I don't think my eyes ever really just got used to the contacts. I also had issues where the contact would take some time to settle in the correct orientation on my eyeball to correct the astigmatism properly and it seemed like I blinked a lot when I had them in so it felt like I was constantly waiting for them to get in position.



#10 Procyon

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 10:17 PM

I've been observing with daily disposable Acuvue contacts for 10 years, never had an issue. Takes me about 5 seconds per contact to install(?) them and half a sec to remove them. Prefer these over 1st year with glasses.

Edited by Procyon, 04 August 2020 - 10:20 PM.


#11 awong101

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 10:22 PM

I've been an athlete all of my life and so, contacts have become a regular for me.

 

Also, I refuse to look through an eyepiece with my glasses on. It's just awkward. 



#12 AstroVPK

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 10:27 AM

I've been observing with daily disposable Acuvue contacts for 10 years, never had an issue. Takes me about 5 seconds per contact to install(?) them and half a sec to remove them. Prefer these over 1st year with glasses.

 

What's your visual acuity with contacts when dark adapted? I found that when I was younger, I wouldn't lose anything by wearing contacts as opposed to glasses. These days, the glasses work better.



#13 Napp

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 10:45 AM

I have myopia with some astigmatism.  I used to wear daily wear disposable contacts.  They were fine for everything but observing.  I just could not achieve as crisp a focus with the contacts as I could without them.  Though I normally wear bifocals I had a single vision pair of glasses made just for night vision.  I put a lanyard on the glasses so I can easily remove them while looking through the scope or at charts.  Works for me.



#14 BradFran

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 11:50 AM

I haven't worn contacts in over a decade, so this may be out of date. With my high astigmatism I strongly prefer glasses while observing. Soft contacts are comfortable for day use, but a real pain at night due to drying out and not being able to focus properly and even causing flare and ghosting. They dry quickly and can even pop out when blinking; real fun to find and clean in the dark. During the day it was seldom an issue. Hard contacts provided better acuity and were easier at the focuser, but i still had the problem of eye fatigue when using them at the telescope for extended periods and experienced repeatedly dry eyes needing frequent use of eye drops. With glasses I never need eye drops.

 

A Dioptrx can also be a solution, but as I cannot read a chart or even see a constellation in the sky without putting on my glasses, it causes a juggling of taking the glasses on and off and moving the dioptrx around. So I just use my glasses. For astronomy, I find smaller frames with lenses closer to your eye are best.



#15 Starman81

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 02:58 PM

I've been an athlete all of my life and so, contacts have become a regular for me.

 

Also, I refuse to look through an eyepiece with my glasses on. It's just awkward. 

 

I'm guessing you have minor/negligible astigmatism or perhaps none at all? 



#16 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 03:13 PM

Yes, I have used them (soft ones), for astronomy, for over 35 years.  You will probably need a full diopter stronger than the daytime prescription, to correct for "night myopia".  They will also tend to smooth out tiny irregularities in the cornea, IME.


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#17 FloridaFocus

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 04:28 PM

Night myopia? I'm not familiar with this term, although I am now beyond curious.

 

I am very myopic, and have needed vision correction since I was 4 or 5. Over the last 7-10 years, maybe, I've noticed that night-time driving is much less comfortable for me due to headlight glare of oncoming traffic, especially on highways with lots of oncoming traffic.

 

I pondered this on a drive not too long ago and considered that perhaps it was due to a combination of my myopia and the trend of more-recent vehicles to have very different headlights, causing more noticeable glare as they comprise a greater percentage of cars on the road.

 

Not trying to turn this into a driving thread by any means, but can you expound a little more on the effects of "night myopia"?



#18 Napp

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 05:26 PM

Not trying to turn this into a driving thread by any means, but can you expound a little more on the effects of "night myopia"?

This article should help:  https://skyandtelesc.../spectacles.pdf



#19 GeneT

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 06:51 PM

I used to wear contacts full time. When viewing they worked fine. However, one night, I got my eye a little too close to eyepiece lens. When I blinked, the contact flew away like a frisbee. It went into the grass. A friend and I spent three hours looking for the contact. We never found it.


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#20 JJack

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 10:13 PM

To my surprise, my right contact corrects for mild astigmatism, my left one doesn't have correction. I never even thought to look. I think I'll do a little A/B comparison between naked eye and contact viewing.



#21 The Ardent

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 11:19 PM

I’m interested in toric. My observing eye shows blurry stars naked eye viewing. I use reading glasses and magnifier for chart reading. Dioptrx for large exit pupil telescopic observing. I can tell my eye has worsened the past few years. It would be nice to have a simple solution.

And to think until 10 years ago I had great eyesight.

#22 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 09:57 AM

I’m interested in toric. My observing eye shows blurry stars naked eye viewing. I use reading glasses and magnifier for chart reading. Dioptrx for large exit pupil telescopic observing. I can tell my eye has worsened the past few years. It would be nice to have a simple solution.

And to think until 10 years ago I had great eyesight.

Toric doesn't work for everyone.  After wearing soft contacts for probably 15 years, I tried torics, and they caused irritation, and really didn't help much.  Fortunately, since then, the astigmatism and myopia has gotten much much better, since I retired a few years ago and got away from looking at thousand line spreadsheets and computer code 8 hours a day.  I can even pass the driver vision test without aid now.


Edited by John Fitzgerald, 06 August 2020 - 09:57 AM.

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#23 stargazer193857

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 03:49 PM

I have 1 diopter astigmatism in my left eye and 1.5 in my right eye. My vision is close to 20/40 without glasses and close to 20/20 with. I really really wish my vision were 20/10.

The moon looks like 7 distinct images stacked on top of each other. Wearing glasses merges some but not all of them.

Glasses catch dust, rain, eyelash oil, and breath fog. They also have reflections. They still are better than without.

Binoculars greatly reduce the appearance of double images, but I still see sharper through them with glasses on.

I want to wear contacts, but my eyelids are too strong to hold open and close every time I tried. I'm interested in this thread for knowing what kind of contacts would give me the best vision. My plan would be to wear them intermitantly.


I wonder if my astigmatism is from my lenses, from asymmetric contraction of my lens muscles, from the outside of my cornea, or from the inside.


My astigmatism seems worse at night and worse after near focusing on my smartphone. I suspect it is from asymmetric muscle contraction. I wonder if doctors can even measure the source.


When I look at a star, I see several of it clustered near each other. That tells me some optical surface is lumpy.


I would not get surgery. They can't undercorrect. They give every cornea a sphere even if that is not the best shape for that eye.

#24 stargazer193857

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 10:10 PM

Sometimes if I relax my eye just right it sharpens up. Also depends a lot on how high the text is in my view. Looking up or down increases the astigmatism. So I need to lay on my back for sharpest sky views.

#25 REC

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 12:47 PM

I got a pair of Toric contacts that where set for infinity for the stars. It's nice to look at the stars ect. and then go straight to the eyepiece! But now I have to put on reading glasses to read the charts.




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