Swim Goggles and Diving Masks
For a person who needs to wear eyeglasses and/or contact lenses to correct vision problems, being in water during swimming and diving can be less enjoyable and less safe without the necessary equipment. It is almost impossible to swim with regular glasses on, obviously; while wearing contact lenses during swimming and diving, even with goggles, is not advisable due to high risk of contamination.
In any case a person uses contact lenses during swimming or diving, it is advised to discard the lenses immediately after use.
You might have noticed that professional swimmers would always use swim goggles especially during competitions. Scuba divers always use masks too. Do they have some vision problem too? Not really.
So who needs swim goggles and masks?
Goggles and masks are needed in order to see better underwater. This is because light is refracted differently in water than in air, which means how we see objects on land is different when it’s underwater due to how the light is bent. So even with perfect vision, goggles and masks are still required. These goggles and masks provide a pocket of air in front of the eye which alters how light is focused on the eye, helping the wearer to see better underwater.
Swim goggles vs diving masks
Swim goggles are smaller and are designed to fit closer to the eye compared to masks. These are generally designed to provide protection and better vision for swimmers while being compact enough not to interfere with movement and speed. Prescription lenses can be integrated into the swim goggles' frame.
Diving masks are designed for scuba diving and snorkeling. They are larger than swim goggles—sitting across the forehead and extending to the nose. There are 2 options when getting prescription lenses for diving masks, either making the entire lens a prescription lens or making prescription inserts to be used on the mask.
Some masks have lens slots in front for prescription inserts. This can be a good option for some people who are using contact lenses, they can opt not to use their contact lenses and use prescription inserts instead.
Prescription lenses for goggles and masks
If a person is using prescription glasses or lenses, it is recommended to consult an eye care professional before buying prescription lenses for goggles and masks. Present glasses prescription would usually be adjusted to be suited for underwater use.
Prescription lenses on goggles and masks can come pre-made or customized based on individual needs. Custom made lenses are just generally more expensive. The lenses are usually made of glass, plastic, acrylic or polycarbonate. They are usually single vision lenses but some companies can even offer bifocal lenses for both distance and near vision correction.
Tips for buying and lens care:
When buying goggles and masks, it is always better to try them on. Make sure that it fits snugly and comfortably to prevent fogging and leaking.
Anti-fog coating and anti-fog solutions can be applied on the lenses.
Use gentle soap to wash the lenses.
Use protective cases to prevent accumulation of dirt and scratching.