Hawk Eye Mask with prescription lenses available @ kirkscubagear

QUESTION: I and my daughter wear glasses and contacts. Can we wear the contacts under water, or do we need to purchase special mask? And were would be the best outfit to purchase the mask?

ANSWER: Most people that I dive with wear disposable contacts. The main reason being … If you have a mask with your prescription made, you still have to have a pair of glasses to take with you so you can see before and after the dive. Taking them with you during the dive might be required on some types of dives, and that’s just more to take and keep up with. Let me do a Pros and Cons list:

PROs for Contacts:

* They are relatively inexpensive
* You’re not restricted to just one mask
* If you’re used to contacts, you wouldn’t have to get used to something new

CONs for Contacts:

* Might occasionally wash out of your eyes, but not common
* Not as easy to make adjustments to your contacts without taking your mask off
* When you flood your mask you’d have to be more careful when opening your eyes

PROs for Prescription Mask:

* It will be your exact prescription (even bi or trifocals)
* Insures nobody else will want to “borrow” or wear your mask
* Can easily open your eyes if your mask were to flood

CONs for Prescription Mask:

* Still need to have glasses along for before & after the dive
* Should only choose split lens mask (it’s next to impossible to change prescription in a single lens mask)
* Prescription may change & mask would need to be refitted
* Depending on prescription, the mask can become heavy
* A prescription mask will probably cost you as much or more than a pair of glasses, given the price of the mask itself

There are more, but I’m sure you can tell what I’m a fan of. Of everyone I have taught, plus everyone else I know that scuba dives or snorkels, I’d say only 5-10% have prescription masks. According to my eye doctor (and he is a diver) the water pressure helps keep the contacts on your eyes, with the exception of rapid pressure changes (such as a strong current or fin kick directly in front of your face). This is only a problem if you have your mask off underwater. The biggest issue is chlorine or salt ruining the contacts. Get your eye doctor to give you a supply of daily wear contacts for when you go diving.

Thanks to Carol Cotton of Scuba Diver Info

Kathy Dowsett



About Kathy Dowsett

I believe in protecting our oceans, lakes and rivers, as well as their aquatic life. I respect the work of conservation groups such as Save the Sharks, Save the Sea Turtles and Save our Wrecks. I believe that the use of plastic bags/bottled water should be discouraged as plastic finds its way to the ocean. I also support Diving for the Disabled and Swimming for the Disabled. As a PADI-certified diver, my interest in diving led to the opening in July 2008 of kirkscubagear, my online business. My site offers more than 2,000 products, including freediving, swimming and outdoor equipment. My continuing goal is to encourage diving and offer customers a shopping alternative for the purchase of scuba gear.

One response »

  1. spliffonline says:

    Thanks! I was kinda worried about this too because I wanna to start diving but I have a very strong prescription, so I wasn’t sure what to do. But based on what you said, I think I’m gonna go with the contacts! I’ll talk to my eye doctor this week and see what he says.

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