Regardless of if you swim for fun or professionally, you need to be able to see clearly when underwater. Not being able to see your surroundings can really ruin your swimming experience. Water refracts light and this will blur your focus and also distort your hand and eye coordination.
A lot of people resort to wearing contacts while swimming which can prove to be a bit complex. There’s the chance that you might lose them underwater or even worse, risk getting an infection. The best solution for people with moderate to high astigmatism, myopia, or hyperopia, is to use prescription swim goggles.
Prescription swim goggles can help you see the pool walls and other swimmers a lot more clearly. They are made with lenses that vary in strength depending on the diopter scale.
If you use prescription glasses to see then you are also going to need corrective lenses to see well underwater. However, you won’t use the same prescription as for your eyeglasses.
The distance between your eyeglass lens and eyes is not the same as the distance between the lens of a prescription mask and your eyes. As such, you will have to use a different prescription. Read more to learn about the types of prescription mask you should own when diving.
Below is a detailed guide on what to look out for when buying prescription swim goggles and a mini-review of the top prescription swim goggles you’ll find in the market.
Factors to Consider When Buying Prescription Swim Goggles
As referenced above, prescription goggles come with specially designed lenses with different strengths measured on the diopter scale. The prescription goggles ideal for you should be a close match to your regular eyeglass prescription, but not as precise.
Swim goggles with negative diopter lenses are the most common and are made for people with myopic vision. Positive diopter lenses are made for people with hyperopia but are a bit hard to come by.
The Types of Goggles in the Market
Primarily, you need to consider the kind of swimming you’ll be getting into before you search for your goggles. Are you going to be competing? Will you be swimming for extended periods of time or are you simply doing it for fun?
Goggles designed for swimming competitions are low-profile and fit close to the eye socket to minimize on drag. They can be very uncomfortable if used on a daily basis. Furthermore, competition goggles are not designed to accommodate prescription lenses since they have a small surface area.
As a solution, professional swimmers use prescription practice swim goggles for daily training. They are larger than competition goggles and have more gasket silicone which provides a comfortable fit. They also accommodate the fitment of custom ordered prescription lenses.
But if you’re a casual swimmer, it means you’ll probably not be swimming for long periods. As such, recreational prescription swimming goggles should more than suffice and are very affordable. If used for longer durations, the wearer may experience headaches and eyestrain.
Where Will You Be Swimming
You also need to consider if you’re going to be swimming in the open water of the ocean or in an indoor/outdoor swimming pool. Light behaves differently in water and will distort your vision. This can make objects seem larger when you’re swimming than they really are.
If you’ll do most of your swimming in the pool, then goggles with clear lenses or lightly tinted lenses in either amber or yellow should provide a sharp focus against pool lights by filtering out most of the blue light.
However, if you’re going to be swimming in the ocean, you should go for goggles with mirror coated lenses or dark tinted lenses. Some swimming goggles are photochromic to reduce the glare.
There are certain photochromic goggles that come with transition lenses. This makes it possible for them to change the tint level of a lens depending on how intense the sunlight is showing on the glasses.
Top Swimming Goggles Available
1. Zionor G7 Prescription Swim Goggles
Zionor might be a lesser-known company but they make good quality prescription swimming goggles in the G7. Yes, these goggles do fetch a high price but you’ll find that they are well worth the money.
The Zionor G7 is uber comfortable despite it being the only set of goggles to not come with an interchangeable nose bracket. It has very good anti fog and has high durability.
2. Speedo Vanquisher Optical Goggles
If you’re familiar with the Sporti S2 goggles, then you’ll be glad to know that the Speedo Vanquisher optical goggles are an enhanced version of the Sporti S2.
Speed Vanquishers have modular lenses, just like the S2, and are available in diopter strengths ranging between -1.5 to -8.0. They also provide fantastic optics and field of view and the silicone gaskets and strap are very comfortable.
3. See the Sea RX Prescription Swim Goggles
See the Sea RX specializes in selling underwater optical gear such as swim goggles and dive masks. Their prescription swim goggles all have adjustable bridge pieces to center the corrective lens over your eyes in an appropriate position and to allow for a custom fit.
See the Sea RX Prescription Swim Goggles come in various options of frames that you can choose from. The frames include the frog eye goggles, the shark, and the shark kids.
Thanks to its unique dual-lens system, the frog eye goggles offer the best in clarity both above and below the water. The Shark Frames are available with polarized, tinted, or transition lenses. Lastly, the Shark Kids come with all the features of the Shark but are small in size to fit kids and young teens best.
Care for Your Goggles So They Can Serve You Well and Long
Swimming goggles are not only for fun but for your safety as well since they protect your eyes from the harsh chlorine in the pool water or salty water of the ocean. For them to serve these functions best, you need to take good care of them.
You can prevent the lenses from fogging by using anti-fog sprays, drops, or gels. Clean them with a gentle soap such as baby shampoo and store them in protective cases to avoid scratching and dirt from building up.