How to SCUBA Dive With Glasses

Written by aksana nikolai
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How to SCUBA Dive With Glasses
A prescription dive mask is one of the vision correction options available to scuba divers. (Petr Kratochvil/

SCUBA stands for self contained underwater breathing apparatus, which allows divers to stay underwater for extended periods of time. Poor vision can put divers in danger by preventing them from accurately and quickly reading scuba instruments such as watches and gauges. In addition, the need for glasses can deprive divers of the pleasure of observing underwater life in detail. Many find wearing glasses under a dive mask to be difficult. Fortunately, divers who require vision correction have several other options to choose from.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Contact lenses
  • Prescription lenses for dive mask

Show MoreHide


    Contact Lenses

  1. 1

    Wear contact lenses under a non-prescription dive mask. Opt for soft, as opposed to hard or gas-permeable, lenses. Soft lenses better accommodate underwater pressure.

  2. 2

    Use disposable lenses whenever possible. Choosing this lens type can prevent the spread of bacteria found in the water absorbed by the lenses.

  3. 3

    Keep your eyes closed whenever you flood the mask to clear it. If water comes in contact with the lens, your vision will temporarily become blurry.

    Prescription Lenses for the Mask

  1. 1

    Equip your mask with prescription lenses if you do not want to or cannot wear contact lenses.

  2. 2

    Opt for bonded lenses if you do not mind the fact that the lenses can only approximate the shape of the faceplate and tend to add extra weight to the mask. Bonded lenses are glued to the inside of mask's faceplate and are available for faceplates with one or two windows.

  3. 3

    Choose a prescription mask if you do not wish to add extra weight. This option replaces the faceplates with lenses made to your vision prescription. This lens type is only available for masks that have two faceplate windows.

  4. 4

    Use drop-in lenses if you do not require bifocals or for complex prescriptions that involve correction for conditions such as astigmatism. Dive shop staff can install drop-in lenses by removing the original lenses from a mask and replacing them with ready-made corrective lenses. This type of lens is not available on all two-window masks styles. Dive shops often keep an inventory of corrective lenses of various dioptres, or strengths. As a result, this is one of the quicker ways of improving your underwater vision.

Tips and warnings

  • Water has a magnifying effect of approximately 33 per cent. As a result, not all divers who require vision correction on land need it underwater. Determine whether or not you are able to read your instruments underwater without correction before investing in prescription solutions.

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