5 Things to Consider When Buying a Prescription Dive Mask

Going diving, whether to the bottom of the ocean or just the bottom of your local pool, has always been a fascinating experience. Many people enjoy how things look and feel different at the bottom of a body of water, especially when you can actually see. Diving has long since been a challenge for people who wear prescription lenses because there is simply no way you can fit your glasses int a dive mask without interfering with the rubber seal around the face that keeps water from streaming into your eyes and nose. Fortunately, lens crafting has advanced to the point where single or two-piece prescription-lenses can be designed even for diving masks so you can finally see clearly what’s on the bottom of the pool, lake, river, or ocean.

Of course, not just any prescription diving mask will do. You need a mask that conforms to your face holds tightly, and is configured in a way that allows the lens to provide you with complete visual clarity. No matter how reliable your vendor or how highly rated the mask is, what matters is how it fits and how well it works when you’re diving. Here are the top five things to check when buying yourself a prescription diving mask.

1) Face Width

The width of your face, from the outer edge of each eye, will determine how wide your mask will need to be. Normal glasses are measured by temple width, but this is too far out for a mask that needs to calculate for where your actual eyes are rather than the sides of your head and ears. In fact, your ears don’t factor into this at all except for how you choose to wear your strap. Measure your own head or have a friend help you get the width between the outer edges of your eyes. Then compare this to the lens or frame width of the mask you’re considering buying.

2) Seal Around Face and Nose

Next is the shape of the mask. You may or may not be surprised to discover that there are several shapes of diving mask and what will fit best depends on how your face is built. Wider cheekbones, deeply inset or forward-set eyes, or a shorter distance between the nose and brow might make an important difference. To calculate for this, you can either measure other parts of your face and compare them to the mask or simply try sealing a demo model around your face to see if it sticks properly. You should be able to detect if there are any places that might pull loose while you’re underwater.

3) Length of the Strap

Straps are usually designed to help accommodate a large variety of head sizes, but sometimes the length of the strap will give you a clue that one particular mask is made for especially large or small heads. If you’re looking for a prescription scuba mask online, for instance, a very short strap may indicate that you’re looking at a children’s model while a very long strap is a clear mark that the mask is meant to fit a larger head.

 If you know the mask facial dimensions are right and want the right strap lens, tend toward long because you can always cut it if loose ends get in the way once the mask is pulled tight and in use.

4) Prescription Visual Clarity

Not all masks designs will feel comfortable with your prescription, but this is also the most challenging thing to judge before you buy a mask and order a prescription lens or lenses for it. Your best bet is to try on the mask you’re thinking about buying and consider how the lens shape makes you feel without prescription. You may prefer the two-lens design or this might make you a little disoriented such that it would be better to stick with a single solid lens.

Another reason why a prescription dive mask might be uncomfortable for your eyes is if the prescription is not properly lined up with your gaze, that is where your eyes will be looking through the mask. To prevent this, make sure your optician marks exactly where the center of your gaze is when ordering the lenses to ensure that the final prescription will be attuned to how you will use the mask while swimming.

5) Fog Control

Just because there’s no extra air to breathe in the mask doesn’t mean your nose can’t still fog up the inside. Fog is also a risk if you tend to pop out of the water and unseal the mask on a fairly regular basis. Unfortunately, once fog gets into your mask, the best way to clear it is to swish water round in it, which might leave residual droplets that interfere with your vision later. Instead, don’t forget to order anti-fog coating on the inside and outside of the lenses for ultimate protection and versatility. Remember, if you every go on a diving adventure, these might be serving as your glasses both on the boat and under water for at least a few hours. It’s best if they don’t fog.

Your prescription dive mask is your freedom to dive for pool toys, your ability to see beautiful coral reefs on vacation, and the clarity to identify friends and family on the distant dock once you’ve gone for a lovely lake swim. It’s important that your mask fit you well, be comfortable to look through, and hold a seal when you dive.

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