Can You Wear Contact Lenses When Scuba Diving? Unveiling the Truth

While it may be tempting to wear your regular contact lenses while exploring the underwater world, you need to understand the potential risks involved.

When scuba diving, water can come into contact with your eyes, increasing the chances of infections, irritation, and even vision damage. Contact lenses can trap bacteria and other microorganisms against your eyes, leading to discomfort and potential eye infections.

If water gets between your contact lens and your eye, it can also cause the lens to move around, resulting in blurry vision and discomfort. Additionally, the pressure changes underwater can affect the fit of your contact lenses, making them less stable and potentially leading to discomfort or even loss of the lenses.

Considering these risks, it is generally recommended to avoid wearing contact lenses while scuba diving.

Exploring Alternatives: Prescription Dive Masks

can you wear contact lenses when scuba diving

If you rely on prescription lenses to see clearly, there are alternatives to wearing contact lenses underwater. Prescription dive masks offer a convenient solution for divers with vision correction needs.

They are specially designed masks that incorporate your eyeglass prescription into the lenses. These masks allow you to see clearly underwater without the need for contact lenses. They provide a comfortable and secure fit, ensuring optimal vision during your scuba diving adventures.

By using a prescription scuba mask, you can avoid the potential risks and discomfort associated with wearing contact lenses while scuba diving.

Tips for Wearing Contact Lenses While Scuba Diving

If you still prefer to wear contact lenses while scuba diving, it’s essential to take certain precautions to minimize the risk of eye infections.

Here are some tips for wearing contact lenses while scuba diving:

  • Use daily disposable contact lenses: Daily disposable lenses reduce the risk of bacterial build-up, as you discard them after each use.
  • Ensure proper hygiene: Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contact lenses. Use a sterile solution to clean and store your lenses.
  • Keep your eyes lubricated: Use preservative-free eye drops approved for use with contact lenses to keep your eyes moist during the dive.
  • Avoid touching your eyes underwater: Touching your eyes while scuba diving increases the chances of introducing bacteria or irritants.
  • Follow your optometrist’s advice: Consult with your optometrist for personalized recommendations and guidance on wearing contact lenses during scuba diving.

How to Choose the Right Contact Lenses for Diving

If you decide to wear contact lenses while diving, choosing the right type of lenses is key for ensuring clear vision and minimizing risks.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting contact lenses for diving:

  • Disposable lenses: Opt for daily or weekly disposable lenses to reduce the risk of infections. Avoid extended wear lenses.
  • Soft lenses: Soft lenses are generally more comfortable during underwater activities and offer better stability compared to rigid gas permeable lenses.
  • High oxygen permeability: Choose lenses with high oxygen permeability to allow for better oxygen flow to the cornea, reducing the chances of hypoxia.
  • Toric lenses for astigmatism: If you have astigmatism, discuss with your optometrist about toric lenses, which correct both nearsightedness or farsightedness and astigmatism.

Related: Can You Go Scuba Diving With Glasses?

Guidelines for Wearing Contact Lenses During Scuba Diving

To ensure your safety and minimize the risks associated with wearing contact lenses during scuba diving, follow these guidelines:

  • Consult with your optometrist: Before scuba diving with contact lenses, schedule a consultation with your optometrist to assess your eye health and discuss any specific concerns.
  • Inform your dive buddies: Let your dive buddies know that you wear contact lenses. In case of an emergency, they should be aware of your vision correction needs.
  • Carry a spare pair of lenses: Pack an extra pair of contact lenses and a lens case with a sterile solution in case you need to remove and replace your lenses during the dive.
  • Avoid diving with eye infections: If you have an eye infection or any discomfort related to your eyes, refrain from wearing contact lenses and consult with your optometrist.
  • Follow proper lens care: Adhere to the recommended lens care routine provided by your optometrist to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your contact lenses.

Expert Advice

Optometrists generally recommend avoiding wearing contact lenses underwater due to the potential risks of eye infections and discomfort.

Prescription dive masks are the safest and most convenient option for divers with vision correction needs. If you still choose to wear contact lenses, follow strict hygiene practices and consult with your optometrist for personalized guidance.

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