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confused about prescription masks.

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks & Snorkels' started by graham p, Apr 27, 2021.

  1. graham p

    graham p Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ottawa
    Hello all.
    I just got my new prescription for vision and have been reading a bunch about prescription dive masks. It seems there are opinions on whether to go stock or not with astigmatism, whether to increase or decrease the sphere number for diving and whether or not to use contact lenses instead.
    my prescription is od -.50 -.1.75 85 and os -.50 -1.75 80 add +1.00. What should I do?
    I don't want to go the contact lenses route. so that leaves me with stock or custom masks.
    will my astigmatism dictate a custom mask or is it mild enough to go stock?
    Should I increase to -1.0, leave them at -.5 or scrap the prescription idea and leave them at 0?
    I can see well enough under water as it is, but I feel I could see better detail if my mask had some vision correction.
    Any and all help would be much appreciated.
    Julie T likes this.
  2. BoltSnap

    BoltSnap Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    You don't need "custom" mask, you may need "custom" prescription lens. You can use any mask you want that fits you and is comfortable for you and send it to a specialized optometrist who will attach a custom lens to the mask you sent him. This is usually the best route for complicated prescriptions.
    ChuckP and dewdropsonrosa like this.
  3. CanadaDan

    CanadaDan DMC ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Winnipeg, MB Canada
    I have a wonky prescription as well because of my astigmatism. Enough so that I actually make a THIS IS NOT A TYPO note when ordering a new mask

    Personally I use Sea Vision USA. Making prescription lenses for divers is what they do, I send them my numbers (including bifocal) and they send me the mask with all the underwater stuff figured out. So much so that my reader portion works great underwater but not so much in the air.

    They sell their own mask skirts or you can send them most two lens masks and they grind to fit. As my eyes change I send the a new Tusa skirt with new numbers and three weeks later I get it back. This way my latest mask becomes a backup mask.
    Julie T, Lostdiver71 and ibj40 like this.
  4. ibj40

    ibj40 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas
    Notwithstanding that I had my Astigmatism corrected with Lasik (and that appears to be the only correction that has survived over time), I would repeat this endorsement of Sea Vision.

    When I went from a bi-focal to a progressive tri-focal, all I did was send my old mask and new prescription back to Sea Vision, and they did the rest.

    My wife and I both dive in Sea Vision prescription masks.
    Julie T likes this.
  5. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    My wife also uses a sea-vision mask and has astigmatism. Seavision definitely does that. She gave sea-vision her paper prescription from the optometrist without any special revisions for the dive mask. The lenses work perfectly, she said they seemed better than her glasses actually.

    She has pretty much permanently shelved her mask, but not because of anything being wrong with it. She didn't want to have to switch between mask and regular glasses on the boat and preferred contacts.

    The ordering process is pretty simple. Go to your LDS that sells sea-vision OR go to the seavision site or any of the resellers, pick a frame, upload your prescription. We got ours from an LDS that does sea-vision. Many dive shops in my town sell them. Unsure of many "normal" optometrists resell sea-vision, but it's pretty simple to send your script to a dive shop or website.
    Julie T likes this.
  6. Lostdiver71

    Lostdiver71 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Jupiter, Florida, United States
    If you go directly to Sea-Vision you will save some money as your LDS will add to the price so that they make a profit. Also I checked with them a few weeks ago about sending in a mask to them and they advised me that they are currently on filling prescriptions for masks that they stock, although they did say that will change at some point in the future. I have been using their masks for years and they are great.
    ibj40 likes this.
  7. graham p

    graham p Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ottawa
    Thanks all for the heads up on Sea Vision, I hadn't heard of them before. How is the durability of the CR39 material that their lenses are made from? Does it scratch easily ?
    I was looking at Seethesea rx and they use glue in lenses, how do these hold up?
    Julie T likes this.
  8. ibj40

    ibj40 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas
    Knock on wood, but I have been diving Sea Vision lenses (started with readers, then went through the prescription process I mentioned above) for close to twenty years, maybe more.

    Not a scratch yet, however on the boat, when they are not on my head (and never on my forehead), they are in their case.
  9. Julie T

    Julie T Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Luis Obispo, California, United States
    Hi - this isn't an answer to your question, but is an amusing story about how I came into possession of the prescription mask dive mask that I used for 10 years.

    Before I had Lasik, I was very nearsighted, such that by the time I was 40 my eyesight was 20/600 in one eye, and 20/800 in the other eye (I can't recall the diopters...7, 8, 9?). Anyway, *very* nearsighted. My now husband (then boyfriend) and I went on a dive trip for the first time together while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta. All of our equipment was rented (he had sold all his dive equipment many years before, thinking he wasn't going to be able to afford the hobby while raising kids, and I was very new to diving). It wasn't until we were gearing up at the dive site that I realized that I had forgotten my contact lenses, which I had planned to wear under the mask. Because I was so nearsighted, diving without corrective lenses wasn't an option, and I was trying to figure out if I could wear my glasses folded up under the mask. One of the crew members saw me struggling to get my glasses under the mask, and communicated (between his limited English and my limited Spanish) that they had a prescription mask which a previous customer had left on the boat. I didn't think there was any chance that the mask would possibly have a powerful enough prescription for me, but I tried the mask on. And the correction was nearly perfect! Incredible.

    So I used the mask for that dive, and when we came up, I asked the crew member if I might be able to purchase the mask from them. Negotiations ensued. Our limitation was that we only had about $40 dollars (in pesos) with us. So the crew member looked at Mark, and pointed at his sunglasses, which were a rather high end polarized pair, that he relied on for his work (which took him outdoors a lot) as well as for play. Rather reluctantly, Mark handed over his sunglasses, along with all of our pesos.

    That accidentally-encountered mask worked for me for over 10 years, right up until I had Lasik surgery done. And Mark has never let me forget that he sacrificed his sunglasses for me.:yeahbaby:
    Lorenzoid, graham p and Lostdiver71 like this.
  10. jonhall

    jonhall Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
    You have great vision!! My prescription 3 years ago (I need to update the pic I have on my phone with one more current) was OD -5.50/-.050/040/add +2.0 and OS -5.50/-1.25/135/add +2.00. I got my first - and only - mask with prescription lenses in 1998. My eyes have become slightly worse since then with some years showing little or no change, but I still have the original lenses in the mask today.

    My LDS, where I purchased the mask, was able to match stock lenses close to my prescription. Only once, about 5 years ago, did I go back in thinking I would update the lenses in the mask. I'm not sure the guy put in the right lenses as everything was a blur; so I had him put my old lenses back in. As badly as I've treated my mask through the years- one thorough cleaning in 23 years- it still is in good shape and no scratches on the lenses.

    I would suggest that if you have a LDS nearby, trying the stock lenses first hand might be an option.

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