Swimmers, scuba divers and snorkelers who normally wear eyeglasses or contact lenses will love the crisp and detailed underwater vision that they receive from prescription swim goggles or masks. Due to the unique characteristics of underwater surroundings, specialized watersports eyewear require a different prescription than regular eyeglasses.
Water acts as a magnifier, making fish, plants and other objects appear larger than they really are. Light also travels and bends differently through water. In order to acheive sharp vision underwater, your eye care professional will need to alter your normal vision correction prescription.
With eyewear for use in water, the placement of the corrective lenses may be closer or farther from your eyes than the placement of your daily eyeglass lenses. Therefore, the specific type of swim goggles or diving mask that you wear may also cause a need for more adjustments to your prescription.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Masks
There are two ways to make prescription lens scuba diving masks. Either the corrective lenses are inserted between the mask and your eyes, or the entire front surface of the mask is a prescription lens. With this second type, the lenses may be custom-made for you or they may be purchased ready-made in a prescription that’s identical for both eyes.
Ready-made dive masks generally provide sufficient vision for underwater maneuvers and reading gauges. Although they don’t correct astigmatism, most people with this vision condition can function fine underwater with standard lenses.
Custom-made dive masks, with prescription lenses designed for your personal measurements, are typically more costly than pre-made versions. A variation on these masks allows customized prescription lenses to be attached to the interior of the mask. An accurate vision correction is achieved, yet problematic fogging may result in response to the depth or temperature of water.
Contact lens wearers may benefit greatly from a dive mask that enables prescription lens inserts, because they grant the option of wearing contacts or not. With contact lenses, there’s no need to insert the prescription lenses. Yet if you dive without your contacts, then the prescription inserts can be worn. Either way, you’ll appreciate your clear underwater adventure. It’s important to note that eye care experts do not recommend diving with contact lenses, due to a higher risk of contamination to your contacts. However, if you strongly favor wearing your contact lenses, the best solution is to wear one-day disposables and discard them as soon as you emerge from the water.
In comparison to a diving mask, goggles are smaller and fit closer to your eyes. To prevent water from getting into your eyes, the lenses are sealed with a silicone or rubber strip. The sleek and minimized design is intentional, as goggles are able to protect your eyes without interfering with your speed and mobility.
Swim goggles are widely available with ready-made prescription lenses that offer the same power for both eyes. These pre-made versions generally provide adequate vision for swimming in a pool. If you desire a more clear view, customized prescription swimming goggles can be ordered easily.