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Contact lenses for combat. (Lenses melting to eyeballs?)

#1
There has been previous discussion on the topic of contact lenses and their suitability for extended wear in the field. One thing that I think hasn't been touched on is their suitability in combat.

I've been prompted to raise this having seen this article by Michael Yon, the American journalist whose reports from Basra gained much acclaim recently:

Michael Yon said:
As the ramp on our Stryker began to close, I inserted earplugs, pulled a fire-retardant hood over my head, put on my helmet and buckled the chin strap, then pulled the ballistic goggles over my eyes.

Flash burns from bombs are deadly. I’ve seen it many times: anything exposed is fried in an instant. Skin and flesh just peel off. The super-hot flashes also melt contact lenses to eyeballs before people can blink. Years ago, when I was a jumpmaster, I remember sticking my face outside the aircraft to check surroundings, and my eyelids slapped and flopped in the torrent. That was only about hurricane force winds. The blast in an explosion opens the eyelids, fusing the melted contacts to the eyeballs. Smart soldiers don’t wear contacts in combat, but others often do.
Does anyone have any informed views on this? Is it likely, have any medics seen it?
 
#3
Surely if you are that close you are unlikely to survive anyway. You might be better keeping the contacts in to spot the bomb in the first place?
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Ballistic eyewear will often help, but only where your eyes are.

If it's hot enough to melt contacts to your eyes, let's face it, you're buggered.
 
#5
and surely it would cause severe damage to the eyeballs of non contact wearers
 
#6
Ballistic eyeware is the way forward. There are some good phots around on the www showing the protection wileys give........and they keep normal shoite out your eye as well

wait out
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
ESS are pretty good too. Some of the ESS vehicle goggles will also fit the Rx glasses inserts, so you won't need to use contacts.
 
#8
Contacts are banned on the majority of oil industry installations, even when wearing eye protection, because flash fires will melt contacts regardless, so what Yon is on about is correct in principle. But in the Army, compared to continually pushing up your nose a pair of sweat / rain soaked specs in an environment where you really need clear and peripheral vision, it's easy to understand why a lot of "smart" people do wear contacts.
 
#9
sanchauk said:
Contacts are banned on the majority of oil industry installations, even when wearing eye protection, because flash fires will melt contacts regardless, so what Yon is on about is correct in principle. But in the Army, compared to continually pushing up your nose a pair of sweat / rain soaked specs in an environment where you really need clear and peripheral vision, it's easy to understand why a lot of "smart" people do wear contacts.
Yes, balancing the threat level would put me in favour of contacts. I wasn't aware of a ban in oil installations though.
 
#10
EX_STAB said:
sanchauk said:
Contacts are banned on the majority of oil industry installations, even when wearing eye protection, because flash fires will melt contacts regardless, so what Yon is on about is correct in principle. But in the Army, compared to continually pushing up your nose a pair of sweat / rain soaked specs in an environment where you really need clear and peripheral vision, it's easy to understand why a lot of "smart" people do wear contacts.
Yes, balancing the threat level would put me in favour of contacts. I wasn't aware of a ban in oil installations though.
I've know people on Herrick that have opted out of wearing Osprey body armour after weighing up the threat level, so with regards to contacts personally I'd go with the view that in that situation if it gets that bad you're pretty fcuked anyway.
 
#12
I'm not serving, but I wear these ( in black instead of Orange) for shooting and other things where I am likely to get something in the face:

http://www.sporteyes.com/adeveyprs.jpg

Adidas evil eye
 
#13
Many 'Speccy tw*t' ;-) EOD operators wear contacts because when nomex is worn as the ears are not exposed therefore nowhere to hook the gigs.

Michael Yon may know about being a Jump Master, but he appears to know feck all about the effects of an explosion. If you are close enough for the thermal effects to melt your contacts to your eyes you are going to receive more damage from the other effects such as blast and shrapnel/debris.
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#14
sanchauk said:
Contacts are banned on the majority of oil industry installations.......
New one on me too, never heard of such a ban in 10 years in the business.
 
#15
It does beg the question why the USMC always wear those Joe90 gigs and look complete mongs.
 
#16
I was under the impression that contacts were not to be worn by service personell in areas high dust to prevent dust becoming lodged under the contact lense and then scratching the eyeball.

This has happended to a serving soldier and he is now downgraded due to the damage to the eye.
 
#17
General Melchett said:
I was under the impression that contacts were not to be worn by service personell in areas high dust to prevent dust becoming lodged under the contact lense and then scratching the eyeball.

This has happended to a serving soldier and he is now downgraded due to the damage to the eye.
Irritants behind the lens can be a problem. Having said that when I was operating in the Sahara I had no problems. I wore a pair of motorcycle goggles when the sand and dust got up.
I think CS gas or smoke would be really nasty.
 
#18
General Melchett said:
I was under the impression that contacts were not to be worn by service personell in areas high dust to prevent dust becoming lodged under the contact lense and then scratching the eyeball.

This has happended to a serving soldier and he is now downgraded due to the damage to the eye.
Yes CV tour dodging tw@t, but this was a case of the d1ckheads total lack of personnal admin rather than a common occurance in the sandpit.

Now he's downgraded that will be another excuse to do even less and spend more time off whilst others have to fill the gap. hey ho nothing changes.

Rant off - oh dear i appear to have sat on the send button during that last bit :twisted:
 

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