Glasses or contacts?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Mr.Lob, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Started wearing glasses a couple years ago. Mainly for reading, though do have an astigmatism, and usually wear about half the time. Outdoors I'm fine, with the indoor lighting at tennis club, just don't think I see the ball as clearly as I should, without glasses. With bifocals glasses on, there is a blurring of the tennis ball as it comes quickly from high to low. Depth perception can be tricky too at times. At my recent eye exam, doc. says he could put me in contacts and take out the "far part" of the lenses. Said I wasn't crazy about having to do the contact thing. He said to think about it.

    So, any advice/pros and cons, on which may be better, or which was helpful to you? Contacts? Glasses? Or playing without?
     
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  2. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    I have myopia; sport glasses are the way to go for me. I'm using Oakley Flak Jackets. My eyes get too dry from using contacts so I gave up on it. Sport glasses feel very good, but it's really expensive and I'm not sure it's worth it in your case.
    If I were you, I'd try to get contacts first and see what your ophthalmologist tells you.
     
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  3. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I believe that there was a recent long thread in the Other Equipment or Health and Fitness forums.

    Try them and they should not be that expensive.

    My optometrist had a policy. He would test my eyes and then get me sample contacts and ask me to try them and see how I 'liked' them. He did not give me a quick eye test with the new contacts. I was not sure and asked him to check my eyes, the lenses needed to be changed. I'd advise you to get the optometrist to give you a quick eye test with the new contacts.
     
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  4. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    I'm short sighted and have been playing in my regular glasses since I was about 11 with no problems. My wife on the other hand can't play in her glasses (she is also short sighted) so she has daily disposable lenses for tennis.
     
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  5. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I have needed reading glasses for years (presbyopia), but my distant vision has remained pretty good. I used to wear progressive glasses all the time, but would switch to single vision Rx sunglasses for tennis and golf. Then I got contacts, which improved my vision enough that I could read reasonably well. I could read messages on my phone, read computer screens, etc. It would be a little blurry, but I was free from glasses. My distance vision suffered slightly, becoming slightly blurry with minor double vision.

    The contacts are great for playing tennis in good light. But I have a little trouble reading hard serves especially under the lights, so I sometimes play without contacts during night matches.

    I definitely see better all around with my progressive glasses, but I can't play sports in progressives. I can see the ball better as it gets closer in contacts, which helps with volleying and sometimes with making cleaner contact. My Rx sunglasses improve my vision generally, but don't give me perfectly clear vision anywhere.

    It is all a compromise, but I like contacts the best by far. It took a little trial and error to get the right lenses, and a couple months to get used to using them, but they are great and I can't feel them in my eyes at all.
     
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  6. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Contacts are usually prescribed to give the best correction for distant vision ('infinity'). I asked my optometrist to add a small diopter (+1/4) correction to help with closer vision on the tennis court. He talked me out of it. My distance glasses and contacts work well for watching TV at 10 foot viewing distance. Distance correction focuses well maybe 10' and farther away in good light. This will depend on lighting levels as with good light the depth of field of the eye is better as in photography because the aperture of the eye is smaller.

    Contacts hardly ever correct for astigmatism. In bright sunlight, the iris of the eye gets small. Only the central part of the eye lens is used in bright sunlight. If the lighting level is lower as in indoor lighting (only 1-2% the light level of outdoor direct sunlight) the iris of the eye opens wider. More parts of the eye lens that have the astigmatism may be used. Since the contacts do not correct for astigmatism when the eye lens is used indoors it may not focus quite as well. That being said, I have considerable astigmatism but mine work well indoors.

    Since contacts are prescribed for distance if you are not young, between 40 and 50 the eye lens stiffens and can no longer focus as well for reading, you will need reading glasses to read with distance contacts.

    My friend had Lasik some years ago and had one eye corrected for distance and the other eye corrected for reading. He is very happy and has no trouble playing tennis with one distance eye and one reading eye. The same thing can be done with contacts.

    A interesting point that I don't understand - Although I have considerable astigmatism the sharpest close-up focus that I can get at reading distance is to wear my contacts and use a +3 diopter pair of $1 glasses at the $ Store. Seems to imply that the astigmatism correction in my trifocals is not as good as the contacts + a $1 pair of reading glasses!

    All said and done get distance correction for tennis. You might try also getting a trial lens with a reading correction to see if that is any use for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  7. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Thanks. My optometrist did mention the throwaway contacts, which may be a good idea as I probably would only wear for tennis. I guess that wouldn't be too bad... maybe. If not too expensive may just try the glasses. Anybody got a coin?
     
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  8. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    A minor consideration is that of light refraction. Because lenses in glasses are much thicker (and further from the eyes) than contact lenses, the refraction error will be probably be much greater for glasses than contact lenses. This error can cause you to misjudge the position of the incoming ball.

    I indicate that this is a only a minor consideration because, for most people, the brain learns to "correct" for the error in a relatively short time. I first noticed the refraction phenomenon in playing tennis when I first started using sunglasses on the court. I would mishit the ball for a while until my brain "corrected". This happened for a few weeks (because I was not using the sunglasses very often). After further usage of sunglasses, my brain started to learn to "correct" right away.

     
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  9. ramos

    ramos New User

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    Ash, please what you mean by short sighted? Sorry my doubt could be for my poor english...
     
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  10. anubis

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    I wear contacts when I play tennis. Actually, I wear them all the time. I can't play in glasses. Besides, it allows me to wear sunglasses during the summer.
     
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  11. thehustler

    thehustler Rookie

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    I played with a guy once who wore glasses. Made me never want to wear them when I eventually get them. He was always getting upset that his glasses were fogging up when playing and that he couldn't see. I found it entertaining, but it made me dread the day my eyes go to crap. I figure maybe in 10-15 years when I need glasses I can just get my eyes replaced, like in Minority Report and I'll be good to go.
     
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  12. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    With glasses you generally get better vision than contacts but you do get a slight (very slight I'm assuming) distortion if your glasses slip a little off your nose (I can only tell on mine if I look for it). I'm guessing sports glasses that sit on your face can take care of that. Another thing to consider is the rim of the lens. I rather move my eyes than my whole head (especially in fast sports like badminton) so the glasses are no go for me in those cases. Finally glasses get grimy and streaky when playing sports. I get noticeably better close vision with glasses than with contacts but I'm not swinging at a tennis ball 10" from my face so contacts will do.

    I considered LASIK but my wife talked me out of it because my corneas are borderline thin and she said I would need reading glasses sooner.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
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