Eyeglasses

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
Well at the age of 32 it seems like I’ll need a little boost to get 20/20 distant vision. I’m usually on the line, but due to my AME retiring I just went with a new one after 7 years. He is a great doc, just a little more thorough than the last one.

Any recommendations on types of glasses, or a combo including sunglasses? Would you recommend contacts? I hate the thought of touching anywhere near my eyeball to be honest. I also feel like my vision is decent at 20/25 and therefore wouldn’t have glasses if it wasn’t required, so I plan on only wearing them while operating the plane. It makes sense that once you wear glasses your eyes become lazy and deteriorate more so, but I’m hoping they won’t if I only wear them while flying. I’m guessing lasik is also out of the question as 20/25 isn’t legally blind
 
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Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
Well at the age of 32 it seems like I’ll need a little boost to get 20/20 distant vision. I’m usually on the line, but due to my AME retiring I just went with a new one after 7 years. He is a great doc, just a little more thorough than the last one.

Any recommendations on types of glasses, or a combo including sunglasses? Would you recommend contacts? I hate the thought of touching anywhere near my eyeball to be honest. I also feel like my vision is decent at 20/25 and therefore wouldn’t have glasses if it wasn’t required, so I plan on only wearing them while operating the plane. It makes sense that once you wear glasses your eyes become lazy and deteriorate more so, but I’m hoping they won’t if I only wear them while flying. I’m guessing lasik is also out of the question as 20/25 isn’t legally blind
Don’t mess with contacts if you’re flying freight. Your sleep/wake/nap/fly schedule is too weird and you’ll end up falling asleep with them in on rest break and wake up with itchy crossed eyes. Also between hand sanitizer and rona I wouldn’t want to be touching my eyes either. I rock a pair of regular glasses and a pair of prescription sunglasses. I haven’t tried transitions lenses but not having to swap would certainly be convenient.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I wear transition lenses that are like sunglasses if your outside. It takes a few moments to "transition" from outside to inside but they are really cool.
 

Minuteman

“Dongola”
I prefer real glass lenses over polycarbonate or other plastic; they don't scratch nearly and much. Some people don't like the extra weight, but w/e.

There's an old tale of people getting ramp checked and dinged for not having a spare/backup set of glasses, but that appears to be incorrect for domestic FAA flying. International flying does require it:

Part 67 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), requires that pilots wear corrective lenses while flying if prescribed. These same regulations do not require pilots to carry a spare set of corrective lenses while flying. However, ICAO Annex 1 to the Chicago Convention (Personnel Licensing) do require that pilots carry a spare set of corrective lenses while flying in international or foreign airspace.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
I wear transition lenses that are like sunglasses if your outside. It takes a few moments to "transition" from outside to inside but they are really cool.
Do they work well for flying? I thought about going that route last time but the stuff I read online was very mixed.
 

Space Monkey

Well-Known Member
Well at the age of 32 it seems like I’ll need a little boost to get 20/20 distant vision. I’m usually on the line, but due to my AME retiring I just went with a new one after 7 years. He is a great doc, just a little more thorough than the last one.

Any recommendations on types of glasses, or a combo including sunglasses? Would you recommend contacts? I hate the thought of touching anywhere near my eyeball to be honest. I also feel like my vision is decent at 20/25 and therefore wouldn’t have glasses if it wasn’t required, so I plan on only wearing them while operating the plane. It makes sense that once you wear glasses your eyes become lazy and deteriorate more so, but I’m hoping they won’t if I only wear them while flying. I’m guessing lasik is also out of the question as 20/25 isn’t legally blind
Take two pairs. One to wear. One for backup.

If you're like me, make sure your glasses are as rugged as possible. (I'm hard on equipment. Probably shoulda been a professional wear tester.)
 

OneNineHundy

Well-Known Member
Do they work well for flying? I thought about going that route last time but the stuff I read online was very mixed.
I wouldn't wear them for flying. I found the transition rate was far too slow. Also transitions don't go as dark as conventional sunglasses. I have transitions that I just wear for exercising or when heading to beach etc. They are amazing. Just not ideal for flying.
 

JDean3204

Well-Known Member
Don’t mess with contacts if you’re flying freight. Your sleep/wake/nap/fly schedule is too weird and you’ll end up falling asleep with them in on rest break and wake up with itchy crossed eyes. Also between hand sanitizer and rona I wouldn’t want to be touching my eyes either. I rock a pair of regular glasses and a pair of prescription sunglasses. I haven’t tried transitions lenses but not having to swap would certainly be convenient.
Do you only wear glasses when flying, or do you wear them all the time?
 

GremlinHeaven

Well-Known Member
Costco optical for the prescription, then buy glasses online from Warby Parker. They'll send you a box of 5 pairs to see which ones you like, then you send it back for free and order the one you want. I've bought a few pairs for $100 each. Cheaper than buying from a chain store or local place even with insurance.
Almost the entire industry from insurance to retail is owned by one company (check out Luxottica) so it's easy to spend way more than necessary.
 

tlove482

Well-Known Member
Well at the age of 32 it seems like I’ll need a little boost to get 20/20 distant vision. I’m usually on the line, but due to my AME retiring I just went with a new one after 7 years. He is a great doc, just a little more thorough than the last one.

Any recommendations on types of glasses, or a combo including sunglasses? Would you recommend contacts? I hate the thought of touching anywhere near my eyeball to be honest. I also feel like my vision is decent at 20/25 and therefore wouldn’t have glasses if it wasn’t required, so I plan on only wearing them while operating the plane. It makes sense that once you wear glasses your eyes become lazy and deteriorate more so, but I’m hoping they won’t if I only wear them while flying. I’m guessing lasik is also out of the question as 20/25 isn’t legally blind
I wear contacts and bring my old glasses as a backup. That said, at 32 I probably wouldn't try to start wearing them. I've had mine since 14. You barely need them. I bet if you weren't a pilot, you would go another few years without anything. I definitely wouldn't do lasik.

You are right that once you wear them, your eyes get lazy and it's downhill from there. Just wear the glasses only when you have to or you'll get dependent on them.
 

skypilot6

Well-Known Member
Costco/Sam's Club can be great for glasses. However, at Costco they cannot do non polarized sunglasses. At least that's what I was told 3ish years ago, and depending on the airplane you fly that can be a big deal as you won't be able to see your flight displays or even look through the windscreen. If you go there ask if that's still a thing, you don't want to buy sunglasses that you can't use.

Between the 2 I have had much better luck with Sam's Club, I could put new lenses into old frames there, and their prices were much cheaper, one time I was able to buy Oakley frames and had RX lenses put in for $88! Costco is a bit more restrictive on what you can do but with it being your first time you wont be needing anything special.

When choosing lenses, make sure you get at least Polycarbonate lenses with an Anti-Reflective coating. Just regular cheap plastic lenses you'll be seeing reflections galore. If they offer several options, something in the mid level will work great.

If you are deciding on purchasing glasses online. Ask for your RX of course, but you also need your pupillary distance (PD) this can be ore or 2 numbers, and it is a critical part of your RX, there are a lot of places that wont give it to you unless you ask in my experience. And if you get glasses from both the optometrist and online this number will ensure almost no difference between the glasses.

For online glasses I have had great success with glassesusa.com, Great deals can be had and name brand frames are often on sale.

Once you're medical reads "Must Wear Corrective Lenses" you need a spare pair. I have been asked to show my spare pair several times throughout my career when talking to the FAA, buying a cheap pair online its proably the best route for this as you'll likely never wear them. And RX Sunglasses don't count as a spare pair. This is not spelled out in the FAR's but what if you need your spare pair at night?
 

Screaming_Emu

Joe Conventional
I wear mostly contacts and sometimes glasses while flying freight. Either are fine, I guess maybe it depends on the person or something.

Personally Iike wearing contacts during the summer, as getting fogged up glasses during walkarounds and stuff is really annoying.
I do contacts unless I know I’m getting first rest. Then whether I change back into them depends on whether I’ll need sun glasses later.

I prefer contacts over glasses, but if your vision is just barely off, they might be overkill.
 

FloridaLarry

Well-Known Member
When Mr Eyeball says that it's time for bi-focals, do some extra planning on (a.) distances, and (b.) where in the eyeglasses you need the transition. My first pair had the line of demarcation, and that led to lots of head-neck-angle bobbing about, and re-learning to walk up/down staircases. Transitional lenses made me much happier, but I found that you got better results with working with your eye doc and optician on (a.) how much height and width in the closer Rx you needed (b.)position for the start of transition, (c.) how gradual the transition, if you needed a practical & usable middle-distance, and (d.) how much height in distance vision you need. It may take severlal tries to get them just the way you like them. One size doesn't fit all, and the one-hour labs often do not have as much adjustability in their grinding machines. They are probably fine for a 2nd pair.

Measure the distance to the panels you need to see well. My mother was a concert pianist, and she had special 'piano glasses' ground for the distance to the keyboard and the music rack.

If you are as tough on frames as I am, go for titanium frames. My optician actually tied a knot in one ear bow to show me.
 

Cessnaflyer

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
I fly with contacts and have only had a problem once when they switched my contact to a new kind. The dailies have always been great for me. I fly with two frames for backup anyways.

We only have a Walmart vision center nearby after that we take our prescription to Zenni.com the glasses are cheap and quickly replaceable.

Also, if you do transitions contact lenses, warn people you will look like a zombie when they go black. I have bright blue eyes and the drink girl at the country club thought I was dying!
 

Boris Badenov

Just running in to a burning house...
My understanding is that contacts do tend to hold the eye in shape, preventing or at least mitigating further astigmatism. Not sure that's true for near or far-sightedness.

I've worn contacts since I was in high school, so I've gotten rather used to them. Glasses are not as good if you have a significant vision deficiency, but if you're just slightly nearsighted, they might be fine. I've never had any trouble with wearing contacts at any time of day/night, but again, been doing it for decades.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
I wore contacts from the teen years (hard contacts!) until I needed near distance correction. Then it didn’t make sense to wear contacts and be putting on and taking off (and losing) readers all day. Switched to transition since then.
 
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