While many claim that there is no need for correction of vision while diving, as the water magnifies your vision; this is not necessarily true for everyone. Things appear approximately 33% larger/closer underwater due to refraction so if you have only slightly corrected vision, you may be able to see just fine underwater. But for the rest of us to truly appreciate the splendor of the coral reefs in macro detail, or to simply be able to read our depth gauges accurately, there are quite a few options available.
Disposable soft contact lenses work brilliantly underwater, and are one of the more easily available and cost friendly options. The main benefit that contact lenses provide is that of being able to use them both on the surface as well as in the water, making them extremely popular with the eyeglass wearing diver community. Though there is always the risk of them occasionally floating away should you take off or clean your mask underwater, many still swear by contact lenses and have completed numerous dives without ever losing one. Still, make sure you keep those eyes closed while clearing your diving mask underwater, and carry along an extra set just in case.
For hard contact lens wearers, make sure you first check with your optometrist whether you can dive wearing them, as they may not be suitable against the pressure as you dive; you may want to switch to soft lenses for your dives.
For those who are not comfortable with wearing contact lenses while scuba diving, there are still options out there. Prescription Lens fitted masks are becoming increasingly popular with several opticians offering custom fitted prescription lenses as inserts into swimming goggles or scuba masks. You can also get corrective lens compatible masks offered by the mask manufacturers themselves buy the lens according to your need and have it fitted into the mask at the dive store itself. Many manufacturers also offer special masks for those that require bifocals or correction for astigmatism.
Prescription masks are however often expensive, but if properly maintained will last the user a considerable amount of time and may be well worth the investment.
If you dive infrequently or just don’t want to spring for a prescription mask, you could always check with your local dive operator before you set out, to see if they stock prescription masks that can be rented along with your dive gear, and save you the trouble and cost of purchasing your own set.
“The few wonders of the world only exist while there are those with the sight to see them.” So don’t let your eyesight hold you back from witnessing the wonders of the underwater realm and the joys of Scuba Diving.
* Pictured above- Corrective Lens Compatible Mares X-Vision LiquidSkin Two Window Mask