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Protecting eyes during cold commute?

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Protecting eyes during cold commute?

Old 10-25-13, 07:20 AM
  #1  
ladyroadie
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Protecting eyes during cold commute?

I'm a new commuter and have typically been a fair weather road cyclist, so I'm learning as I go with dealing with the cold weather (it has been unseasonably cold where I live). I've more or less figured out the clothes, but my eyelids appear to be sensitive to the cold wind and are more or less constantly red now. Does anyone else have this problem? Solutions?

On a cold road ride, I'll just put in contacts and wear sunglasses, but I have a somewhat-dark commute and don' t mess with contacts during the week so I'm stuck with wearing my eyeglasses. The only idea I've come up with is to wear safety goggles over my eyeglasses, but that seems like a bit of overkill in October when its only down to about 30-40 degrees. I'm also trying to normalize bike commuting to my coworkers and NOT wear absurd gear for a 6 mile commute. But, the red eyelids are unattractive. Any other solutions?
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Old 10-25-13, 07:26 AM
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I've never had my eyes go red, but whenever I ride in the winter without glasses my eyes water up. This was especially bad when I lived further north and my eyelids would have icicles on them after a couple miles, meaning I effectively couldn't blink...which caused more watering. I have sunglasses for sunny days and some clear plastic glasses that I got from Decathlon for evenings and cloudy days.
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Old 10-25-13, 07:29 AM
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I wear sunglasses until it gets actually dark. I bought some cheap Home Depot safety glasses for that reason, but I've never gotten around to using them on the bike. The problem with them, for me, is that they're so easily scruffed up and I suspect that glare from headlights or even street lights is going to make them useless.
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Old 10-25-13, 07:33 AM
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If you wear corrective lenses, just get prescription cycling glasses with interchangeable lenses, and wear clear lenses for low-light conditions. Then you can have regular glasses or contacts for while you're at work.

Or, if you want to put in contacts at home, get the above prescription glasses with interchangeable lenses, and get zero-prescription (blank) lenses to go with it. You can get your regular corrective prescription lenses for it too, and have an emergency backup if you lose your contacts somehow, or have to stop using them due to an eye infection or such...

If you get the right style of frame, it won't even count as "weird gear", I would think.

I'm speaking theoretically, because I'm a low-budget tightwad/cheapskate, who just rides with regular glasses and ignores the tears making tracks to his ears. My only problem is the incessant nose-faucet pouring into my facial hair on cold rides!

Last edited by David Bierbaum; 10-25-13 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 10-25-13, 07:39 AM
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I'm running into this same problem. My eyelids don't get rid, but my eyes get very dry and irritated. It's too dark for sunglasses. Do clear lenses really help in the cold?
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Old 10-25-13, 07:45 AM
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I'd think clear lenses in cycling-style glasses would definitely help, since it will keep a pocket of relatively unmoving air in front of your eyeballs, which will keep them from drying out and becoming irritated. This is just my opinion, running imagination-experiments on wind-buffeting while riding, in my head...
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Old 10-25-13, 07:46 AM
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Photochromatic sunglasses. That's what I've moved to when I cold weather commute.

Warmer months I wear RX sunglasses on the ride, then switch to glasses at work.

Cold weather I put the contacts in, then put the "sunglasses" on and even in the dark morning hours they're not prohibitively dark.
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Old 10-25-13, 07:51 AM
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Back when I had contacts I didn't wear them on rides. Getting dust under them one time cured me of that. Glasses do OK for me down to about 0*F.

Below that when I start getting into significant frostbite risk territory, I've got some cheap prescription goggles that work pretty well and seal up to the neoprene face mask that I'm putting on around that point too.
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Old 10-25-13, 08:00 AM
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I bought a pair of $3 wal-mart safety/target glasses. The kind that wraps around your face. Using those in the 35-10F range without issue. As long as I keep the sides tight to my face, no wind gets into my eyes.

Fogging up when stationary is a problem.

Sub 10F, I have to go with goggles.
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Old 10-25-13, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ladyroadie View Post
The only idea I've come up with is to wear safety goggles over my eyeglasses, but that seems like a bit of overkill in October when its only down to about 30-40 degrees. I'm also trying to normalize bike commuting to my coworkers and NOT wear absurd gear for a 6 mile commute. But, the red eyelids are unattractive. Any other solutions?
Being normal is over rated. I show up for work dressed out for cycling then change. Most coworkers don't mind, some even think it's cool. If goggles work, use them.

I am 58, and if I have learned anything in life, it is that worrying about what others think is a waste of time and energy.
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Old 10-25-13, 08:20 AM
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Prescription cycling sunglasses cost like $200! Not an option right now. Sounds like safety glasses over my usual eye glasses is my best bet.....

I am fine with just sucking it up when my eyes tear up, but its the constant redness that is bothering me.
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Old 10-25-13, 08:24 AM
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I also wear glasses, and I just deal with the cold air in my eyes. If you lived in Minnesota, I'd put more thought into, but DC should have similar weather to here.

I do own contacts and wrap-around cycling glasses - including clear lenses, but I seldom use them, except on long rides.
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Old 10-25-13, 09:06 AM
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My morning "sun glasses" are a $40 pair of golfing glasses with a light yellow tint: I've had these glasses for nearly 10yrs so $40 is not so bad. The light yellow tint actually seems to make night and dusk conditions easier to see in, certainly, no more difficult than clear lenses. The plastic lenses are not scratched up, despite the number of years, although I have been careful with them.

My rides start at about freezing temperatures these last couple of weeks and my eyes tear up briefly within the first few minutes and then they are fine for the rest of the ride. The lenses are fairly wrap-around so there is reduced movement of air around my eyes but the glasses also have a couple of small vents up near the nose/eyebrow area so if the glasses fog up a bit when I stop for a light on a cool/cold morning, when I get started again, within a couple of seconds, the glasses clear up.

So, from my experience, I would recommend better glasses than safety glasses, light yellow tint, wrap around but with small vents.

I always recommend glasses, whatever kind you want, to protect your eyes from anything that might fly into them: dust, bugs, grit, even rain or snow pellets.

These are similar (Ace Golf glasses):

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Old 10-25-13, 09:27 AM
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I've toyed with the idea of using a set of snow goggles.. really **** off expensive ones.
http://www.amazon.com/Zeal-Optics-Go...s+snow+goggles
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Old 10-25-13, 09:48 AM
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I'm fortunate because I don't need glasses for my vision but when I ride with a balaclava at colder temperature protective glasses become foggy from my breathing so I never wear protective glasses or sunglasses in winter. My coldest full commute (55 kms RT) was at -24°celcius and I also went 8 kms at -28°celcius (at to turn around because my front wheel bearing was squeaking like mad) and didn't have problems with my eyes at all.
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Old 10-25-13, 09:54 AM
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Zennioptical.com has some clear prescription glasses for $25. I have not used them but if I keep riding in the cold weather I might have to invest in a pair.

my eyes don't get red but they sure do water.

Originally Posted by ladyroadie View Post
Prescription cycling sunglasses cost like $200! Not an option right now. Sounds like safety glasses over my usual eye glasses is my best bet.....

I am fine with just sucking it up when my eyes tear up, but its the constant redness that is bothering me.
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Old 10-25-13, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ladyroadie View Post
I am fine with just sucking it up when my eyes tear up, but its the constant redness that is bothering me.
Don't do this. Protect your eyes from sun, dirt, dust, cold, etc. My Ophthalmologist says when your eyes tear from the cold they are screaming! I always had good vision and never wore glasses on those cold dark mornings because I did not want to deal with the fogging issues. Result: Two eye surgeries in the same eye to get rid of a pterygium that went south and was headed for eye cancer. Google pteryguim. In a nut shell it is an eye callus that develops when proper eye protection is not used.

Matt
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Old 10-25-13, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Hangtownmatt View Post
Google pteryguim.
Matt
I did and I really wish I had stayed away from the image results!

Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
Zennioptical.com has some clear prescription glasses for $25. I have not used them but if I keep riding in the cold weather I might have to invest in a pair.

my eyes don't get red but they sure do water.
Whoa, for real? With the prescription? How in the world are they so cheap?

Unfortunately, I checked out some reviews and I think that my prescription is so strong I will have the same problem the reviewers had with distorted vision on curved glasses. Which are of course the kind I need. Maybe I can find some that don't curve but wrap around?

I looked into ordering Rx sunglasses for cycling, and not only were they $200 but my prescription required that I get a dorky inset, so I never moved forward with it. Now that I've googled pteryguim I really want to find a solution though!
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Old 10-25-13, 10:38 AM
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Oakley sunglasses are great. The Racing or Split Jacket glasses work well for cycling, and the lens interchange easily. Get a pair of yellow tinted lens to wear for dark riding.
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Old 10-25-13, 10:50 AM
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I also have sensitive eyelid skin and when it gets cold I use ski goggles. To treat the windburn I use Aquaphor. I also put some on my face before riding if I think I might get chapped.
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Old 10-25-13, 10:53 AM
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Safety glasses for me.

If you work in an industrial job you can get prescription safety glasses paid for by your employer. Find the technician with the coolest ones and ask where he got them.
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Old 10-25-13, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
Being normal is over rated. I show up for work dressed out for cycling then change. Most coworkers don't mind, some even think it's cool. If goggles work, use them.

I am 58, and if I have learned anything in life, it is that worrying about what others think is a waste of time and energy.
Yes. The first priority is to wear what is necessary and appropriate for the commute.
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Old 10-25-13, 02:43 PM
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you might consider arriving long before anyone else. I used to do that so I could clean up and change before anyone showed up. my boss also let me leave early. it also helped avoid peak rush hour traffic
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Old 10-25-13, 03:00 PM
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You could try cheap cycling sunglasses from Performance with interchangeable lenses. Come with clear, grey and yellow lenses. You can usually find them on sale for around $20-30. Wouldn't recommend swapping out lenses regularly, because the frames are a little flimsy, but they work great for cycling (properly vented).

Currently using these:
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400117__400117

Last edited by alan s; 10-25-13 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 10-25-13, 03:34 PM
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In the dark, I use safety glasses from the hardware store. In the coldest months, I apply craft foam to the part of the glasses that sit on my nose to keep my nose comfy.
My sunglasses have a sort of rubberish texture, so they don't transfer the cold to my nose.
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