If you need vision correction, participating in swimming and watersports requires an extra bit of planning. You want to see both in and out of the water but your regular glasses and contact lenses aren’t feasible options. Well the good news is, there are prescription swimming goggles and masks available to provide optimal vision in the water and here is what you need to know about them.
First of all, it is very important to know about the dangers of wearing contact lenses in the water. Wearing contact lenses in any kind of water, whether it is an ocean, a pool or even a shower, is risky because bacteria in the water could cause an eye infection if water gets into your eyes. This could allow the bacteria to penetrate into the contact lens matrix. Unless you are wearing a mask or goggles that are 100% sealed and don’t let any water in, wearing contacts in the water is not recommended. If you do decide to wear contact lenses in the water, it is recommended to discard them immediately after exiting the water.
Prescription Swimming Goggles
A fantastic solution for swimmers is prescription swimming goggles. These are regular swim goggles with either pre-made or a custom made prescriptions lenses. Pre-made lenses will likely not be a perfect match to your exact optical prescription, but they may still be adequate for you to see well enough for swimming and whilst in the water. Custom made goggle lenses can match your prescription, although they may be slightly different than your regular lenses prescription because of the differences in seeing underwater. Whether you are purchasing pre-made or custom made swimming goggles, you should consult with an optometrist experienced on eye care for water sports to make sure you select the optimal lens for your vision needs. If you have high-astigmatism or other eye conditions, you may have additional needs to discuss with your optometrist.
Prescription Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Masks
If you scuba dive or snorkel you want to see every detail of the beautiful underwater world! You can achieve this by using a dive mask with a prescription lens. There are a few options for prescription masks. In the first option corrective lenses are bonded or glued to the inside of your mask, creating a second layer. A second option is to purchase a mask in which the entire lens of the mask is replaced with a prescription lens, these can be premade or custom made lenses. There are also now masks that are made with removeable lenses in which you can buy the corrective lens separately and insert it yourself.
You may have to take some time to adjust to viewing with a corrective dive mask because the lens might be further from your eyes than you are used to with your regular eyewear.
In general, pre-made prescription lenses on both goggles and masks are cheaper than the custom made options. In many cases, since you are using them for a relatively short period of time, the pre-made options can suffice. If however, you are a serious swimmer or diver and want to see as clearly as possibly, it may be worthwhile to look into a custom made goggles or mask.