Contact lenses in the shop...good idea or a trip to emerg just waiting to happen?

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Forum topic by Mark Shymanski posted 04-22-2008 01:43 AM 1562 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4099 days

04-22-2008 01:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Do you wear contact lenses in the shop?

I am torn by the convenience and clarity of contacts but and concerned about the potential risks of dust etc. I also hate the idea of dropping a pair of glasses in the shop and breaking them. Any suggestions?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

18 replies so far

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Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 4184 days

#1 posted 04-22-2008 01:50 AM

I wear contacts and have for over 35 years – hard lens! In the shop I find if you keep it well ventilated and you wear good safety glasses with side shields there is little problem – one issue is dust on your face and hair and being careful not to rub your eyes. A good saver is wearing a ball cap in the shop it keep dust of your ear which later would find its way into your eyes… sure to keep rewetting drops near by—-and a case for your lenses in case you need to pull one.

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View ToddO's profile


80 posts in 4210 days

#2 posted 04-22-2008 02:07 AM

I have worn my contacts in the shop; however, I don’t make a habit of it. My eyes get irritated by the dust even with my glasses on. I have never had a problem with my glasses falling off. Do you have a problem with that often?

-- Todd, Richfield MN

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Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4099 days

#3 posted 04-22-2008 02:22 AM

No I don’t but I had a friend helping me with some moving of stuff and he managed to drop and shatter his glasses; so I’ve been kind of gun-shy ever since. Come to think of it I cannot rememb… oh yeah about 18 – 20 years ago I dropped a pair in a parking lot…I guess that was the last time I broke a pair of glasses. I used to work in a photo lab…do they even have photo labs in these days of digital imagery?... and was warned of all the terrible things that happened to persons who dared wear contacts in the lab. I don’t ever remember any kinds of accidents happening…but maybe that was why they told us the stories so accidents would not happen.

I think that is good advice, Bill, to keep wetting agent and a case (and glasses too I guess) close by; thanks for the advice.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 4100 days

#4 posted 04-22-2008 02:41 AM

I wear my contacts about 50% of the time with a good pair of safety glasses. So far, that seems to be the best route for me. I’ve had dust in my eyes, but saline in the shop washes it right out.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View RAH's profile


414 posts in 4263 days

#5 posted 04-22-2008 05:07 AM

Last time my perscription changed I bought a pair of safty glasses with my new perscription, they stay in the shop all the time. they have never fallen off.

-- Ron Central, CA

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 4261 days

#6 posted 04-22-2008 04:46 PM

I don’t wear contacts anymore, got tired of them in general, but I too keep a large bottle of saline solution in the shop as an emergency eye wash.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View mtnbikecrash's profile


31 posts in 4154 days

#7 posted 04-22-2008 05:11 PM

I wear my contacts full time including my shop time. I actually prefer my contacts while working in the shop, of course, with safety glasses/goggles. I don’t seem to have any problems with my soft lenses. I wear disposables and if I think about it, if I have spent a lot of time in the shop, I do have to throw them away and get new ones a little sooner than if I haven’t been in the shop much. However, I am able to wear my disposables for about 6 weeks when not in the shop and probably about 4 weeks when in the shop a lot. Not a bad trade for being able to see clear in the shop. I don’t like wearing glasses and never have.

-- JD - Sand Springs, OK - "You can't steer a car that isn't moving..." Unknown

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4278 days

#8 posted 04-23-2008 01:43 AM

I wear soft contacts and use bifocal safety glasses in the shop. The only wood dust that tends to make my eyes uncomfortable is walnut. I will sometimes give my eyes a break and not wear contacts, but I prefer them over regular glasses, especially in the shop.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Pathpounder's profile


98 posts in 4280 days

#9 posted 04-24-2008 02:06 PM

I agree with Mtnbikecrash. I wear my contacts all the time in the shop and have no problems. I do use a wetting solution from time to time though. I gave up glasses when I started trail running and have not looked back.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4099 days

#10 posted 04-24-2008 02:30 PM

Hmmm, it seems as if the consensus is that contacts are okay (and even preferred) in the shop. I find that glasses continually get a find coating of dust on them making things a bit cloudy, and since I’m myopic I notice this dust a lot. I suppose I am breathing in that fine dust too :-(

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4140 days

#11 posted 04-24-2008 03:58 PM

Interesting conclusion Mark. I concur, but the same thing is going to happen on clear safety glasses also. I do not wear at this time have to wear any vision correction but do wear my safety glasses in the shop. My main problem is I live down in Texas and they fog up constantly. I have found a pair at Woodcraft that seem to fog up the least. My father who wears glasses has gone out and bought safety glasses with his prescription and seems to be happy with that.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View waroland's profile


48 posts in 4273 days

#12 posted 04-24-2008 05:27 PM

I can’t wear contacts and I have never had my glasses fall off. I wear some great safety glasses that protect my eyes from dust and fit over my glasses.

-- waroland, Mount Juliet, TN

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4260 days

#13 posted 04-24-2008 06:58 PM

I’ve never had a problem with my contacts in the shop. If you are having a problem with dust in your eyes, it’s a DUST PROBLEM, not an eyewear problem.

Too much dust in your eyes means too much dust in your lungs too.

-- Happy woodworking!

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Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4099 days

#14 posted 04-25-2008 01:04 AM

Blake, you are probably right about the dust in the lungs (thus my signature line :-). I am not having a problem with dust in my eyes I was just curious as to what the LJ community thought about, and practiced, contact lense wearing in the shop. Once I find an opthamologist here in Brandon I will probably renew my contact lense wearing…just haven’t had time to chase a Doc down yet. I really am getting annoyed at how dirty normal lenses get just from daily living stuff never mind in my dusty shop, I will probably go back to wearing contacts in the shop.

Just to clarify my buddy’s glasses didn’t spontaneously fall off, he was helping me mount a shelf on the wall and did something to knock them off his face… I never did see what happened there, all I heard was the sound of cracking lenses.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4260 days

#15 posted 04-25-2008 06:45 AM

I wear semi-disposable (after a month or two) soft lenses. Its interesting, but to me it actually seems like the contacts protect my eyes somewhat. I can tell when I get a piece of dust in my eye, but it doesn’t hurt as long as it stays on top of the lens like it usually does. (My ophthalmologist would cringe if he heard me admitting this.)

I guess actual glass contacts could be a hazard if something caused them to shatter, but if something hit your eye that hard I think you’d be in trouble no matter what.

I wear contacts every day, all day long. I don’t think you should have any problems… but it still makes a great excuse for that dust collector purchase.

-- Happy woodworking!

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