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Scuba Diving with Reading Glasses: A Guide for Clear Underwater Vision

Scuba diving is an exhilarating adventure that allows you to explore the wonders of the underwater world. However, if you wear reading glasses on land, you may wonder how you can maintain clear vision while submerged. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you scuba dive with reading glasses comfortably and effectively.

Understanding Underwater Optics

Before diving with reading glasses, it’s essential to understand the effects of water on vision. Underwater, light travels at a different speed than in air, causing objects to appear closer than they actually are. This phenomenon is known as refraction.

Your reading glasses are designed to correct nearsightedness or hyperopia for vision at close distances. However, underwater, the altered optics may make them less effective.

Presbyopia and Scuba Diving

Presbyopia, the age-related condition that affects the ability to focus on close objects, can pose a challenge for scuba divers who wear reading glasses. As the eye’s natural lens becomes less flexible with age, you may experience difficulty reading dive computers, gauges, or maps underwater.

Corrective Lenses for Scuba Diving

Several options are available to correct vision underwater for those who wear reading glasses:

Prescription Dive Mask: A custom-made dive mask with built-in prescription lenses is the most convenient and comfortable solution. You can order a mask with your exact prescription, ensuring clear vision at all distances.

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Clip-On Lens: If you already own a dive mask, you can use a clip-on lens that attaches to the inside of the mask. These lenses typically come in various strengths to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Contact Lenses: Contact lenses are an excellent option for scuba diving, especially if you wear gas-permeable or rigid lenses. The lenses provide a wide field of vision and can be worn without fogging up your diving mask.

Choosing the Right Correction

The strength of the corrective lenses you need for scuba diving depends on your prescription and the depth at which you plan to dive. Generally, you will need a slightly stronger prescription than you use for reading glasses on land.

It’s recommended to consult with an eye doctor who specializes in underwater vision. They can assess your visual needs and recommend the best corrective option for you.

Comfort and Safety Considerations

Fitting: Ensure that your dive mask fits comfortably and securely with the corrective lenses installed. You shouldn’t experience any discomfort or strain on your eyes.

Fogging: Corrective lenses can contribute to fogging inside your dive mask. Use an anti-fog solution or spray to prevent fogging and maintain clear vision.

Safety: Never dive without vision correction if your eyesight requires it. Poor vision can lead to accidents or disorientation underwater.

Tips for Using Reading Glasses Underwater

Practice: Familiarize yourself with reading and navigating your diving equipment with your corrective lenses before you dive.

Memorize: If possible, memorize the dive plan and key aspects of your dive equipment. This will reduce the need for constant reference to your dive computer or maps.

Ask for Assistance: Don’t hesitate to ask your dive buddy or instructor for assistance if you have difficulty seeing anything underwater.

Consider a Dive Computer: Using a dive computer with a large, high-contrast display can make it easier to read underwater.


Scuba diving with reading glasses is possible and enjoyable with the right corrective options and proper preparation. By understanding underwater optics, choosing the appropriate lenses, and addressing comfort and safety concerns, you can experience the underwater world with clear vision and confidence.

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