How to Choose a Prescription Dive Mask

Where to begin when choosing a prescription dive mask?

When selecting the right prescription dive mask, two crucial aspects to consider are the fit and the comfort of the skirt seal around your face. In this guide, we'll delve into various lens options, types of masks, and the distinctive features our masks offer.


What types of lenses are available for your prescription dive masks?

Before you proceed with the purchase of your prescription dive mask, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the various lens options.

Single Vision: These lenses are designed to address either nearsightedness or farsightedness consistently across the entire lens, ensuring clear distance vision.

Gauge Readers: Gauge readers have additional add-on powers that will assist divers in reading their gauges. Typically this is necessary for divers over 50 years of age that do not have proper focusing power for near tasks. Gauge readers provide no correction for distance vision, leaving the top portion of the lens clear (plano). If you need a distance correction, please order one of our custom bifocal dive masks (see below).

Bifocals: Bifocal lenses serve a dual purpose, providing both distance vision and correction for reading. If you're seeking a cost-effective alternative to full bifocal lenses, consider purchasing a stock distance lens and add a stick-on reader. 



What are the materials used in making dive masks?

Our masks feature skirts crafted from high-grade silicone, ensuring durability and comfort on the face. Unlike plastic or rubber, silicone is the preferred choice. Additionally, the prescription lenses in our masks are constructed from resilient tempered glass, which reduces the risk of eye injury in case of breakage. It is crucial to opt for tempered glass lenses as they can withstand the pressures of deep ocean depths. Please note that our lenses are pre-ground, and we do not offer custom lens options. Our store exclusively provides the available lens options. If you require a more complex prescription or have a high degree of astigmatism, consider exploring custom lens solutions.

How do diving masks differ from snorkel masks?

Our masks are designed to handle depths of up to 200 meters, making them versatile for both snorkeling and scuba diving.

Is it possible to wear glasses or contact lenses under a dive mask?

Wearing glasses under a dive mask is not recommended, as it may hinder proper sealing, allowing water to enter and potentially spoiling your underwater experience. For contact lenses, the risk arises if water infiltrates, jeopardizing your safety.

What is a diopter?

A diopter is a unit of measurement used to express the strength or refractive power of a lens. The higher the diopter number, the stronger the lens."

How do you calculate a prescription diopter?

Please refer to this blog post .

How do you measure the face of the dive mask?

Measure from one outer corner of the eye to the next with a ruler straight on your nose bridge. Don't use a measuring tape because that will add width and throw off the measurement. The outer corner of your eye to the next will be your width measurement. The eyebrow to the upper lip area will be your height measurement. All of our product offerings have a width and height measurement, so please check the measurements before purchasing.

What’s the difference between high and low volume masks?

Low volume masks sit closer to your face, making them easier to clear when submerged. While high volume masks are also manageable to clear, we recommend opting for a low volume mask. Fortunately, most of our prescription dive masks are low volume models.

Are dive mask lenses interchangeable?

Yes, dive mask lenses are interchangeable. If you purchase a dive mask, and we continue to stock that model, you can obtain replacement lenses if your prescription changes.

How do you stop the mask from fogging?

Each dive mask comes with a factory seal on its lenses. You can remove this seal by applying toothpaste to both sides of the lenses, letting it sit for 30 minutes, and then rinsing with warm water. After this, your mask is ready for use, and you can apply your preferred anti-fog solution to prevent fogging. We personally recommend products like Sea Drops or Sea Gold.



Eye prescriptions may appear complex with numerous numbers and abbreviations that can sound like a foreign language. No worries, though, we'll guide you in understanding their meanings.



Sample prescription:





OD (right eye)





OS (left eye)






OD - Oculus Dexter, also known as the Right eye

OS - Oculus Sinister, also known as the Left eye

SPHERE (SPH)– This is a number representing the degree of spherical correction for distance vision. A negative number indicates nearsightedness, while a positive number indicates farsightedness.

CYLINDER (CYL) – This number indicates the amount of astigmatism in your eyes and the degree of cylindrical correction required. The higher the number, the more astigmatism corrected needed.

AXIS – Specifies the rotation axis of astigmatism

PRISM – This number helps in correcting double vision. A prism lens is a special lens that helps fix problems with how your eyes work together, making things look single and clear instead of double.

ADD – Indicates your reading power in a bifocal or a progressive lens



What is the difference between a generic and custom prescription dive mask?

Generic lenses primarily address farsightedness or nearsightedness, without correction for astigmatism or presbyopia (the need for reading glasses). This means only the sphere component of your prescription will be addressed in the lens.

However, not everyone is suitable for obtaining a generic dive mask, as custom lenses offer a more advanced solution to enhance the underwater experience; we have initiated collaboration with an optometrist to create custom lenses tailored to specific dive mask models in our inventory.

Here are the situations where a custom prescription dive mask is warranted:

  1. Presbyopia

Individuals experiencing presbyopia, requiring both distance and reading prescriptions due to age-related difficulty in focusing on close-up objects, particularly those engaging in tasks like reading gauges or operating underwater equipment, for whom relying solely on distance correction proves challenging; in such cases, we can incorporate a bifocal reading area customized to your vision needs for an additional fee, which proves ideal for divers facing this vision challenge.

  1. Astigmatism >1.00D

Those with astigmatism exceeding 1.00D, as uncorrected astigmatism can lead to symptoms such as distorted vision, eyestrain, and headaches, prompting optometrists to strongly recommend correction through a custom prescription dive mask.

  1. Double Vision

Individuals experiencing double vision or needing prism lenses, designed to rectify eye alignment issues and double vision by altering light entry into the eye, a feature that can be integrated into our custom dive masks.

  1. History of previous eye surgeries or conditions

If you're uncertain about the most suitable option for your vision needs, we encourage you to reach out to us via phone or email for guidance and answers to any questions you may have; our team is here to assist you.