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3 Tips for Shopping for Prescription Scuba Masks Online

 Daniel Pearl wearing Prescription Scuba Mask Made by UseMyFrame

"Resurfacing with a smile, in part, thanks to the prescription lenses bonded to my mask. I’m a cinematographer, keenly aware of sharpness, and expect perfection when it comes to my vision. UseMyFrame.com has done such an excellent job on my last two masks, that I am now using them for all my eyewear needs." 

Photo by Stuart Shaw – Fly On The Wall Images somewhere in the Mwand Pass, Pohnpei.

Daniel C. Pearl, ASC, AMPAS

 

There are many advantages of having prescription lenses installed in your scuba mask: Clear vision underwater (probably the most important!), not having to deal with the possibility of eye infection when wearing contact lenses, ability to read gauges, camera equipment, etc. but there are a few other things to consider before you make a decision if it's right for you. Here are just a few:

1. Rx-Able Masks

This may come as a surprise to many, but not all scuba masks are capable of having prescription lenses installed. With the ever growing number of masks available today, it's important to know what to look for in a mask if you're considering having prescription lenses installed in it.

Most of the big name brand masks (Cressi, Tusa, Atomic Aquatics, ScubaPro, etc.) can easily accommodate a set of prescription lenses, but you don't have to purchase a name brand mask solely for this purpose. You can find many scuba masks both in a local dive shop, or online, and they can usually be fitted with prescription lenses as well. Usually, they come in two common varieties: they may have two separate lenses, or even one large single lens that covers the entire front of the mask. The main feature to look for when shopping for a quality scuba mask, is to ensure the lenses in the faceplate are made out of tempered glass (not plastic or polycarbonate). If you want to see an example of how a mask is marked to show the lenses are made of tempered glass, click here.

UseMyFrame.com is able to install prescription lenses in a mask you already have, or in any mask available on our website.

2. Accuracy of the Prescription

Not all companies that make prescription scuba lenses, make them to the exact prescription written by the eye doctor. This is commonly referred to as, "Spherical Equivalent". This means that the prescription will add half of the cylinder power to the sphere power, and eliminate the axis.

For example, if the right prescription is: -1.00 -2.00 080 then the spherical equivalent will be -2.00 (no cylinder and no axis) and this would be the lens power used. This can possibly work good for emergency situations, but customers' usually prefer, and it's generally recommended to use your actual prescription as it's written.

This not only gives you the best vision possibly, but helps reduce the chances of contributing to eyestrain and eye fatigue. 

UseMyFrame.com doesn't use spherical equivalents, but makes the lenses according to the prescription written by the eye doctor.

3. How the Lenses Are Installed

Years ago, it was common for the original lenses in the scuba mask to be replaced with the prescription lenses instead. The main disadvantage is once the original seal of the mask is broken, the mask naturally becomes more susceptible to leakage. There are still some companies that prefer this antiquated method. UseMyFrame.com never alters the original seal of the mask.

This is one very important distinctinction, as having water rush inside your mask while underwater can quickly ruin even the most carefully planned diving trip!

This also ties into point number 1 listed above, the mask should use tempered glass for the faceplace, as the prescription lenses are also made out of glass and the adhesion is much stronger when it's glass on glass (as opposed to plastic or polycarbonate materials, though much cheaper and easier to manufacture). Materials other than glass will commonly unbond due to the temperature differences above the water and below.

 Conclusion

Whether you're a professional scuba cinematographer as Mr. Pearl pictured above that needs the very best in visual clarity and performance, a diving instructor that needs to see clearly underwater while instructing your pupils, a diving enthusiast with childlike amazement at the spectacular visual gems hidden deep beneath the waters surface, or a casual diver getting ready for your first amazing trip somewhere exciting, adding prescription lenses to a scuba mask should be considered a worthwhile investment, that will benefit you for years to come. You'll never want to dive without your prescription mask again!

UseMyFrame.com guarantees the optical clarity and overall quality of each and every mask and/or set of prescription lenses sold. Once you receive your completed order from us, you'll only wish you had done so sooner. See what you've been missing!

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