Diving is an amazing sport, bringing us to an almost alien world we don't see to often. For those of us with less than perfect vision, this world is by no means closed off to us, we just have to be smart about it! And wearing contact lenses is one of the best ways to do so. In this article, we tell you why.
Glasses are a no-no
First off, let's get this out of the way. You cannot scuba dive with glasses. They simply wouldn't fit in diving masks. Wearing one would break the seal between your mask and your face, which will render your mask useless.
Prescription diving masks
This is the next best thing besides contact lenses. You can either buy a custom-made pair, or buy the lenses and change them yourself. Either way, they can be pricey and your choice of diving masks becomes limited, and damaging it can mean the end of your diving trip. The biggest issue we have with them, however, is the poor peripheral vision. Ever looked through a magnifying glass, and noticed the center is clear while the rest of the lens looks like a smeary mess? Yup. While you can still technically see clearly out of the center of the mask, it really spoils the immersion of the beautiful world around you.
Contact lenses are as close as you can get to completely natural, 20/20 vision underwater. But that said, there are some things to take note of before diving into this option (pun intended).
1. No hard contact lenses.
Hard contact lenses do not allow gases to pass through, which means they can trap nitrogen escaping your eyes, leaving you with blurred vision. They are also smaller, and do not stick to your eye as well as soft lenses. This means they are easier (and more expensive) to lose.
2. Go for daily disposables
The reason is simple. Monthly lenses are expensive to lose. They also require extra care and cleaning after every dive trip, or even during one (trust us, cleaning lenses on a boat isn't fun). Daily disposables let you enjoy your trip worry-free. Lost one? Just pop in a fresh new one. Anti-fogging solution got into your eye? Just pop in a fresh one. Sunblock got into your eye? Just... you get the idea.
3. Always keep your eyes closed when flooding your mask.
The force of the water rushing in is usually what causes you to lose your contacts. Practice your drills with your eyes closed. If you have to look, open your eyes slightly. Your eyelids will still help hold the lenses in place. This is more a precautionary measure, as it is not easy to lose a lens. If you find yourself losing contact lenses easily, check with a doctor. You might be wearing a contact lens with a wrong base curve.
4. Watch out for dry eyes.
It might sound ironic that dry eyes is an issue when you are literally dunking yourself in water, but soft lenses are very absorbent, and they absorb, you guessed it: saltwater. The salt can cause discomfort, and can dry out your eyes when you are on surface. The pressure you face underwater can also press your lenses to your eye, and make them stick to your eye tightly and cause discomfort as well. Bring along some lubricating eye drops to refresh your eyes after a dive. Or just throw your lenses out after a dive. Another advantage to daily disposables, yay!
5. Bring a little hand soap along
Sunscreen and anti-fogging solution are designed to be hard to come off, and they are. Even after rubbing your finger furiously on a towel, sometimes you still get some on your contacts, and the burning feeling when you put them on. In fact, skip the sunscreen if you can, and just cover up. Sunscreen is proven to be detrimental to coral life.
6. Always inform your buddy
This is very commonly overlooked, but inform your buddy you are on contact lenses. Contact lenses are nearly invisible, so never take for granted that your buddy knows you wear them. In the case you lose one while diving, at least your dive buddy is prepared for such a situation. Loss of vision or poor vision can be potentially life-threatening, so stay safe!
7. Dispose of your daily disposables properly
While it is tempting to throw your contact lenses into the sea since they are so small, don't. Contact lenses and their blister packs can take up to 1,000 years to degrade. Can you imagine what 1,000 years of contact lenses can look like? Contact lenses can also resemble small jellyfish, and be eaten by mistake. In short, don' do it. Take nothing and leave nothing behind.
Ready for your next diving trip? Get your daily disposable contact lenses delivered to your home or your favorite diving vendor by clicking here.
Till next time, stay safe and take care!