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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 11-03-10, 05:39 PM   #1
MetinUz
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Bloodshot eyes after double centuries?

I just completed my second double century. Both times, my eyes were bloodshot and stayed red for a couple days. I wore Oakley prescription sunglasses the entire ride the first time, switched to regular prescription glasses for the last 2 hours the second time (in the dark). I also tried to remember to blink frequently, yet it doesn't seem to have helped. I don't have this problem for century distances. Any ideas what could be causing it, and how to reduce it? I thought of using contact lenses with a different pair of glasses, but this could be potentially even worse.
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Old 11-03-10, 05:52 PM   #2
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I have had problems with this. I have worried about people thinking I was drunk when I stop on the drive home. I really don't have any solutions though.
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Old 11-03-10, 08:08 PM   #3
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I have similar problems ... but usually only when I don't wear sunglasses.

A couple possible suggestions ...

- try eyedrops ... some cyclists use them to help keep the eyes wet.

- when you stop for a break, close your eyes and gently massage the area under your eyes (upper cheekbone, sides of the nose), your temples, your forehead ... and I will sometimes put my hands over my eyes and just relax ... something along these lines, an abbreviated version of course:
http://www.seeing.org/techniques/palming.htm
http://ezinearticles.com/?Palming---...ove&id=2865716
It can be a nice way to just relax for a few minutes on a long ride.
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Old 11-03-10, 09:35 PM   #4
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I always carry eyedrops with me, year 'round. Bausch and Lomb Opcon-A, if it matters. Tiny bottle. I also carry bit of chain oil, same size bottle.
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Old 11-03-10, 11:21 PM   #5
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Do you have "dry eyes"? Is there pollen around? Do they feel scratchy?

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I always carry eyedrops with me, year 'round. Bausch and Lomb Opcon-A, if it matters. Tiny bottle. I also carry bit of chain oil, same size bottle.

lol... what? Is that honestly a good idea when you're eyes are all blurry, i know triflow probably may cause more irritations than it prevents!
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Old 11-04-10, 12:29 AM   #6
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I think that irrespective of how much glasses might be intended to deflect the wind, there is always some going to get underneath. Inevitably, out of the roads, there is going to be dust in the air, stirred up likely to passing traffic, and that will i irritate the eyes.

I think also you might need to be careful that your glasses aren't actually causing the wind to draw out the air around your eye, like a venturi. This likely will cause dehydration of the eye.

Eyedrops as suggested are a good option, if you can stand them going in.

Another point might be to consider your rehydration. Bloodshot eyes are not uncommon on long-distance rides, but they may be more prevalent if you are not maintaining a high level of rehydration. Of course, it is recognised that many cyclists are in hydration deficit at the end of long rides, and this may be one symptom.

Like most things randonneuring, it becomes a process of elimination.
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Old 11-04-10, 12:52 PM   #7
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The second ride was in Death Valley, normally an extremely dry environment, but it rained in the morning. There wasn't much pollen or dust to speak of. There was a very strong headwind the second half, which probably did not help. I felt I was well hydrated, probably drinking more than necessary to avoid getting dehydrated in the desert.

I will try eye drops the next time. As the problem doesn't show up in shorter rides, it will be a while before I know if that helps. My eyes feel irritated when I use contact lenses on long rides (centuries), perhaps I can test eye drops to see if they improve my comfort while wearing contact lenses.
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Old 11-04-10, 01:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetinUz View Post
I just completed my second double century. Both times, my eyes were bloodshot and stayed red for a couple days. I wore Oakley prescription sunglasses the entire ride the first time, switched to regular prescription glasses for the last 2 hours the second time (in the dark). I also tried to remember to blink frequently, yet it doesn't seem to have helped. I don't have this problem for century distances. Any ideas what could be causing it, and how to reduce it? I thought of using contact lenses with a different pair of glasses, but this could be potentially even worse.
What you've experienced is the very low humidity we have on the desert [presume you ARE talking about your DVD ride]. There is also airborne "fines" which is just dust that has the consistency of flour. It's insidious and gets into everything. I live next door to DV and experience the same eye issues on my longer rides. I usually carry some of the "artificial tears" type drops and try to remember to apply some at each CP. I especially noticed the eye irritation on the return leg from 95, across the Bonnie Claire Flat to Scotty's. A few drops and voilá, I could see again.

I'd very very leery about contacts; getting dust under them could be a serious problem.

I never seem to have any eye issues when doing doubles/brevéts in CA, or even UT, where the humidity levels are higher.
YMMV
-dg
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Old 11-04-10, 02:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 200miler View Post
What you've experienced is the very low humidity we have on the desert [presume you ARE talking about your DVD ride].
I would be fine with this conclusion, but I had the same problem at the Davis Double, which was typical CA climate.
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Old 11-05-10, 07:24 AM   #10
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I also get this on long rides. I always thought it was from the salt in my sweat as my eyes also sting. Do NOT use eye drops that "get the red out". These are not good for your eyes. They constrict viens rather than addressing the actual problem. Get either Collyrium eye wash. Great eye rinse that feels great. It has the correct pH for your eye. There's also a product called Genteal Gel. Make sure you get the gel version. This is for folks that get dry eyes while sleeping. I believe it last a long time(gel) so this might be the answer for LD cycling. I have yet to try GG but my daughter has and loves it.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:00 PM   #11
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Yep, get 'em, too after long rides, even only 100 miles. Worse on hot days than others. I, too, thought it was sweat in the eyes. But it could be dryness from all the wind. Dunno. Nice to know it's not abnormal, though.
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Old 11-05-10, 01:41 PM   #12
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I would be fine with this conclusion, but I had the same problem at the Davis Double, which was typical CA climate.
I haven't ridden Davis since moving from the Bay Area in '03 but I don't recall "dry eye" being an issue there for me. It could be that you are a bit more sensitive than most, and really need to do an "artificial tears" routine frequently. I ride 6-7 doubles a year in the CTC series and haven't seemingly suffered from the dryness while in the more humid CA locales. Death Valley is another case altogether. I use sunglasses with reasonably large lenses, Rudy Project Kalyos, to further protect my eyes from the airborne crap, be it pollen, dust, or sand. I wear glasses to read and thus need a Rx insert and the Kalyos were the largest lenses I could find at the time.

YMMV
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Old 05-24-11, 02:59 PM   #13
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I finally have a resolution. I have since done two more double centuries. First one, I applied lubricating drops every other rest stop. It helped some, but not entirely. The next time I made sure not to apply any sun protection on my forehead or temples. I also used Zyrtec against pollen allergies. The problem is gone, and I attribute it to sunblock leaking slowly over the day and irritating my eyes.
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Old 05-24-11, 04:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MetinUz View Post
I finally have a resolution. I have since done two more double centuries. First one, I applied lubricating drops every other rest stop. It helped some, but not entirely. The next time I made sure not to apply any sun protection on my forehead or temples. I also used Zyrtec against pollen allergies. The problem is gone, and I attribute it to sunblock leaking slowly over the day and irritating my eyes.
Oh yeah, that happens... usually you'll get a stinging or burning sensation and start tearing up if it's the sunblock. Glad have got it under control, happy riding.
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Old 05-24-11, 05:11 PM   #15
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I get bloodshot eyes on any longish ride. Or any hard effort that lasts more than a couple of hours in general. I think it's more from internal irritation than external.
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Old 05-26-11, 08:55 PM   #16
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Oh yeah, that happens... usually you'll get a stinging or burning sensation and start tearing up if it's the sunblock. Glad have got it under control, happy riding.
That's the strange part, other than the complete bloodshot look, I did not have any burning or painful feeling. I had been very careful applying in small amounts, and using "sports" versions that claim won't run. But that was another difference from training rides, I usually don't bother with sunblock on my forehead as I am not spending long hours directly under the sun.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:37 AM   #17
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The next time I made sure not to apply any sun protection on my forehead or temples. I also used Zyrtec against pollen allergies. The problem is gone, and I attribute it to sunblock leaking slowly over the day and irritating my eyes.
Any particular reason that you don't think you were helped by the Zyrtec? Road grit, pollen, etc can be pretty irritating to your eyes.
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Old 05-31-11, 07:15 PM   #18
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Yes, I was equally affected in Death Valley, with not a lot of allergens. I am sensitive to pollen, but usually causes me to sneeze.
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Old 05-31-11, 09:00 PM   #19
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I did Davis this year, and my eyes, like they are after every double, are not at optimal condition. I just figure I'm out in self-generated wind and sun for endless hours it's bound to take a toll.
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