Masks and Goggles for Swimming, Scuba Diving and Other Water Sports
Swimming is one of the best things that we can do for our bodies. It is a no-impact exercise, reduces the pressure we feel on our joints and is gentle enough to be recommended even for arthritis sufferers and pregnant women. Scuba diving is harder on the body, and is not for everyone. People who have certain conditions, such as certain heart or lung problems, or are pregnant should not scuba dive. However, for people in good health, it can be a wonderful adventure. No matter what your water sport of choice, you should look into purchasing appropriate eyewear, because exposure to water can be seriously rough on the eyes.
Prescription goggles and scuba masks
If you have poor vision on dry land and need vision correction, you will still need vision correction underwater as well. Contact lenses should never be worn in water, as this can result in acanthamoeba keratitis, a very serious eye infection which can lead to blindness. In addition, contact lenses are not designed for the depths and pressure associated with scuba diving. Luckily, prescription swim goggles and scuba masks are available.
Both masks and goggles can be bought with a pre-made corrective lens or can be specially made for your own face and prescription needs. If you have certain vision problems, such as astigmatism, you may need customized lenses.
Finding a proper fitting mask is important to enhance vision under water as well as protect the eyes. The mask must fit well across the forehead without slipping or sliding (this lets water in) and without pinching the face. Goggles have a smaller, closer fitting frame and tend to be rounded in shape. A sports vision specialist can help you decide what type of lens, mask or goggle is the best for you.
The material that you select for your dive mask or goggles is a matter of personal choice, but if you are getting prescription eyewear, you may be limited to certain materials, depending on your prescription and specific needs. Common options include glass, acrylic, plastic and polycarbonate. The material that you choose will have an impact on both the performance and price of your mask or goggles.
The types of lenses
There are a number of lens types that can be used, including single or dual lenses. In addition, there are panoramic masks and full face masks, which can be used for diving in extremely cold water or for those who need to communicate while under water. The single lens mask allows more air volume in the mask, which can be difficult to deal with for the newer diver. The dual lens has less air volume and can be good especially for those with smaller faces. The panoramic view mask typically has a dual lens that offers more viewing space but still low air volume.
Vision correction options
When opting for a prescription mask, you can have the prescription for the entire lens area or you can have special lenses that are inserted between the mask face shield and your eyes. These lenses can be pre-made or can be made specifically for you. If you have astigmatism or other special vision needs, you will need to have lenses custom made. Goggles can be made in much the same way, allowing you to have pre-made or customized lenses.
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