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  • Glasses vs. Contacts

    I went through the entire Academy wearing glasses, but I switched to contacts on days I knew we were going to have striking, grappling, or aggressive scenarios that might include either. Now, working third shift on FTO, I'm trying to decide which I should use on the day-to-day.

    On one hand, my night vision is a lot better with glasses and I don't have to worry about any of the discomfort of shifting contacts or, god forbid, getting caught wearing contacts in some pepper spray crossfire. On the other, I don't want to get in a scuffle and have my glasses break or fly off.

    I'm assuming some of you have settled on one or the other, and I'd like to hear your thoughts.
    "Don't do that." - DT Instructor

  • #2
    Originally posted by NaturalZero View Post
    I went through the entire Academy wearing glasses, but I switched to contacts on days I knew we were going to have striking, grappling, or aggressive scenarios that might include either. Now, working third shift on FTO, I'm trying to decide which I should use on the day-to-day.

    On one hand, my night vision is a lot better with glasses and I don't have to worry about any of the discomfort of shifting contacts or, god forbid, getting caught wearing contacts in some pepper spray crossfire. On the other, I don't want to get in a scuffle and have my glasses break or fly off.

    I'm assuming some of you have settled on one or the other, and I'd like to hear your thoughts.
    I can't wear contacts.........................

    I have been wearing glasses for 42+ plus years while in uniform

    I ALWAYS had a second pair (at least at home) in case of a breakage......which happened several times over the years.
    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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    • #3
      My vision was HORRIBLE before I had vision correction surgery (I would joke that my next prescription was a dog and white cane). There's no way I could drive or shoot without glasses. I was never able to tolerate contacts, so I wore glasses for years on duty.

      If you have other options than glasses, I'd highly recommend it. Besides the chances of them getting knocked off or broken, you have to consider climate issues. Rain and such is annoying, but glasses in the winter (especially in colder climates like Ohio) are dangerous...you'll find that glasses fog up instantly if you're outside for any extended period of time and enter a warm residence. If you're entering a potentially-hostile situation in that residence, then you're going to be going in (literally) blind.

      Contacts have their disadvantages, but they're better than glasses.
      "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
      -Friedrich Nietzsche

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      • #4
        A third perspective-

        My vision sucked prior to law enforcement. I came across a doctor that did something called "Ortho-K" (Orthokeratology). It uses rigid gas permeable contact lenses like "braces" for your eyes.

        It is not for the light-hearted. If you think soft contact lenses are "uncomfortable", you haven't seen anything yet. But I was motivated. I was legally blind without correction, and I wanted to become a cop. With my first set of lenses, it was all I could do to get them in and lay down with my eyes closed, streaming tears. As my uncorrected vision improved, I repeatedly graduated to new lenses, and the discomfort was reduced.

        After a few months and a few sets of lenses, my uncorrected vision was good enough to get a job as a police officer. They are still somewhat uncomfortable, but my uncorrected vision has been pretty good for years, and I even had the vision restriction lifted from my driver's license. As long as the lighting is good, I have no problem driving for short errands without my lenses.

        The bonus here, is that because I didn't have my eyes cut to improve my vision, my slight myopathy is a major blessing once I get home. Most people after age 40 are stuck with reading glasses, but for me, all I have to do is just take my contacts out when I get home, and I can comfortably read anything.
        Last edited by Aidokea; 06-25-2020, 12:01 PM.

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        • #5
          I've worn contacts since I was 18 years old and never had any problems seeing distance or reading. I did lose one once in Hurricane Alicia when my partner and I tried to assist some citizens in trouble, so I started carrying an extra pair with me just in case.

          I still wear them daily even after astigmatism removal a year and a half ago on both eyes. I chose not to have lens implants done because I always got along so well with contacts and the implants were ridiculously expensive. Since the surgery, I do have to use reading glasses if I don't have my contacts in......which is normally early in the morning as I have my coffee!
          If your biggest work-related fear is getting a paper cut, don't try and tell a cop how to do his job.

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          • #6
            After having a chemical thrown in my eyes resulting in permanent vision impairment, I went with protective shatter proof prescription wrap-around glasses.

            Protective wrap-around glasses can minimize the effects things people may throw in your face.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BTDT2 View Post
              After having a chemical thrown in my eyes resulting in permanent vision impairment, I went with protective shatter proof prescription wrap-around glasses.

              Protective wrap-around glasses can minimize the effects things people may throw in your face.
              I had a lot of "OTHER STUFF" thrown / launched in my face over the years. Glasses stopped a lot of it
              Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

              My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

              Comment


              • SHU
                SHU commented
                Editing a comment
                Nothing quite like getting gassed. When I worked in the mental health unit in the state pen we wore complete face shields so we didn't get blood and crap in our mouth and nose.

              • Iowa #1603
                Iowa #1603 commented
                Editing a comment
                There was a 6 month period where we wore raincoats and face shields during a gang war in our administrative seg unit . The warden finally got permission to move some of them to another state to separate
                That happened right AFTER I left the unit...............I had been one of the acting supervisors for 2 yrs

            • #8
              Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post

              I had a lot of "OTHER STUFF" thrown / launched in my face over the years. Glasses stopped a lot of it
              I've been in a state prison during "Happy Hour" and missed a (prison) cocktail by inches.

              Last edited by BTDT2; 06-26-2020, 09:12 AM.

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              • #9
                What’s your uncorrected vision? Can you function if your glasses fly off? That’s probably the biggest issue. If you can see passably without glasses, then wear glasses and keep a second pair in your bag or locker.
                I’ll die with blue in my veins.

                Comment


                • NaturalZero
                  NaturalZero commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My uncorrected vision is pretty bad. Not blind, but that's a big part of why I'm steering towards contacts.

              • #10
                Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post

                I had a lot of "OTHER STUFF" thrown / launched in my face over the years. Glasses stopped a lot of it
                You’re a better man than I am (but we knew that already). I would have pulled out those convicts and beat them to an inch of their lives.
                I’ll die with blue in my veins.

                Comment


                • GoldBadge
                  GoldBadge commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I know it would happen now, but back in the day ...

                • Iowa #1603
                  Iowa #1603 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The thought was there many times

                • Iowa #1603
                  Iowa #1603 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The thought was there many times

                • Aidokea
                  Aidokea commented
                  Editing a comment
                  At least twice, apparently...

              • #11
                I wore glasses for 30+ years on the street. The only time hey were knocked off was when I caught a face full of broken glass. They stayed on long enough to save my vision. The lenses were replaced under an all-hazards warranty. Even if you wear contacts wear eye protection.

                Comment


                • Aidokea
                  Aidokea commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I do. I wear/wore full-coverage wrap-around ballistic-rated Oakley M-Frames pretty much at all times on duty. They are the ones issued to certain military personnel, and come with a grey lense for use during the day, amd a clear lense for use during the night. I had a young beat partner get blood sprayed in her eyes at a case we were on- I learned from that, and wore my eye protection full-time after that.

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