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Balaens 12-21-2008 10:08 PM

Prescription goggles/mask for open water?
Fellow myopiates,

I've spent hours trying to find good goggles/mask for swimming. Both eyes require high astigmatic correction, so it is tough to find a solution. The cheap corrective "step diopter" goggles are too far from the correction I need, and I'm willing to pay for a good mask or pair of goggles. I've never used contacts and I'm concerned about health risks in pool and lake water.

My immediate goal is to be able to see the lap clock at the pool. I also want to be able to see the overhead flags so I can start working on backstroke. Ultimately I'd like to start doing some open water swimming and snorkeling.

In videos I see triathletes using what seem to be a lightweight mask, but haven't found on-line sites that sell masks that like these (e.g. Seal) with a prescription lens option. (Related question.... If I can find such a mask, what is the benefit a nose pocket like the Aqua Sphere Sphera.)

A diving mask seems to have too much weight and drag for efficient swimming.

Thanks for advice!

(For you optical experts: OD: sph -7.75, cyl +2.50, axis 162 deg, OS: sph -7.00, cyl +2.25, axis 22 deg, ADD +2.25, PD distance 69mm)

Grant 12-21-2008 11:42 PM

Hi Jim;
Dont have an goggle answer for you and will share my experience. I to have quite severe astigmatism that the correction cant be built into a swim goggle. After much searching and enquiring I went for contact lens. I only used them for swimming and never had any trouble with infection or anything else. Aside from the learning curve to insert and remove them, but like everything I learn after some practice it was not an issue. They allowed me to see a rather small waterproof watch in quite dark conditions. My suggestion is give the contacts a try. Mine ran about $200.00 for a set of 6 pairs that I replaced every 60 days. Usually they are replaced every 30 days but as I swim every second day I could double the life expectancy of each pair. After about 6 months I had to stop using them as I had a Glaucoma operation that would not allow the use of contacts. No the contacts didnt cause the glaucoma. :o) I have had that for about 15 years.

madvet 12-22-2008 02:48 PM

Gluing in lenses
Lenses can be glued in to a mask. This is often done for scuba masks, and I don't think there would be any reason you couldn't do this with a Seal mask. I would inquire at your local scuba shops and see what opticians in town offer that. They usually send them somewhere -- you can send them directly, if you look in scuba magazines, but I think you would have better customer service from a local optician, and they can measure the mask you want to use more accurately than you can.

RadSwim 12-24-2008 02:04 AM


Originally Posted by madvet (Post 881)
I don't think there would be any reason you couldn't do this with a Seal mask.

On the specific issue of the Seal mask: I wear one most of the time, because it is very comfortable. The lenses are thin plastic and the mask only lasts 1 - 2 years with gentle handling. They are prone to frame cracks, and to separation between the lens and the skirt. I am currently using my 3rd (amber), 5th (clear) and 8th (tinted) Seal Mask -- they just don't last. I would recommend a more durable platform for corrective lenses.

My optician has a limited selection of sport masks and swim goggles in stock and more in her catalog. I am sure your optician can find something that will work for you.

Good luck,

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