I was in my teens when I jumped into the lake with my glasses on (YES they had glasses way back then!). I had no idea how difficult it would be to function for the few days it took to get a replacement. There was so much I couldn’t do; and I kept collecting minor injuries from a combination of generally reduced awareness of what was around me and poor distance perception. Folks, this is not where you want to be in a crisis situation. How do you keep from going there?
Hoard eyeglasses like a squirrel hoards nuts
If you depend on vision correction, this is a *critical* prep; one that can save your bacon in any situation from just ‘really can’t afford new glasses but mine are broken’ to TEOTWAKI (The End of the World As We Know It). If you have a spare pair, are they where they’re going to go with you if you have to grab the Go Bag and boogie?
I absolutely know glasses can be expensive. My approach is twofold: 1) . I keep old prescriptions. They’re not perfect but are So much better than nothing. The most recent prescription is where I’m most likely to need them (my everyday carry bag). Older versions are stashed in other places, so if things aren’t going according to plan I’ve still got something to fall back on. Approach 2) is to buy cheap. Since both Salty and I are half blind, we’ve got this one down to a science. Salty wrote a piece on it:
If you’re middle aged but don’t use glasses — you will soon. The lens of the eye is one of the few tissues that keeps growing as long as you live, so everyone who doesn’t die first ends up needing vision correction for close work. That can be cheapo reading glasses for you eagle-eyes sorts, but you’ll need something by and by.
If you wear contacts, have a plan that doesn’t leave you with an infection
I know a lot of contact wearers who get casual about their care when life gets hectic, keeping them in too long or not cleaning them well. Rolling the dice like that when help is an urgent care visit away is one thing; risking it when there’s no help available if you get an infection could very literally mean Lights Out for you. An eye infection is not likely to be cured by fish antibiotics, after all. And have you stocked enough solution to last as long as the contacts will?
In any case, a backup plan of eyeglasses is a great idea. No pair of contacts is meant to last for years on end, but cared for glasses will.
Protect Your Peepers
As a medically oriented prepper, eye injuries are right up there with dental emergencies as Problems I Never Want to Face. It’s not a part of the body where basic medical knowledge and good hands are likely to lead to a fix. It’s a natural response to let things like safety gear slide when problems are pressing, but let me put it to you this way: If it was already an emergency situation, how’s it going to look through one eye with no doctor in sight? This can be avoided by using basic safety gear when doing eye-risky jobs such as cutting wood or metal or shooting. (I’ve gotten more than one scratch on my safety lenses from flying brass.)
*By Marco Mayer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
** By Elise A. Slim et al. [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons