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July 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Trouble Seeing Your Gauges?

from the July, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Gary Monsky (Long Island, NY) wrote to ask, "Are face masks with lenses with eye prescriptions recommended while diving?"

I replied, "Yes, indeed." The day I had prescription lenses fitted to my mask, my life (underwater) changed. Some masks are available with simple plus or minus prescriptions, and your dive store can fit them for you. However, it depends on your prescription.

While there are numerous masks with additional lenses that accommodate the needs of short-sighted young people, there is less of a choice for those of us suffering from the passing of time and arms that have grown too short for reading comfortably.

A good mask that you can get off-the-peg lenses for in either plus or minus strengths is the Tusa Ceos, which is much less expensive than having a mask made exactly to your prescription (which can be done).

I have found that for diving, a simple solution is best. For example, I need +3 diopters lenses in my reading glasses, but I also need a correction for astigmatism for distance, so I used varifocal lenses in my day-to-day specs. However, for diving, I simply use straight +2.5 diopter lenses in my mask, and that suits me underwater, because visibility even in the clearest water is not sharp over a greater distance. It might mean lifting your mask to see where the boat is when you surface.

Your local dive store should be able to help. Otherwise, take a look on scubaboard.com and discover where others have found suppliers that will grind lenses and glue them in to your mask. An example: https://prescriptiondivemasks.com

--john@undercurrent.org

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