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Vision correction

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by cbfuk, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. cbfuk

    cbfuk Garibaldi

    Hi all

    I'm a newbie, just thinking of starting scuba. I'm not registered disabled, but have very poor uncorrected eyesight with a complex prescription - both eyes have corneal grafts. They're safe (many years ago now, healed fine) but I'm wondering what is the most practical way of correcting my vision for diving.

    I normally wear GP (hard) contact lenses and I see they're a no-no for the obvious reasons, but soft lenses are a possibility. However, how practical are they - in particular, how much risk is there of them being washed out of the eye and lost? I have no experience of soft lenses at all, so I don't even have any feel for how easily they stay in, or whether they are likely to displace on the eye the way hard leneses sometimes can.

    The other possibility I've had suggested is a corrective mask, but that would presumably be relatively expensive for a complex prescription like mine? Also, what happens if I lose my mask?

    I'm sure this topic's been aired more than once before - so sorry if I'm repeating something all over again! If anyone can point me at an old thread, or has experience which would help, I'd be very grateful.

  2. The Kraken

    The Kraken He Who Glows in the Dark Waters (ADVISOR) ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Roswell/Alpharetta, GA
    Check with SeaVisionUSA.com. Send them your prescription and see what the cost would be for a mask. They do great work, make an excellent product, and their post sales customer support and service in the mask industry is, in my opinion, without equal.

    As for what to do regarding the loss of a mask, carry a second one. If you read some of the DIR/GUE threads on this board you will see that they teach the carrying of a backup mask. Keep in mind, too, that when you dive you have a buddy. Even a non-prescription mask would allow you to stop in place for a few moments to allow your buddy to recover your mask, if it is recoverable. If the mask is not recoverable, at least you will have the benefit of making your ascent without having water in your face.

    Safe dives . . .
    . . . safer ascents

    The K
  3. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    Soft contacts are an option. The salinity of the water they are exposed to will affect the fit with salt water making them expand a bit and fresh water making them shrink and there is spme potential for them to be washed out of the eye if the mask is removed. But on the other hand, I have dove with soft contacts since 1985 and I have never lost one diving. So unless you plan on removing your mask on a regular basis with your eyes open soft contacts should work fine.

    Pre-made correctively lenses are only available in a few masks and in 1/4 to 1/2 diopter increments to correct near sightedness. But you can have almost any custom made corrective lens bonded to just about any scuba mask and the cost is normally less or at least no more than a set of glasses and frames. Your eye doctor should be able to refer you to an optical shop that can do the work.
  4. cbfuk

    cbfuk Garibaldi

    Thanks a lot for that - it's good to hear from someone who's been using contacts without problems. I think I'll investigate that line - sounds a lot more sensible than special masks; my vision with lenses will always be better than with glasses anyway.

  5. bubblelogist

    bubblelogist Angel Fish

    I agree with contact lenses too... I wear them for three years in diving with no problem, I had leak on the mask, when I practice mask clearing i have no problems. Now I got lasik eye surgery and it's wonderfull. I don't know if it,s an option for you but it changed my entire life, for the better.
  6. cbfuk

    cbfuk Garibaldi

    No, lasik's not an option for me I'm afraid becasue both eyes are grafted. I'll probably end up doing both - get soft lenses for diving and have an old pair of lenses bonded to a mask in case I lose 'em somehow! Thanks all.
  7. padiscubapro

    padiscubapro Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New York
    I really would consider sea vision maskes.. they can make just about any pescription.. I get a new mask every time I get an eye exam.. the lenses seavision does are ground lenses not bonded to a mask..

    I always carry 2 masks... The second sits in a thigh pocket.. My bet is that a complete mask will run you under $200.. If you can find a sea vision dealer it may even save you a few $$ since if you buy direct they charge list price..

    I also get my masks for the conditions I will be diving.. I usually have 3 masks with a current prescription a clear mask, 1 red lens (for "blue water" and a yellowlense for limited viz) the specialty lenses domake a difference especially the limited viz mask..
  8. scubapro50

    scubapro50 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Arthur Texas
    Go by your local LDS and ask if someone in the area does "Bonded Lenes". This is where they take a regular mask and bond "glue" prescription lens to the inside glass of the mask. I have had several made over the years because my eye sight is really bad also and about every three years I have the lenses replaced.
  9. diver_paula

    diver_paula Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southfield, MI
    I always have two masks with me - one prescription and one non-prescription. They are identical masks except for color.

    I don't carry the spare on the dive with me but it's in my gear bag for emergencies. I've worn contacts most of my 18 years of diving. & have never come close to losing a contact during diving in that time.

    My primary mask is the non-prescription one. My back-up is a mask with the pre-made corrective lenses. & in my save-a-dive kit are the original non-prescription lenses that came in the back-up mask originally.

    That way I can
    1) Wear the non-prescription mask if all is going well with my contacts.
    2) Wear the prescription mask if I can't or don't feel like wearing my contacts for the day. (Or am participating in a class where I have to remove my mask for an exercise.)
    3) If I lose or break the non-prescription mask, I can put the spare non-prescription lenses back in the mask they came with.

    If the soft contacts work for you, go for it. Glasses can be a pain on a boat. My vision is such that I need them to gear up comfortably. Even to walk to the back of the boat in some cases. The issues then becomes 'where can I safely stow the glasses until I get back on board?" and 'where I can stow the glasses so they are readily accessible when I need them?". & given a good majority of my diving is in cold water / weather, they then fog up.

    Hope that insight helps.
  10. Dive Junky

    Dive Junky Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Jersey
    Seavision all the way. My LDS sells the mask with prescription for $189. It will last forever. Even if your prescription changes over a few years it won't matter diving.

    The last thing you want is salt water in your eyes wearing lenses. If you lose your mask under water you can't see well with or without your mask and have a real possibility of losing your lenses.

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