Scuba Diving in Contact Lenses

The underwater world teems with life, and seeing the vibrant corals, brightly patterned fishes and hazy blue-green water at the ocean floor gives you an experience only about 5% of the world’s population has shared. If you’re interested in seeing it for yourself but are worried you can’t because you wear contact lenses, this article will put your mind at ease.

Contact lenses wearers who want to learn to  scuba dive should know they can dive safely in their lenses, as long as they keep a few simple things in mind.

1. Soft contact lenses are recommended for scuba diving. Hard and gas permeable lenses are rigid and can be susceptible to painful suction to the eye as the pressure increases in deeper water. Also, gas permeable lenses allow gases to pass through to the eye. During an ascent, nitrogen bubbles can form between the lens and the eye, causing blurry vision.

2. Keep your eyes closed when performing underwater skills such as mask flooding and mask removal. Just as swimming underwater with your eyes open risks one or both lenses floating off the eye(s), the same thing could happen when clearing or retrieving your mask.

3. Tell your dive buddy you are wearing contact lenses. If the unlikely situation should arise, your buddy will know to retrieve your lost mask for you.

4. Use lubricating drops in your eyes before and after each dive. Also, blink more than usual during the dive, to keep your lenses moist and ward off irritation.

5. You may find rinsing your lenses during surface intervals washes away any residual salt water that could lead to dry, irritated eyes.

Some other things to consider:

  • Disposable lenses are a good choice for dive trips, so that they can be changed out at the end of the diving day.
  • Prescription lenses are available for your scuba mask, should you decide diving with contacts is too uncomfortable. Dolphin Dive Center would be happy to help you order prescription lenses.
  • And for divers who find it increasingly difficult to see close up, Dolphin Dive Center sells Dive Optx, which are inexpensive, reusable adhesives that stick to the bottom corner of your mask and magnifies to more easily read your submersible pressure gauge, dive computer or compass.


For more information about how to become a scuba diver, please call Dolphin Dive Center at (706) 548-3483. 

8 Replies to “Scuba Diving in Contact Lenses”

  1. Hi Michael,

    Thanks visiting our blog and for the comment. Yes, people who are near sighted and would rather not dive in their contacts lenses have the option of purchasing prescription lenses for their masks. For example, we carry a line of masks in our shop which accommodate prescription lenses. Bring your prescription to us and we’ll take care of the rest. Cost is $50 per lens. If you have/purchase a different mask, you can take it to your optometrist and discuss your options.

  2. are there masks that accommodate near sighted divers to avoid of having to use contacts ?

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