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Four Eye'd Divers

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I've heard of a few remedy's for helping visibility underwater like contact lenses and stuff. Has anyone ever heard of or thought of prescription goggles????

 

Just a thought. :D

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You can definitely get lenses (as in, for glasses) put into masks.

 

I personally wear contacts, so I just keep wearing contacts. I really don't like the loss of peripheral vision with glasses as it is, so it would probably irk the hell out of me underwater.

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I have been wearing contacts while diving for about 25 years (soft ones only of course). Two years ago, I bought a Seavision mask with the gauge reader magnifiers in the lower inside corners. Really works well for seeing those menu items on the LCD screen.

 

JP

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I have a prescription mask, which you can buy at any dive shop.

 

Recently, I have been checking out the hydrooptix

http://www.hydrooptix.com/

 

their premise is that you can see underwater without contacts as long as you are nearsighted.

they claim that people with 20/20 vision have gotten contacts to make themselves nearsighted, so they can use this mask.

 

my local shop that carried this just went out of business, so i have stopped looking. Check it out.

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LChan: I have one of those HydroOptix masks, and love it, EXCEPT on night dives.

 

It really does improve field of view, assuming you're in the right corrective range (I'm -4.0 one eye, -3.75 the other, so just fine). The optics work just like a dome port, but for your eyes: its weird that at the surface you see none of the 'bending' refraction you see by the naked eye (e.g. put a pole in the water and looking from either below or above, the pole appears bent at the water plane). Instead for me things above water are out of focus and below water are in focus. As I used to wear a low volume corrective lens mask, where the combination of the flat glass air/water interface AND the correction added both narrow your FOV, the change was incredible. It also eliminates the 'magnification' effect I used to get, so when I look down thinking I'm 2 feet above the reef, I really am 2 feet above the reef, not 5 or something. I used to dangle a hand into my field of view so I could tell where I really was, visually, but I no longer have to.

 

It does have some downsides though. It's polycarbonate, so it can scratch. It is higher volume, so you have to get used to pumping it up as you descend more than with a smaller mask, but that's easy. Some people have face fit and therefore leakage problems but they do have 2 different skirt options now. And the integrated defog coating that comes on it (don't clean this one with toothpaste!!) can get water saturated after repeat dives and not want to work any longer, but going with a traditional baby-shampoo type defog in that case corrects it fine. If you're using bifocals because you also have degraded close-up vision the mask is also counterindicated, since your eyes have to do more accomodation for the near field thru the effective dome lens. But that's also true of any prescription mask for nearsightedness.

 

The biggest issue for me is that with the hemispherical mask sections, any water will form a little bead wherever "down" is. During day dives I tend to get nice and close to whatever I'm looking at and swim mostly horizontal, but with my face tilted up and this works fine...the water bead settles into the little extra wells they provide with the purge valves. On night dives though, I tend to keep a bit more distance since you can't see as much of the surround, and I don't want to leave sitz marks on the reef. So that means I spend more of the time looking straight down - hence that bit of water forms a circle right in front of my eyes and gets kind of annoying. Also, the improved FOV at night can be a DETRIMENT when you've got other divers not being very careful about where they shine their lights - you're far more likely to get your dark adaptation wiped out by the peripheral spastic firefly show as they leave lights dangling, a big pet peeve of mine.

 

So I go back to the flat mask at night; for night dives you can only see most stuff along your own light cone, so the dive ends up being more FOV angle restricted, anyway.

Edited by rtrski

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Yah!! I'm another old fart who has lived with being nearsighted all my life and now I have to deal with the added effects of Presbyopia. When I correct my vision so I can see things far away, I can no longer see those little numbers on my gauges and LCDs. So I wear one contact lens in one eye and none in the other. Very much like those who have chosen to have laser surgery in one eye and not the other. It works quite well underwater. I did once try using one perscription lens in one side of my mask and none in the other and I got very dizzy and nauseous underwater so I never did that again. Maybe the camera manufacturers need to start making those numbers bigger.

 

I think Dave Haas had magnifiers glued into the inside of his Atomic Aquatics mask. Dave, did that work?

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I have always had good sight but as the presbyopia kicks in, my near vision is suffering. I can still "spot raccoons all the way to the Tappan Zee Bridge", but I need glasses for reading and using a computer. This causes me a lot of problems with underwater photography because everything appears closer underwater making my far sightedness worse. I have no problem at all using the optical viewfinder on my D70 (as tiny as it is) but can't really make out much in the LCD other than general exposure and framing. I have thought of wearing one lens in one eye only, but think it would be pretty nasty.

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Here is a link to my life saver,

 

http://www.prescriptiondivemasks.com/

 

I've been using their masks for years now, they make a top job, are flexible, can supply you either with a turn key setup (mask and prescription) or you can send in your mask and they will install the proper prescription.

 

This is not a commercial plug, I always paid for my masks but when you get good quality with good services such as Liz gives to her customer, well you endorse them.

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Ok, wasn't expecting so many avenues for four eye'd divers but just goes to show ya.

 

I wear glasses all day but I can still see ok without them and my vision improves as time goes on without them but I get headaches. I'm not sure what I got but it's just called blurry vision.

 

I don't even notice it underwater but maybe I would if I could wear lenses underwater. I like the idea of sending your mask in with your prescription and having it back with the lenses done - sounds good but in Australia where?

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Check with prescription mask, I live in Canada and its no problem, they ship abroad.

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Donga:

 

Most dive shops in the US even sell masks that they have spare lenses for you can swap out while you wait, coming in half-diopter increments, but only for near or farsightedness not usually with astigmatism corrections. I can't believe with as much of a diving mecca as parts of Australia are that it wouldn't be true there. Just call around and ask about corrective masks, and take your prescription.

 

But remember the air/water interface through a flat mask has a lensing effect already due to the different indices of refraction of air and water. If you don't really even 'notice' being nearsighted underwater, then I'd guess your nearsightedness is not severe. If your glasses are between 0 and -1 diopters of correction (you should be able to get this right off your prescription) and you don't have significant astigmatism, then I wouldn't bother with a corrective mask.

 

Your prescription should indicate diopters of correction per eye in 'spherical' and 'cylindrical' as well as an axis if there's anything in the 'cylindrical' entry. 'Spherical' is just plain old near or farsighted, with negative diopter correction being nearsighted, 'cylindrical' indicates astigmatism as well (or instead) and the axis indicates the alignment of the necessary cylindrical curvature superposed on the necessary spherical curvature.

Edited by rtrski

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I know this is a discussion on prescription masks and what not but...

 

My eyes started going south when I hit 41 and now I can hardly read the bill at a bar after dark. Generally I'm not even drunk :D

 

I was finding my gauges to be a bit difficult also so I took the opportunity to add some redundant gear to help address this.

 

I added a simple analog SPG and a wrist mounted Suunto Mosquito computer. This is in addition to my original Suunto Cobra.

 

I now find myself using the analog SPG as my primary air check as is is soooo easy to quickly glance down and get a good idea of whether I'm closer to 888 , 333 or 000 PSI. These three looke awfully similar on the digital display. Especially if my eyes were watery at all.

 

I also find that when I find the need to check depth a quick peek at the wrist mounted computer tells me what I need to know.

 

This may not work for everyone but my arms are still long enough for my eyes :angry:

Also I really really like the two independent sources for verifying by air, depth and time when it really matters.

 

My camera has a viewfinder diopter adjustment and I'm not yet forced to use it but someday soon...

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