Many of us that go away on holiday face the conundrum of finding a way to see whilst swimming without any glasses or contact lenses! Poor vision, salt and chlorine can all mar your overall holiday experience and deter you from water-based activities in the future.
Prescription Swimming Goggles
If you are keen on swimming underwater whether in the pool or in the depths of the oceans, we highly recommend wearing prescription swimming goggles to correct your vision for the ultimate holiday experience.
Swimming goggles can come ready in basic lens prescription powers, or can be made specifically to your prescription, if it is a little more complicated. Wearing these would be a holiday game changer, giving you the ability to see clearly and improving your peripheral vision so you can spot swimmers on the surface or oncoming obstacles, as well as eliminating the risk of damaging or losing glasses or contact lenses in the water.
Anti Fog Swimming Goggles
Along with disrupted vision, foggy goggles can also make for an exasperating swim and cloudy memories –not the kind of moments you would look back on too fondly! Fogging is quite natural and occurs as the warm, wet air rises from our own body heat and reacts with the cooler air on swimming goggle lenses, forming condensation.
This is where optical lens technology comes into the forefront again with simple, yet effective solutions. Firstly, you have the option of getting anti-fog swimming goggles, with a special coating on the lenses to make it much harder for condensation to form, giving you clear vision.
Another popular choice for competitive swimmers is to get an anti-fog spray for swimming goggles. This works best to amplify the effects of anti-fog swimming goggles. The inside of the lenses is sprayed before each swim, so that water droplet surface tension is reduced and easily spread across the lens. This means that big droplets can’t be produced to obscure the vision.
With both prescription swimming goggles and an anti-fog coating, we can guarantee that your eyes will be well protected against the harsh effects of chlorine or salt water.
What About Diving?
Some of you will be looking to delve even further into the world’s watery depths, where unfortunately swimming goggles don’t really come in handy. We are of course talking about the art of diving- when you’re in that deep, how are you supposed to see clearly without being able to wear glasses?
Luckily, diving masks with a prescription are available to combat this issue. We use the custom bonded method to fit both the reading and distance prescription lens segments into your diving mask at your individual eye level. This will give your eyes the best level of focus and will significantly reduce eye strain, as you continue to dive deeper.
Swimming With Contact Lenses- Is It Safe?
So, why is it that most divers and swimmers opt to use these alternative methods, rather than simply wearing their contact lenses in the water? Although contact lenses are great for an active lifestyle, we generally discourage people from wearing contact lenses in water, including when you are showering or in a hot tub.
Exposing your contact lenses to water increases the risk of infection from naturally occurring bacteria. Microorganisms can be harmless, however there are some that can stick to your contact lenses and end up causing a condition called microkeratitis- an infection of the cornea which can sometimes develop into more serious eye conditions causing corneal damage or even visual loss in extreme cases, if not treated straight away.
Our experts recommend:
- removing lenses before any water activity or sport
- thoroughly washing and drying your hands before handling lenses
- only using the disinfecting solution to clean lenses- never use tap water!
- always storing your lenses in fresh solution
If you frequently partake in water sports and really need to use contact lenses, it is possible to wear them, with completely air-tight swimming goggles, if the goggles and lenses are removed in the appropriate manner, as soon as the activity ends. This is still at your own risk, so always check with your optician before purchasing swimming goggles to wear over lenses so they can advise whether they are fit for purpose or pose a threat to your vision and eye health.
In terms of diving, soft, disposable contact lenses are considered safe to use, as they are a secure type of lenses which which won’t move a great deal, as as your eye moves. This makes them more secure in the event your diving mask floods. However, there is still a risk that is carried, as soft contact lenses easily absorb liquids.
If your diving mask did flood, your eyes would be exposed to the harsh salt water of the sea, and this along with the underwater pressure would press the lenses against your eyes and dry them out, making them more difficult to remove afterwards. You can use lubricating eye drops to ease this discomfort, however our general recommendation is to opt for a diving mask with prescription lenses instead, to avoid unnecessary damage or irritation to your eyes or vision.
If you are thinking about purchasing prescription swimming goggles or a diving mask and would like advice on the best options for you or discuss using your contact lenses in water-based environments, please contact a member of our expert team online or call us on 020 8629 1152– it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to summer fun!