Posted on

Choosing The Right Dive Mask

Prescription Dive Mask Lenses

How to pick a dive mask for prescription lenses

If you are reading this, you probably have an interest or need for a prescription dive mask while diving or snorkeling. At See the Sea RX, we can install any prescription including bifocals lenses and lenses which can correct for astigmatism into any dive mask. Whether you are buying a mask from us, or sending us a mask to have lenses installed, we will walk you through the history of dive masks, and what to look for in a quality dive mask.

HISTORY OF DIVE MASKS

Long before the early rebreather and open circuit pioneers such as Jacques Cousteau perfected their underwater breathing devices, humans had been exploring the underwater world with breath hold diving.
The human eye has evolved to see in air. Water is a different medium with properties that challenge the human eye. When we try to see underwater without the aid of any device, our eyes cannot focus properly. This causes the blurry vision we have all experienced in our neighborhood pool.
Even Leonardo Da Vinci drew images of possible underwater viewing aides. However, it wasn’t until the development of rubber that a true diving mask as we know it was created. The first designers of diving masks used a simple single oval piece of glass with rubber. The front of the dive mask, as with contemporary masks we use today, maintained a flat or planar front. The flat front of the dive mask affects the refraction of light, allowing our eyes to focus underwater. When diving underwater, the water exerts pressure on any airspace, and this includes the airspace within a dive mask. To counteract this pressure, any diver must exhale air out into the mask. The early masks did of the 1900’s did allow the diver’s nose to be contained in the mask.
We take rubber for granted, but Charles Goodyear only vulcanized rubber in the last 200 years, and the advent of modern rubber products led to the modern dive mask.

CAN ANY MASK BECOME A PRESCRIPTION DIVE MASK

Divers will see all modern dive masks have the same key components: A tempered glass lens front, a pocket for the nose, and a silicone skirt to seal around the face keeping water out of the mask. Dive mask manufactures, and the FDA view tempering of the glass as mandatory. This is due to risk of breakage. By tempering the glass, manufacturers can help reduce scratching of the lenses as well.

Gear manufacturers also use differing quality levels of silicone to distinguish themselves from other masks on the market. The Scuba Pro Synergy II, which we do offer, sports a double skirt and a high-quality silicone.
IST makes the only mask on the market with a metal frame dive mask. Several of their masks are available on our site. Some of these masks that are available in the aluminum frame include: The M100, M200, and M300.

Some masks purchased at sports retail stores or discount online markets sport plastic lenses, or cheap silicone. We are unable to convert any plastic lens mask into a prescription dive mask.

Divers and snorkelers have two main choices when selecting dive masks: Single/Twin Lens Masks and Silicone/Mask Color when choosing their prescription dive mask.

TWIN LENS OR SINGLE LENS DIVE MASK FOR PRESCRIPTION

Twin lens dive masks are those with two separate pieces of glass separated by a nose pocket/bridge. They comprise most of the dive mask market. Twin lens masks work particularly well for prescription bonding. This is because we are able to create near edge to edge prescription lenses to bond to existing glass. That process can’t be done with single lens masks. Single lens masks generally let more light into the mask due to the larger viewing area.

CLEAR SKIRT OR BLACK SKIRT FOR PRESCRIPTION DIVE MASKS

Divers can buy dive masks with frames in various colors. They can choose the color depending on personal preference. Dive mask skirts, however, are generally only available in 2 colors: black and clear. Clear skirts allow more light into the dive mask. This can be pleasing to those who feel slight claustrophobia while wearing a dive mask. Unfortunately, due to sun exposure, salt water, and chlorine, most clear skirts will yellow as the dive mask ages. Yellowing can take years to appear.

Even proper care will not stop this from happening. The downside of black skirts is that they are light limiting. They do, however, maintain their color and look newer for longer. As always, we always recommend rinsing your gear, including your dive mask. The rinse should be done with fresh water, immediately after all dives. That is the best way to help extend the life of your dive mask.

If you have more interest in the history of scuba diving and vintage scuba diving masks, check out the History of Diving Museum.

Ready to place your order? Check out our ordering page.

Josh

See the Sea RX
Helping you see clearer underwater.

Posted on

Using your insurance or FSA for prescription dive masks, or swimming goggles.

Finishing a giant stride off the back of a boat into clear blue Caribbean waters is pretty awesome. For someone with poor vision, having a prescription dive mask increases the enjoyment even more. Having your insurance pay for it? Even better.

Our customers frequently call and ask, “Can I pay for the dive mask with my insurance?”.

We created this guide to clarify how and if you can pay for your prescription dive mask or swim goggles with an FSA/HSA or vision insurance, but keep in mind every policy is different.

Please consult with your individual policy provider for the most accurate information as it pertains to you.

FSA/HSA and Prescription Dive Masks/Goggles

What is an FSA/HSA?

The purpose of this guide is not to go through the difference in this type of accounts but in general, many individuals through their employment or self-insurance have access to a variety of health care accounts including flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health care savings accounts (HSA). Some of these accounts allow you or your employer to contribute and even have the funds be deducted pre tax. Whatever type of fund you may have, in general if you have a prescription for glasses, you may use funds from these accounts to pay for your prescription dive mask or swim goggles.

How to purchase prescription swim goggles or dive mask with your FSA

If you have an FSA/HSA or similar account, using your account to purchase our prescription products is easy.

  • If your provider sends you a debit card for prescription purchases, you can attempt to use that card at checkout on our site. Sometimes the card providers flag the e-commerce purchases and deny them in which case simply give us as call and we can process the order over the phone through our physical terminal which is coded to allow FSA/HSA purchases.
  • If your plan requires you to pay up front for the purchase, pay at checkout as normal, and shoot us an email requesting a detailed receipt for reimbursement. You then submit the claim to your account provider.

What is FSA eligible?

In general, the prescription products including the frame (the dive goggle/mask or swim goggle) plus the lenses are eligible for reimbursement through healthcare savings accounts / flexible spending accounts. Accessories such as snorkels, defog, and bags are generally not covered.

Using Vision Insurance to Pay for Prescription Dive Mask or Swim Goggle

Even if you have an FSA/HSA account, depending on the account rules, they may require you to submit a claim to your vision insurance first (many do not require this step). If you have vision insurance and no healthcare savings account, many insurers allow you to submit an out of network claim for your purchase from See the Sea RX. The same rules apply as with FSA style accounts- generally the mask and lenses are covered while other accessories are not.

If you have any questions about our products or using a healthcare account debit card for your purchase, feel free to give us a call, or send us a message through the chat box on the bottom of your screen.

Posted on

Prism Lenses for Dive Masks

Prism Lens for Dive Mask

Do you see double without your glasses? It is likely you wear lenses contain prism to help you see clearly. If you are considering scuba diving with prism, you might be wondering if dive masks for prism exist. The short answer is we do manufacture prescription dive masks for prism along with prescription swim goggles. If you are ready to order either of these, click the links below. If you are interested in learning more about prism, check out the rest of our article below:

 

Order Prescription Dive Masks

Order Prescription Swim Goggles

 

You can also find out more about See the Sea RX by clicking here.

What is Prism

Prism correction is a type of lens correction that addresses a patient’s issues with double vision.

 Diplopia, or double vision, is caused when light interacts in a person’s two eyes in different ways. To create an image, light must come through the cornea and land on the back of our eyes, or the retinas. The brain processes light information that lands on both of our retinas to compose images, however, if light lands differently on the retina of each eye the brain has to process two different signals resulting in double vision.

Double vision is caused by a number of things including Eye-muscle problems such as myasthenia gravis, Grave’s disease, or strabismus (crossed or walled eyes), neurological issues like head injuries, strokes, or migraines, and nerve related issues like multiple sclerosis or diabetes mellitus.

Prism Correction Options

Prism Correction fixes this issue by bending the light before it enters the cornea so that it hits both retinas in an identical manner allowing the brain to process two complementary signals and to compose a single image.

Not all cases of double vision can be fixed by prism lenses depending on the cause. Double vision could be a symptom of a serious health condition. If you are experiencing new-onset double vision caused by eye misalignment or another unknown reason, consult a doctor immediately. 

Prism lenses for dive masks or other glasses are prescribed to remedy double vision the same way normal eyeglasses are prescribed. After undergoing tests, a patient’s lenses are measured and prescribed with a numerical unit of measurement called prism diopters. This unit alongside the placement and vertical, horizontal or diagonal alignment of a prism lens determine a patient’s prescription. This is to ensure the correct bend of light necessary to fix the patient’s double vision.

Prism Lens for Dive Mask

Dive Masks with Prism Lenses

Our company manufactures lenses in your exact prescription including prism lenses for dive masks. Our prescription dive masks make it possible for you to dive with your prism lenses incorporated into your mask so that you can enjoy the wonders of the sea without double vision.

Ready to order your prescription dive mask with prism lenses?

Order Prescription Dive Masks

Swim Goggles with Prism Lenses

Our lab also manufactures lenses specifically for our swim goggle lineup to help swimmers with double vision see. For more information on our prescription swim goggles, click here.

Order Prescription Swim Goggles

Posted on

Need a Prescription Dive Mask Fast?

Scuba Pro Spectra Prescription Dive Mask Fast

Need a Prescription Dive Mask Fast?

Heading on a last minute trip to Cozumel and can’t find your trusty dive mask with your prescription lenses, or had a change of prescription right before your bucket list trip to Guam? In this post, we will go over your options and costs for obtaining a prescription dive mask fast.

Order a Prescription Dive Mask Rush

Reasons You Might Need a Prescription Dive Mask Fast

There are multiple reasons divers and snorkelers might need a prescription dive mask fast, and we have experience helping divers get a prescription dive mask in as little as 4 days. 

Reasons divers & snorkelers may need a prescription dive mask fast:

  • Last minute dive trip
  • Broken dive mask
  • Prescription change
  • Want to get certified to dive soon and wear glasses
    Scuba Pro Spectra Prescription Dive Mask Fast

What Are my Options for Getting A Prescription Scuba Diving Mask Fast?

Our lab’s standard processing time is 8-10 business days (basically two weeks) which does not include shipping time. In our standard prescription dive masks, we offer two different rush processing options:

  • 5 Business Day Rush Processing ($60)
  • 3 Business Day Rush Processing ($100)

Please note, our rush processing options do not include shipping, so be sure to select the appropriate shipping speed for your circumstances. In true super rush situations, give us a call (or send us a message on the chat box on the lower right portion of this screen- we try and answer 24 hours a day!), as we do have extreme shipping options such as FedEx same day shipping.

If you only have mild astigmatism or no astigmatism at all, as well as sphere powers within a certain range, we do stock some premade lens options for rush situations. 

For snorkelers, we are also launching our full face snorkel packages which include rx lens retainers with polycarbonate lenses we can deliver quickly without rush processing fees.

Whatever your rush prescription dive mask needs, we can help deliver a mask to you quickly. 

Order a Prescription Dive Mask Rush

Need help picking out a dive mask for your prescription, check out our section on picking a dive mask

– The See the Sea RX Team

 

 

Posted on

Scuba Diving with Astigmatism

Scuba Diving with Astigmatism

If you wear glasses, you may wonder what options are available to you for scuba diving or snorkeling. Specifically, if you require cylinder correction for astigmatism, can scuba diving masks or goggles accommodate your visual needs while scuba diving with astigmatism?

In our post, we will cover:

  • Basics of astigmatism
  • Reading your prescription
  • Options for scuba diving with astigmatism

If you already know you want one of our prescription diving masks which can correct for astigmatism, from See the Sea RX, the leaders in underwater vision, click the button below to see our order page.

Order an RX Diving Mask with Astigmatism Correction

If you want to read more information about diving and astigmatism, keep on reading!

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism was first described by Thomas Young, who noticed his vision problems when he was only a student, and he released his report in 1801. George Airy obtained the first corrective lenses (cylindrical lenses)  in 1827. 

Astigmatism, the Eye, and Diving

Simply put, astigmatism, is an irregular shape of the cornea causing various vision problems including distortion or blurred vision (refractive error). The underlying causes are not completely understood, but scientists believe genetics play a large role in the formation of the condition.

Understanding your Prescription for Astigmatism Correction

Most of us have two eyes, and our doctors have to distinguish what corrective lens belongs to each eye. Some prescriptions make this simple by using R or Right for the right eye and L or Left for the right eye. Other prescriptions use the terms OD & OS.

OD and OS are Latin abbreviations:

  • OD- Oculus Dexter- Right Eye
  • OS- Oculus Sinister- Left Eye

 

There are several other fields on your prescription which are important when ordering a prescription dive mask. 

Sphere (SPH)

The sphere is your lens power vision, displayed in diopters. The sphere can be negative or positive, and the distinction is very important. Negative sphere powers correct for nearsightedness. Positive sphere powers correct for farsightedness. 

If your sphere power is greater than +/- 4, you may want to consider our high index glass options in our dive masks for scuba diving or snorkeling as the lenses become thicker as the power increases. At +/- 6, we require the use of our high index glass (+$60.00). 

The correction is equal in all meridians of the eye, meaning the lens is spherical. The sphere power does not correct for astigmatism. The cheaper premade dive lenses are only available in sphere powers, and do not correct for astigmatism.

Cylinder (CYL)

The cylinder described the lens power for astigmatism and this is one of the critical measurements to have when scuba diving with astigmatism. Like sphere, the cylinder correction is preceded by a positive or minus sign. 
The cylinder, unlike the sphere of the lens, is not distributed equally throughout the lens, but is curved in such a way to correct for the incorrect curvature of the cornea. See the Sea RX’s prescription dive masks are able to incorporate the cylinder correction of your prescription to ensure you can see clearly underwater.

If your prescription lists no value or SPH/Sphere written under cylinder or CYL, your doctor has not prescribed any astigmatism correction for your corrective lenses. 

Axis

Unlike Cylinder and Sphere, the Axis is not a power or standalone correction, but a description of how the cylinder correction should be implemented on the lens. The Axis, measured from 0-180 (standard protractor scale). In simple terms, the axis describes how the lens should be turned prior to insertion into the mask to ensure you can see correctly while diving with astigmatism.

Options for Scuba Diving with Astigmatism

Prescription Dive Mask

If you want to scuba dive or snorkel with astigmatism, our dive masks include cylinder corrections and can help ensure you see clearly while diving. We construct our prescription dive mask lenses out of glass and guarantee them for life. 

Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses helps millions of people see daily without the bulk of glasses. Lots of divers report being happy to wear contact lenses while diving; however there are several concerns with contact lenses and diving.

Specially during your dive training, you will have to flood your mask multiple times which can result in a lost lens which would be catastrophic for individuals with severe optical corrections. There are also potential risks of infection.

 

Order an RX Diving Mask with Astigmatism Correction

 

Additional Reading:

How to choose a dive mask for prescription lenses   

More about astigmatism

Posted on

Prescription Swim Goggles from See the Sea RX

Announcing Prescription Swim Goggles from See the Sea RX!

We started See the Sea RX with the goal of giving our customers the clearest underwater vision possible through our partnership with Zeiss, the leaders in optical with over 150 years of optical experience. Zeiss provides most of our glass for our dive mask lenses. We have shipped dive masks to customers all over the world, including some with sphere powers as high as -28, and we are constantly asked by many of our customers if we can provide prescription swim goggles as well. We are happy to announce our launch of our prescription swim goggle line in January 2019, and they are now available for order!

 

Ready to order?

Order Prescription Swim Goggles

Want more information? Check out our post below!

Who needs prescription swim goggles?

Do you struggle walking to the pool from the locker room due to vision problems or fear having your glasses stepped on at the edge of the pool because you can’t even find your towel without them? Maybe you have tried the cheap Chinese made goggle options that only correct for sphere powers and only in negative diopters, and suffered serious eye strain, double vision, or just poor vision.

Like our prescription dive masks, we provide quality quality lenses for all prescriptions including those that need prism and astigmatism correction. Our swim goggle lineup utilizes lenses surfaced in your exact prescription- no sacrifices like the cheap premade options.

When training, some swimmers want to be able to view their watch for pace or a phone. As we age, many of us require the use of progressive lenses or bifocals in order to read or see our watches. Up until now, there has not been a satisfactory solution for swimmers who require distance and near correction. We offer all our swim goggles with bifocal options.

Whether you are a competitive triathlete or a recreational swimmer who just wants to be able to have their best vision, we can help you see clear.

What are my rx swim goggle options?

We launched our prescription goggles with three “frames” and various lens options.

Our three frames are the shark, shark kids, and the frog eye goggle- each of which present their own strengths. All the goggles have adjustable bridge pieces, the rubber piece between the eyes, giving you a custom fit, and more importantly, centering the corrective lenses over your pupils.

  • The Shark. The Shark headlines our prescription swim goggle lineup. As with all our prescription swim goggles, the shark has an adjustable nose bridge providing a custom fit. Lenses for the shark can be produced in tints, polarized, and even transition (changing from clear to tinted upon UV exposure).
  • The Shark Kids features all the same specs as the Shark except a slightly smaller frame to fit children and young teens. The Shark Kids goggle also accepts tinted, polarized, and mirrored lenses.
  • The Frogeye goggle provides the clearest vision above and under the water due to its unique dual lens system. The prescription lens sits behind a Plano, “flat”, front lens. Due to the properties of light transmitting through water into air, a flat lens provides the most true image without distortion. Due to the two lens system, the frogeye is NOT available with tinted lenses. Additionally bifocals may be less effective in the frogeye for near reading. Finally, the frogeye’s design prohibits prescriptions with a spherical power greater that +/-5 ish (send us a message if you want to verify your prescription fits in the frogeye). Ultimately, even with these limitations, the frogeye provides the swimmer with the clearest vision available.

Why order from See the Sea RX?

See the Sea RX specializes in underwater optics. We have been shipping prescription dive masks throughout the world, Light does not transit through the water into air the same way as just wearing glasses on land. We understand these challenges better than anyone else. We have heard of vendors using stock lenses, these are premade lenses with base curves (the curve of the front of the lens), which offer manufacturers very high margins, but with even a basic understanding of underwater vision, anyone can see how these lenses only offer highly distorted vision underwater, worsening at the periphery.

In addition to understanding underwater vision, our customers can choose from quality lenses including those manufactured by our partner, Zeiss as an upgrade. We stand by our products, and if you are unhappy with your vision above or under the water, we will remake your lenses.

Finally, we offer advanced coatings specifically for lenses in the Shark Goggle lineup such as mirrored finishes, ant-scratch coatings with scratch warranty, polarized lenses for those that swim in open water, and even transition lenses for swimmers who want a lens that goes from clear to tinted with exposure to UV light.

Whatever your underwater vision needs, See the Sea RX has you covered.

Ready to order swim goggles from See the Sea RX?

Order Prescription Swim Goggles

Ordering is easy- Once you are on the order page, the first step in ordering your prescription swim goggles is to choose your goggle style.

 

The prescription swim goggle options from See the Sea RX.

PS- Did you know swim goggles were not widely used in competition until relatively recently? Their first appearance at the commonwealth games was not until 1970! Check out this article on Olympian David Wilkie for more information.

Posted on

Can you really do all prescriptions in different masks? (And is there a gap?)

Dive Mask RX

Some of the frequent questions we get from our customers are “can you put my prescription into a mask I already have” and “I have a really strong prescription, are you sure you can do it?”.

We have done prescriptions up to -28 sphere (yes that is a -28!- For reference, my personal prescription is around a -1.50), which you can see below.

We were really excited to work on that mask for our customer, and we hope it made a difference in their ability to scuba dive. You will notice there is a gap between the ophthalmic lens and the front dive mask lens to which it is bonded. On larger masks, there will always be some gap due to the size of optical lenses, but on this mask the gap is more extreme due to the extreme prescription.

Below you can see some other examples of lenses we have installed for our customers. Most of these masks are smaller, so they have very limited gaps or no gap at all. Our larger masks such as the Scuba Pro Synergy II will have a more noticeable gap.

If you have any questions or concerns about Prescription Dive Masks, don’t hesitate to reach out.

-Josh

See Clearly
See the Sea RX

Posted on

What they dont tell you about drop in lenses

What they don’t tell you about drop in corrective lenses for scuba diving:

When you are looking to enhance your scuba diving or snorkeling experience by using corrective lenses
to see clear underwater, drop in lenses can appear to an affordable option; however, one of the most concerning
aspect of drop-in lenses is the lack of customization options to ensure your exact prescription is
matched.

Pictured below is a screenshot from a popular store where prescription drop inlenses can be purchased:

The store offers prefabricated lenses that can approximate your prescription. You should also notice the lack of cylinder correction options, meaning these drop-in lenses cannot correct for astigmatism. Could you imagine going to an eye doctor and paying for a pair of glasses that are maybe “sort of” similar to your prescription?

The site also lacks any user input for pupillary distance- without that measurement, the correct placement of the optical center for the lens cannot be accurately placed, but again only approximated.

At See the Sea RX, we custom manufacture each individual lens to match your exact prescription. We do not approximate your prescription but ensure that each lens matches your prescription and the optical center is placed in the correct location for your eyes. You don’t compromise with your vision, and we don’t either. We bond only the highest quality Zeiss glass lenses made to match your exact prescription and then we guarantee our work for life.

If you have any questions about our services, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime via phone, email, or our contact form on our site.

If you are ready to order the highest quality underwater options, click here.

For more information about how our ordering works, watch our video below:

We want to help you see clear and make the most out of your diving or snorkeling experience,

Josh

See the Sea RX

Posted on

Texas Diving Spots

Josh with diving students on Lake Travis

Some of our customers are surprised to hear we are based in Houston, Texas. Texas boasts a large population of divers, and over the last several years, over 10,000 divers are certified a year in Texas! So where do all us crazy Texas divers go diving

The top of my list will probably even further surprise divers outside of Texas. Approximately 100 miles from Galveston, Texas hosts one of the most pristine coral reef systems in North America: The Flowers Gardens Marine Sanctuary. I have been fortunate enough to dive on the Flower Gardens, including acting as a divemaster for an annual trip for teachers from across America to educate them on the sanctuary. Currently, Fling Charters runs the most prolific dive operation out to the Flower Gardens.

 

 

 

Josh diving Lake Travis

Texas Divers also find water holes throughout the inland area to find depth. While working as a scuba instructor through college, I frequently dived Windy Point Park at Lake Travis in Austin. Various items such as small boats and metal sculptures are spread throughout the diving area for divers to explore and test their navigation skills. Robert Weiss’ Lake Travis Scuba offers boat diving on Lake Travis for various levels of divers including technical diving.

In West Texas, another diving gem is hidden. Balmorhea State Park includes a spring fed, crystal clear pool that maintains a crisp 72 degrees year round offering divers a winter haven.

 

 

 

Josh on the Texas Clipper in South Padre

In November 2007, Texas Parks and Wildlife (and other agencies and organizations) sunk the Texas Clipper as part of the artificial reef project. The Clipper has settled and has been a frequent loved dive site of mine. Normally I dive with American Diving in South Padre.

While divers outside of Texas might think we don’t have much water to hop in down here, Texas locals know there are plenty of diving spots and at least one within an hour of driving distance from wherever they may be.

 

 

– Josh

See Clearer

SeeTheSeaRX.com

 

Posted on

Obtaining your Prescription for Dive Mask Lenses

We love our eyes and agree with the recommendations to get an annual comprehensive vision exam. Did you know the FTC requires your eye doctor to give you a copy of your prescription following your exam.

If you don’t have a copy of your prescription handy or if you misplaced the one provided by your eye doctor, give them a call and ask about obtaining a copy. If for any reason, you would rather not contact your doctor’s office, simply complete the form below authorizing us to access your prescription records. Send it back to us via email or fax, and we will contact your doctor’s office directly to obtain your prescription.

Once we receive your prescription, we will contact you to complete your purchase.