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Scuba diving with glasses/contacts or bad vision.
Greg - 7/11/2008 12:37 PM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 10

This is another popular new diver question. If you wear glasses, can you scuba dive? Or is there special gear required for those with bad vision? Can I wear my contacts while diving?

You can wear contacts, but there is a risk of them floating off your eyeball if you get water in your mask and you keep your eyes open. My advice to divers with contacts is to keep your eyes closed while you flood and clear your mask.

For those with glasses or bad vision, you can get a mask with your prescription built into the lenses. OR they sell sticky lenses that go on top of your regular mask that can help. I’m not sure of links to companies that sell these items so if you know of one, please post a reply to this topic.

And remember, things appear approx. 33% larger/closer underwater due to refraction so if you have only slightly bad vision, you may be able to see just fine underwater.

Again, I’m not an expert in this subject so all you optometrists OR bad eye divers out there, please feel free to reply. My wife and I just went and got lasik surgery and said bye bye to all our eye problems...but that’s pretty expensive.
LVDiver - 7/11/2008 12:47 PM

I wear soft contact lenses and have been diving with them for over 15 years. I’ve never had any problems at all, but I do carry spare lenses with me just in case.

Karlito68 - 7/11/2008 4:39 PM
U.S. Divers makes a mask that takes drop in perscription lens that are pre made to certain vision strengths. Just get a lens strength close to your perscription and go. In California the mask is about $40, the lens are extra and I don’t recall what they cost but it wasn’t bad. Been using mine for 6 years or so now, don’t even think I changed it when I got new glasses and I haven’t noticed a difference under water.
seawolfdiving - 7/11/2008 5:24 PM

If I’m diving with students and working on "skills" then I wear a mask that is made to my script. This is because I am removing my mask underwater and replacing it. I like to keep my eyes on the students even with the mask off. If I keep my eyes open underwater, with the mask off, obviously the contacts would come out.

When I am diving for fun, I usually wear my contact lenses with a regular mask.
Diverguy1 - 7/11/2008 6:56 PM

My wife and I just went and got lasik surgery and said bye bye to all our eye problems...but that’s pretty expensive.

I had lasik done a couple of years ago and it is fantastic for diving! A bit of an issue reading my gauges but I just changed to the Oceanic Datamask. Both are rather expensive alternatives. My vision in my right eye has changed a bit so I may need to revisit lasik.
Anthony - 7/13/2008 11:04 PM
I have goggles with bifocals in them, they work great. If you buy the ones off the shelf I’ve found that the lenses are to far apart. I found some one that installs the bifocal in your goggles after measuring the distanse between your pupils.
hoofpick - 7/14/2008 10:39 PM

Not everyone can be lucky enough to be able to have lasiks surgery either due to the expense or due to medical reasons. Not everyones eyes can qualify for Lasiks. I happen to be one of those who’s eyes will not qualify for the surgery. So the options boil down to have a mask with corrective lens built in to it, wearing contacts, which I do use, and a third option is a Mask made by HydroOptix. This Mask incorporates some of the latest technology from NASA. I also use this mask as well. It does an incredible job of providing me with excellent vision too. Hope this helps.
urbaneve - 12/26/2011 9:37 PM
i had the lasik done and i paid around 2,000 for it total and i would have paid 10,000. it is so worth it. i had glasses and contacts since i was 5 and had lasik done in 1999 and still my vision is 20/20 (right eye) and 20/15 (left eye). there is such freedom in not having to worry about glasses and contacts and all that goes with it.
joosty1 - 3/11/2017 6:50 AM
Used prescription lenses for goggles can be found readily online. I got two lenses in my Rx and goggles for around $50.