1. #1
    Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Ludington Michigan
    Posts
    40

    Question Eye glasses vs contacts.

    Ok I have a question here. I just got glasses and I was wondereing how this is going to effect the whole ff thing. My first concern is do I get contacts? Second if I get contacts what will they do to my eyes in a fire, what about chemicals ot things of that sort? What about with SCBA? If someone could help me out on how this is going to work I would not be freaking out that I have to give up my fire career

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    dmleblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...
    Posts
    2,318

    Default

    I'm not sure about the latest regulations regarding wearing contact lenses with SCBA. I know that a few years ago it wasn't allowed, but I think they may have changed that.

    As far as glasses go, there's no reason this should put an end to your firefighting career. How bad are your eyes, exactly? Can you still see well enough without them to work in SCBA? If so, just take them off when needed. If you can't see well enough to work (we had an assistant chief who had this problem)most SCBA manufacturers make an insert for the mask that can be fitted with your prescription lenses. It only takes a couple of seconds to slip into the mask. This could be an option for you. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    34

    Default

    I wear contacts (Acuvue 2) with SCBA and have had no problems. If you can do it, the contacts are so much more convenient.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    PFire23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    On a rock, surrounded by water
    Posts
    1,845

    Default

    I took the liberty of doing a search of the forums for you since this has been discussed on different occasions. Here are the links I found:

    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...light=contacts

    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...Lenses+Glasses

    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...Lenses+Glasses

    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...Lenses+Glasses


    Hope they help.
    To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

    IACOJ-WOT proud

    GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Ga. Power Co./ Juliette Ga
    Posts
    437

    Default

    I have been wearing hard contact lens for 30 years except when I had RK surgery. I have no problems wearing a SCBA. I believe OHSA changed its ruling on regarding contacts and respirtory (SCBA) use several years ago. I believe they leave it up to the wearer of the resperator (SCBA)now.

  6. #6
    Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    84

    Default

    I'm not sure if the glasses fit under the mask, but I have heard horror stories of the contacts being blown up behind the eyelids. If your vision is alright, I'd reccomend not wearing your contacts. Just my opinion.
    Floral Park Fire Explorers
    Post 129
    Floral Park, New York
    www.explorers129.com

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Heretic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    97

    Default

    Originally posted by Explorer129
    I'm not sure if the glasses fit under the mask, but I have heard horror stories of the contacts being blown up behind the eyelids. If your vision is alright, I'd reccomend not wearing your contacts. Just my opinion.
    No flame here, but....

    Prove it. Show me examples.

    I've worn both hard lenses (8+ years) and soft lenses (last 2 years) with SCBA, and never had a problem. I keep a small bottle of drops in the pocket of my gear, in case they need a little re-hyrdation, but have never had to use them.

    -H

  8. #8
    Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    84

    Default

    Heh, No problem., definatly not a flame at all. Yes I am just an explorer, You guys have more expierence in the field.

    I wear a special type of contact due to my astigmatism in my eyes. I find that they are easily moved on occasion. They can cause alot of pain and cause my eyes to tear alot, making it very hard to see. Now, saying your mask was to move a bit, breaking the seal around the nose, it will blow the air into your eyes. This happened to me during an exercise, and it blew the contact right out of my eyes into my face piece. It was funny, but during a real emergency, you definatly do not want this to happen.

    Personally, I would not want to fiddle with anything in my eyes while working at a scene. No need to get some nice ash or some hazardous material into your eyes. If your vision isn't terrible, I would not wear them.

    This is only my opinion on what I have heard and what has happened to me. =]
    Floral Park Fire Explorers
    Post 129
    Floral Park, New York
    www.explorers129.com

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Are your astigmatism-correcting lenses hard lenses? If so, I think there may be a soft version - you might want to check with your eye doctor.

    I haven't had any problems with my soft lenses in my *limited* experience (I am most of the way through the Essentials of Firefighting class). But what I've read and heard is consistent that soft contacts generally work quite well with SCBA.

    I had been told that OSHA classifies wearing soft contacts with SCBA as a "de minimis" violation, meaning basically "no harm, no foul". But looking at their website, it looks more like it's not even a technical violation anymore. From http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...TER&p_id=13749

    concerning the final standard for respiratory protection, 29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926,

    "Final paragraph (g)(1)(ii) is consistent with the 1992 ANSI standard, which allows the use of corrective lenses, spectacles, and face protection devices, providing that these items do not interfere with the seal of the respirator; ANSI also allows the use of contact lenses where the wearer has successfully worn such lenses before and practices wearing them with the respirator."

    And

    "...a study by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory showed that far fewer firefighters who wore contact lenses with their SCBAs had problems that necessitated the removal of their facepieces than did firefighters wearing glasses (Ex. 38-9). Finally, OSHA's review of the record identified no evidence that the use of contact lenses with respirators increases safety hazards."

    So, if they work for you, go for it.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    238

    Default

    i know that there is a company that makes glasses that snap in to your mask so you can see when you are in the fire or what ever. a couple of our firefighters have them. they have their own mask too, so they don't have to constantly take them in and out.
    IF YOU FOLLOW ALL OF THE RULES YOU MISS ALL OF THE FUN.

    Moose (Post 2028 Vice President/ Command Officer)Explorer Highland Twp. Fire/Rescue Dept.

    Any Questions Contact Me At Moose20282@yahoo.com

    These Are My Opinions, Not that of My Dept. or Any other Orgnazition I Belong to.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Ga. Power Co./ Juliette Ga
    Posts
    437

    Default

    Mr Explorer I wear a hard gas perm lens in one eye and a soft lens in the other. I have had my hard lens fall into my SCBA mask once. I do fire training for a living and I stayed in the burn building till the excersie was over. I also have a astigmatism in both of my eyes. Before I had RK surgery my contacts were the first in in the morning and last out at night. I don't think this is a problem with most firefighters, but this is just my opinion.
    I do know that MSA has a lens kit for thier mask though.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Southwest USA
    Posts
    64

    Default

    NFPA does not prohibit the use of contacts, but check your state's Occupational Health regulations.

    OSHA usually does not effect fire departments except in states like mine, New Mexico, which adds to OSHA with their own occupational health and safety regulations. Here, everything they added (30 Pages +) pertains specifically to fire departments, career and volunteer. It specifically states that the use of contact lenses is prohibited with an SCBA mask.

    I know for a fact that many firefighters ignore or are not aware of this regualtion and have no problems whatsoever wearing their contacts.
    Career/Volunteer, We are all professionals!

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    99

    Wink A few cent's worth....

    My few cent's worth: I've worn contacts now for abt 10 years or so. First hard, now soft.
    I've been involved in the FF/EMT thing now for abt 5 years, which isn't long compared to some of the experience here on the boards, but everybody's mileage may vary, so....

    I had to wear the mask inserts while I was on Active Duty in the Army, with my protective (gas) mask. And I did try them with the SCBA as well. And while not a blanket statement, I think that anybody who has had to use inserts, versus contacts, will want to toss the inserts in the nearest dumpster.

    In my experience, the vision that the contacts give you, with their field of vision capability, beats the pants off the limited field-of-vision that the inserts give. In some situations, such as crawling down a smoke-filled hall, you can't see jack anyway. But working a HazMat, where you have the light, I think it makes a difference.
    OSHA used to say that you couldn't wear contacts, but has since changed it's mind from what I've read. You might want to doublecheck just to make sure. My optometrist says that the hard lenses give you a sharper image, but the soft lenses allow you to wear them longer, with not as much discomfort (I can vouch for that)!

    I keep a little bottle of eyedrops in my pocket, just in case they need rehydrated, but I've never had to use them.
    My advice: Give the contacts a try - everybody is different in what they think will or won't work best for them. Make up your own mind then, and go from there. :-D

    Jerry
    HazMat
    ---
    We gotta be nuts...we're running in when the rats & roaches are running out!

    Let No Victim's Ghost Say That We Didn't Try
    ---
    Disclaimer:
    These are my opinions, and only mine, and do not reflect the views of my department.

  14. #14
    Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    84

    Default

    I wear soft lenses, and at 250$ for each lense, I really do not want to risk wearing them anymore.
    Floral Park Fire Explorers
    Post 129
    Floral Park, New York
    www.explorers129.com

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Have you tried disposables? They are rated for about 2 weeks's usage (not continuously wearing, but wearing each day), although (don't tell my eye doctor) I have used them much longer than that. Anyway, if you lose or damage one, you're not out much per pair of lenses. I have been through a number of training evolutions (from maze to fire attack to search and rescue) with them, and have had *no* problems.

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    99

    Default Disposables...

    Gotta go with STS060's statement about the disposables.... they're cheaper, you wear them for two weeks or so (uh-huh.... :P ), then pitch them for a new pair.

    If the set you're wearing gets messed up, it's no big loss financially. And keeping an extra pack in your jump-bag is simple too. (And without the hazard suffered by a certain office in our company who took his glasses off and tossed them on his seat before masking up.. kinda forgot about them before sitting down later...)

    Ask your eye doctor about them - I think they're worth it...

    Jerry
    HazMat
    ---
    We gotta be nuts...we're running in when the rats & roaches are running out!

    Let No Victim's Ghost Say That We Didn't Try
    ---
    Disclaimer:
    These are my opinions, and only mine, and do not reflect the views of my department.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    kghemtp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    726

    Default

    I have both contacts (disposable) and glasses. My big issue with wearing contacts while working would be my sleeping time and waking up to do a call. For that reason alone, I've found glasses work great for me. Like others said, go without the glasses on the fireground if you can see well enough. The prescription inserts are relatively common these days too. I am reluctant to wear contacts anywhere there's likelihood of crap getting in my eyes. Good luck!
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  18. #18
    Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    84

    Default

    Unfortunately, I am not a candidate for disposables. =( Trust me, I would of went that route.
    Floral Park Fire Explorers
    Post 129
    Floral Park, New York
    www.explorers129.com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register