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Diving With Contact Lenses

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by still new, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member

  2. BuoyantC

    BuoyantC Instructor, Scuba

    I have dived with contacts for many years. Being an over 50 diver, I now dive with the Bausch and Lomb Multifocal lenses. The bifocal is tricky to get right as they don't all work for everyone. My eye Dr. was patient and I ended up with two different prescripts even though my eyes are about the same.

    I ended up with a sort of monovision plus bifocal. It's hard to explain, but basically one eye is partially detuned and the bifocal preforms better for closeup while still giving fair distance vision. The other eye is correct for distance, but the bifocal fills in the arm's length distance. Weird, but it works.
  3. pixiefish

    pixiefish Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Koh Tao, Thailand
    Is it ok to learn wearing contacts?
    I am going backpacking in Central America next year I am planning on doing the open water course on my way and probably more diving after that depending on how I like it. For everyday life I switch between glasses and monthly disposable contacts; I am getting new contacts for my trip that you can leave in day and night for up to a month to save hassle.
    During the training do you have to do things that require open eyes underwater that risk losing contacts?
    I have swum in the sea quite a bit wearing contacts, and never lost one, although usually keep my head above water!
  4. Web Monkey

    Web Monkey Omniheurist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    If you happen to be one of the people who gets a corneal infection from long term wear, how hard will it be for you to find medical treatment? And considering that ocean water contains all sorts of bacteria and viruses, Extended Wear contacts and SCUBA sounds like a terrible idea.

    If you want to wear contacts, especially when diving, I'd recommend daily disposables.


  5. fishoutawater

    fishoutawater Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Near St Louis Mo
    Pixiefish, I wear the B&L multifocals like BouyantC does.
    I've found that they stay on my eyes in salt water just fine. But if I open my eyes in fresh water, I'll lose them. What happens there is these lenses are called something like hydrophylic (sp?). They absorb water. If you've ever soaked one of your lenses in tap water, you probably noticed that the lens absorbed the fresh water, causing the lens to swell up almost twice its size. They'll definately float away in fresh water.
    If you have to doff and donn your mask in a freshwater pool during your class, you'll want to close your eyes while you do so. Or just don't wear them during the pool dives.
  6. pixiefish

    pixiefish Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Koh Tao, Thailand
    daily disposables won't really be an option in Central America; I'm travelling with a 50L backpack for 5-6 months, they'll be far too bulky. I'm taking chloramphenicol eyedrops with me just in case, aside from scuba there'll be times on this trip when I'll be 3 days trek from civilisation (hopefully!). It sounds sensible to maybe take them out and clean them after diving which is easily possible - they don't have to stay in permanently. I'll be taking a pair of glasses for rest breaks as well. My eyesight isn't absolutely terrible without contacts so I guess I could dive without them for the bits where I'll have to take mask off etc; I'd just much rather see clearly!!
    The fresh vs salt water difference makes a lot of sense. So is it ok to close your eyes whilst doing the mask on/off stuff?
  7. fishoutawater

    fishoutawater Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Near St Louis Mo
    I don't recall any certification rules that require you to keep your eyes open while you clear your mask. But it is something you might want to practice in a pool before the class. Another option you might consider is taking a mask with prescription lenses installed in it. Quite common.
    Sounds like a fun trip!
  8. sierra23

    sierra23 Angel Fish

    Yes, good questions, information, and answers. How nice to be on a "friendly" informative board. I used prescription masks for about three years. I was told by another fellow diver to always carry two because if the mask is dropped a certain way it would shatter. It did happen. I was able to save my dive with my back up. Each mask ran about $300 - maybe other places were less, but I was very happy with the quality and fit so I stayed with the same company for my second pair. I was finding out I had to move my head up and down just as one does while reading - the masks were bi focials. An experience dive master mentioned contacts. I gave it a try and found a great difference and will never go back. I have one for reading and one for distances - as mentioned in another post. I haven't had any problems of them washing out and I flood my mask many times for clearing. I also find removing them after the days dive as soon as possible and clean solution will keep your eyes happy. You will love the new world you will be able to see.
  9. captain

    captain Captain

    Over the last 35 years I have dived with hard lenses, RGP lenses and now soft lenses with no problems what so ever. Never had one come out while diving although because of the cost of hard and RGP I was careful about opening my eyes underwater.
    When I switched to soft lenses I deliberately tried to wash an old pair out underwater and couldn't do it.
    Now because of age related myopia I use the stick on reading lenses in my mask to read gauges.
  10. carrielsal

    carrielsal Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX
    I wear reading glasses and have the little round magnifier at the bottom of my left lens. I hadn't even though about contacts. I'm going to have to go to my eye doc and give them a try.


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