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Bifocal Dive Mask Lens Options

Diving with bifocals

You are down 60 feet on a tropical dive in Roatan, Honduras. You look down at your computer to check your bottom time, and the numbers are getting a bit fuzzier than you remember. As many of us scuba divers who wear glasses or contacts age, we face a new problem- trouble seeing our gauges, computer, or camera controls. See the Sea has a variety of options for those of us that need help not just with the distance correction but with reading distance as well. 

In this post, I will discuss:

  • Why we need bifocals when diving
  • What masks will work with bifocal lenses
  • Which bifocal option is best for me
  • How to order a bifocal prescription dive mask

The quick summary (For those short on bottom time)

If you are in a bit of a rush, and want just the “facts”, here is the basic info:

See the Sea RX can install Zeiss bifocals into any quality dive mask, whether you send one to us or buy one of our quality masks. There are primarily three options for bifocals when scuba diving.

–  Standard Bifocal (FT28). Starting at $285.00, the standard bifocal is designed for those that just need help seeing their gauges.

–  ST35. Starting at $315.00, the ST35 has a a reading section that is approximately 20% larger than on the standard bifocal. This bifocal is great for divers who spend a bit more time using their ear vision such as photographers or divers looking at macro life.

–  Franklin Bifocal. The Franklin Bifocal is a full custom option, where we install two completely different lenses on each side of the mask, one for near, and one for distance. This option, designed for professional photographers and underwater cinematographers, is the ultimate bifocal dive mask choice, as you get to choose how much near or distance lens you want. Please contact us for pricing information.

Why we need Bifocals

As we age, generally starting in our 40’s, it can become more difficult to focus on near objects, such as for reading, using our gauges, dive computer, or camera controls. This is caused by  the loss of elasticity of the lens over time

For some, reading lenses alone can help, but if you need distance correction including astigmatism, bifocals help by correcting for both the distance and near vision, so you can see the coral reef and read your gauges.

We often get asked if we can put progressive lenses in a dive mask, and the short answer is yes, but for diving traditional bifocals remain the better option. 

which masks will work for bifocal lenses

We can insert bifocals into any quality dive mask with tempered glass lenses, but there are some caveats. If you have a strong plus prescription, the lenses are going to be thickest in the center, and come towards the face. For those with stronger prescriptions, specially +sphere lenses, I encourage you to go to a higher volume mask. Masks with very high angles from the nose piece will reduce the amount of available space for the reading section of the bifocal and should be avoided. 

Currently for standard or ST35 bifocals, my favorite masks are the Scuba Pro Synergy II and the Atomic Subframe. 

For our custom Franklin Bifocals, the Atomic Venom mask works particularly well.

Prescription Atomic Subframe Mask
An Atomic Subframe with distance only prescription lenses. The Subframe works well for ST35 bifocals.
A dive mask sitting on a shelf containing lined bifocals.
An Atomic Veom Frameles mask with custom franklin bifocal leses. Please contact us for pricing on Franklin lenses.

Bifocal lens options for dive masks

See the Sea produces more bifocal dive masks than any other lens here at our lab in Houston., and we offer two bifocals online on our order page and one custom option (the Franklin Bifocal). It can be a bit confusing as to which bifocal is correct for you. We get messages daily on our chat and on the phone about the differences in our bifocal options. 

standard bifocal

The standard bifocal is the most ordered l ens at See the Sea RX.  The standard bifocal uses a 28mm st28 glass blank, which means when uncut, the width of the bifocal is 28 mm wide, but this does NOT mean you will receive a reading section 28mm wide, and in fact in almost all situations you will not. The final result will be based on the mask itself (how the lenses angle out from the nose) and your pupillary distance. I don’t want to start rambling on optics (okay I do, but you would be bored with me after about a paragraph), but the standard bifocal is a great option for divers who just need some help seeing their gauges and want their distance vision corrected (including correction for astigmatism and double vision). The result is a distance lens with a half moon reading section in the lens. If you spend more time looking through the near portion of the lens, the ST35 lens is probably better for you. 

ST35 or "Photographers' Bifocal

Both the standard bifocal and the ST35 bifocal utilize similar lens designs. The principal difference is the reading portion of the ST35 bifocal is 7mm wider (before the lens is cut) than the standard bifocal. The reading portion also extends farther down. This lens is slightly more expensive, but is worthwhile for those that spend a larger percentage of their time using the near portion of the lens, such as photographers. 

The Franklin Bifocal

The Franklin Bifocal is the ultimate custom lens for those that need distance correction and the largest possible near vision area. Benjamin Franklin, invented the original bifocal, now called Franklin Bifocals by using two different lenses in each eye, one for distance and one for near vision.

The Franklin bifocal, for those that demand the best, allows us to install the near vision lens however high up the mask you would like for your needs (photographers often request 50% or more near vision glass), as well as giving the diver edge to edge near vision, versus a half moon in the lens.

One of the disadvantages of the Franklin Bifocal is it can cause a split image near the lens lie which can take some adjustment. 

Another benefit of the Franklin Bifocal for those with higher prescriptions is the ability to install more glass for distance and near than would be possible in a one piece thick bifocal. 

To order this bifocal, please call or message us, as price is dependent on your specific vision needs. 

A dive mask sitting on a shelf containing lined bifocals.
Atomic Venom Frameless Mask with custom Franklin Bifocal Lenses from See the Sea
M100 Diving Mask with Franklin Bifocals

How to order a bifocal dive mask

To order a scuba diving mask with standard or ST35 bifocals, please visit our ordering page here. Standard bifocals start at $285 plus mask.

Turn Around time

Our standard processing time of approximately 2 business weeks applies to all our custom lens options. If you are in need of your mask sooner, please review our rush options here.

Other considerations

In general, we do not use bifocals for those just snorkeling. The exception is snorkelers who want to use a camera and are unable to see their controls without near correction. Our full face snorkel masks are also available with bifocal lenses. 

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New Dive Light add ons for Prescription Dive Mask Orders

High end diving light.

Dive light options for your dive mask purchase

As you descend through the water column, divers see a loss of color in the order of the colors of the rainbow. Most noticeably, reds are lost very quickly. This occurs because water absorbs various wavelengths of the light spectrum more rapidly than others. 

One way to counter this is by using a tinted lens mask. We do offer several masks with these color correcting options such as the M100 (color correction model). Divers can also use a light bring back colors lost at depth. Both options are viable, but I love to have a little light in my BCD that helps me also look under crevices or as a backup during a night dive. 

To continue with our mission of helping divers see clear, we recently added two dive light options you can easily add to your dive mask order, which will help you see colors vividly during a day dive or even serve as a primary light at night. 

Introducing the Apollo Dive Light (MSRP $180) and the Lumo ($156).

In this article, I will go over my hands on experience with these dive lights, costs, and how to order them with your prescription dive mask.

High end diving light.
Apollo dive light with light shield extended.
High end dive light from See the Sea
Lumo Dive Light

Overview of the apollo & Lumo dive lights

Size & batteries

When I was first certified to dive (I don’t want to age myself here), I bought myself a brand new dive light. It took 8 D cell batteries, and I thought it was the brightest light they would ever be able to create for diving. Shortly after I bought that light, HID lights hit the market, but were very expensive. If you broke the bulb, it would be at least $100 to get a replacement.

The advent of LED lights have not only eventually reduced the cost of high end dive lights, but the size and energy consumption as well. Now a light that can fit in your hand has a bulb that will almost last forever and can serve as your primary dive light. 

Both the Apollo and Lumo dive lights are cheaper than my first dive light, smaller, and brighter. Both dive lights are about the same size, but the Apollo light (on the left in the image) is slightly longer.

The dive lights accept two CR123 batteries (not included) or 1 rechargeable 18650 battery (not included). My recommendation would be to purchase the slightly more expensive rechargeable batter as you will get much more use out of it (and CR123 batteries are not super cheap on their own anyway). Run time will depend on what mode you operate the light in, but moderate use should be several hours on a charge.

 

Control & Modes of the dive lights

Scuba dive light controls

I have  always preferred buttons to twist controls, but the Apollo light has me converted. My main complaint with twist controls is the risk of either opening the light or the controls being too difficult to utilize while diving. The Apollo solves this by having a free rotating control bevel that is separate from the main body of the light. You cannot risk flooding the light by rotating the bezel. You rotate the light to operate the modes including off, on brightness level 1, on brightness level 2, on brightness level 3, and flashing/sos. The bevel rotates easily, and there is a satisfying click as you change modes. As both models are made from lightweight aluminum, the Apollo feels great in the hand- well built and sturdy. 

The Lumo, the slightly cheaper of the two lights, operates with a push button. When turning on the light, you must hold the button down for 10 seconds (a safety feature designed to ensure it doesn’t turn on from a momentary bump in your bag or while traveling), which made me think my batteries were dead at first. Once the light is on, you cycle through the modes, which includes a flashing SOS mode with a quick push of the button.

* KEEP IN MIND LIKE ALL DIVE LIGHTS THESE LIGHTS ARE DESIGNED FOR USE UNDERWATER AND WILL EMIT SIGNIFICANT HEAT IF LEFT ON ABOVE WATER*

The Apollo light has printed icons indicating what modes are available and what mode you are in without having to cycle through the beams. 

Beams & Special Features

The Apollo is the brighter of the two lights, but that is not the only difference when it comes to the light emitted by the different models. The Apollo has two innovative features. A removable diffuser which screws onto the end of the light as well as a shield that extends and retracts preventing the light from spilling into your eyes. Check out the gallery below to see the difference in beams between the lights as well as the diffuser on the apollo light. 

How to purchase a dive light with your prescription dive mask

Adding the Apollo or Lumo dive lights to your order is easy. After you build out your prescription mask, there is a section of available accessories. Click on either light to add it to your order. To start, build out your prescription dive mask here.

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Prescription Dive Masks for Free Diving

Why do i need a prescription dive mask for freediving?

Freediving, also known as breath-hold diving or skin diving, allows the diver to explore the the underwater world without the burden of scuba gear. Experienced free divers can hold their breath for more than 10 minutes. Herbert Nitsch holds the current world for deepest free dive, over 200 meters deep.

 

There are many reasons to freedive, besides competition. Bubbles from scuba tanks and regulators can scare away fish and other life that are noise averse. Some enjoy the freedom of moving through the water unencumbered by equipment.  Spear fisherman, who want to minimize the distance between themselves and their prey, frequently free dive instead of scuba. While spearfishing while scuba diving is not illegal in the United States, in many other parts of the world, it is due to the concerns for damage to coral reefs. 


Whether you are struggling to see your depth gauge/freediving watch or need help seeing the fish, a prescription freediving mask can improve your overall freediving experience. 

 

If you are freediving already, you are probably aware of the unique needs when considering a mask specific to free diving. Vision options, for free divers who need lens correction can also affect mask choice. If you are freediving and need help seeing clearly, a prescription freediving mask if for you. 

Herbert Nitsch, current world record holder for deepst free dive.

Which freediving mask is best for prescription lenses

Atum Free Diving Mask with prescription distance lenses.

prescription considerations for freediving masks

Stonger prescriptions, specially high plus lenses, require more space is the mask. This can be countered by using a smaller lens, like in the MP208 dive mask as another factor on lens thickness is lens size. If your prescription is very strong, you may need to go to a higher volume dive mask. 

Scuba diving masks and freediving masks share many characteristics, and in fact many people use freediving masks for scuba. Both sports require a mask with tempered glass lenses and sturdy construction.

The biggest concern for freedivers is volume of the mask. As divers descend, they must add air (through exhalation) into the mask to counter the pressure exerted onto the airspace in the mask.  Mask squeeze, occurs when air is not added. Masks with larger volumes, require more air to counter mask squeeze, air that would limit the freedivers bottom time. Pictured on the left is an ultra low volume mask, the IST Mp208 Atum mask with prescription distance lenses installed. 

Features of a quality freediving mask

  • Tempered glass lenses
  • Low volume 
  • Comfortable Strap
  •  Strong Construction

Freediving mask recommendations from see the sea rx

Top choice- MP208/ Atum Mask

5/5

MSRP: $65.00 + Lenses

The Atum mask is the most popular prescription-able freediving mask on See the Sea. The Atum features quality high end silicone, frameless design, low volume, and tempered glass lenses. 

The Atum is suitable for all our lens types including reading lenses, bifocals, and single vision distance and can correct for astigmatism, double vision, and other needs requiring custom lenses.

Distance lenses start at $208.00
Bifocals start at $285.00

 

Runner up- Hunter mask

5/5

MSRP: $49.99 + Lenses

For those that want a slightly larger volume mask, the Hunter mask is available for a slightly lower price with the same grade of silicone (but in a framed design instead of frameless). 

The hunter has also slightly larger lenses for a bit more viewing area which will be appreciated by divers who want reading only lenses at the bottom of the mask. The hunger volume is slightly larger than traditional freediving masks, but it is still a low volume mask ideal for those whose prescriptions would be limited in the Atum. 

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Reading lenses for Atomic Venom Frameless Mask

Reading lenses for atomic venom frameless dive masks

Dive Mask Reading Lenses
Jim's Atomic Venom Frameless Mask with +2.00 reading lenses

As we age, many of us divers struggle to see our gauges or dive computer (or controls on our cameras for those that take our cameras underwater). One solution, for divers whose distance correction is largely adequate, is installing reading lenses into your dive mask or purchasing a new dive mask with reading lenses. Unlike the stick on reading lenses available at many dive shops or oline, See the Sea installs permanent reading glass (yes real glass) which is guaranteed for the life of the mask.

We were recently asked by our good friend Jim to create reading lenses for his Atomic Venom Frameless Dive Mask, and he was stoked with how they turned out. Jim does a lot of macro work, so large reading lenses were a necessity. In this article, I am going to cover:

  • The Atomic Venom Frameless Mask
  • Reading lens options for dive masks
  • The final lens shape
  • How to order reading lenses for a dive mask 
  • Other considerations

The Atomic Venom Frameless Mask

 

 

The Atomic Venom Frameless mask is probably the flagship mask from Atomic. Based on years of frameless mask design, According to Atomic, “The VENOM Frameless is incredibly comfortable with
low-volume, hydrodynamic construction and exclusive Atomic “Wicked” styling. Co-molded with two silicone materials in two levels of softness and features the exclusive Atomic UltraClear lens. It will change the way you think about dive masks”. 

Unlike their other frameless masks (check out my overview of the Atomic mask lineup), the Venom Frameless is only available in a black skirt, and only in the standard size (the non-venom frameless masks are available in clear and medium fits).

See the Sea RX can install prescription lenses into the Atomic Aquatics Venom Mask

Reading lens options for dive masks

Us scuba divers need clear near vision for several reasons:

  • Most importantly, we need to see our gauges and/or computer to be aware of our remaining bottom time and tank pressure.
  • Observe small animals or features up  close underwater.
  • See a camera screen or controls for an underwater camera

Types of reading glasses

At See the Sea, we permanently install reading glass into your dive mask (or you can purchase a dive mask from us including the Atomic Venom). Normally install what are called “Executive” style readers which extend all the way the lens left to right, but as everything we do is custom, we can create a custom shape fitting your needs. Often, professional underwater photographers and videographers require larger reading lenses as they spend more of their time viewing macro work.

lens shape used

In this case, we created a unique angle of the reading lenses which maximize reading glass on the periphery, while minimizing disturbance to the distance vision.

Our experience as divers, not just opticians, give us a unique insight on on giving divers the best vision. This is what makes us different. By angling the lenses on Jim’s mask, instead of leaving them level, we can lower the height of the reading glass when he is looking straight ahead, while giving him a taller lens where he may view his gauges.

This effect can be somewhat seen when looking at the second picture below on the right which is taken through the inside of the mask. The effect is more pronounced when actually viewing the lens while wearing the mask.

The lenses are also larger than we do standard reading lenses due to Jim’s needs. In general, if you provide us no instructions as to the size or shape of the lenses you want, we utilize about the bottom quarter of the mask for your near lenses. 

How to order reading lenses for a venom frameless mask.

If you want to order an Atomic Venom Frameless Mask with reading lenses, you can either buy one from us or send us your masks. Either way, the first step is to enter our order system here, and select either “I have a mask” or “I need a mask”. If you are purchasing a mask from us, you will find the Atomic Venom icon, and you can select your color. 

You will then need to select lens type- in this case it is “Reading Lens”.

You will then enter in your lens power. Reading lenses are available in powers from +0.5 through +4.00. 

If you are sending us your own Venom mask, be sure to mark on the lens with a sharpie showing how high up the mask you would like your lenses installed. 

Our standard processing time is about 2 weeks from when we receive your order (or your mask), but rush options are available in as little as three days. 

Diver wearing Venom mask with +2.00 reading lenses before final lens cleaning.
The view through an Atomic Venom Frame less mask with +2.00 reading lenses

Additional considerations

If you need correction for distance as well, reading lenses alone may not provide you a satisfactory diving experience. For the clearest vision you may want to consider bifocals (which we do more of than any other lens.

Additionally, if your vision has a high amount of astigmatism or any prism correction, please contact us to discuss options for you.

Josh

Josh

Josh has been diving for 20 years and started See the Sea RX when he was unhappy with the other prescription lens options on the market. He would rather be in or on the water than whatever he is doing right now.

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Prescription Lenses for Atomic Masks

Prescription Atomic Subframe Mask

Prescription Lenses for Atomic Masks

Atomic Aquatics Masks

Founded in 1995, Atomic Aquatics is a premier manufacturer of dive equipment based in California. We often receive requests from customers about purchasing prescription lenses for Atomic dive masks. Atomic prides itself on “Passion, Precision, and Performance”.  Atomic produces some of the most popular frameless dive masks on the market. In this article, I will discuss sending in your mask to us to have prescription lenses installed, the different Atomic masks available, and what type of lenses are available.

Prescription Atomic Subframe Mask
Atomic Subframe Mask with Prescription Distance Single Vision Lenses

What type of vision problems can you correct?

At See the Sea RX, we pride ourselves on being low vision experts. Our custom made glass lenses can correct almost all vision issues (which can be corrected with glasses) including astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness and double vision requiring prism. 

We offer three main lens types:

  • Single Vision Lenses- For individuals who need distance correction, single vision lenses, available in high index for those with stronger corrections
  • Bifocals- Our most common lens type. Bifocal lenses assist those that need distance and near correction. Bifocals help divers see the sites while also easing their view of their gauges or dive computer.
  • Reading Lenses- Reading lenses are glass we install in the bottom of the mask for divers who need help seeing their gauges or computer.

Sending in your Atomic Mask for Prescription Lenses

The majority of our fellow divers that come to us for a prescription dive mask, purchase a dive mask from us (including Atomic masks which are now available), but we have some divers that prefer to send us their mask (not a problem at all!). We can insert prescription lenses in any Atomic dive mask including the Frameless, Frameless 2, and Subframe.

How to send us your Atomic Mask for Prescription Lenses:

  1. Complete the order on our order page 
  2. Mark your pupil locations on the outside of the dive mask using a sharpie to ensure the most accurate vision.
  3. Ship your mask to See the Sea RX at 2501 South Shepherd, Houston, Texas 77019.

Popular Atomic Masks

The two main types of masks from Atomic Aquatics prescriptioned by See the Sea RX are the Atomic Frameless Line, the Venom Mask, and the Subframe.

Frameless Masks

According to Atomic:

The Atomic Aquatics Frameless Mask is focused on fit, comfort and a wide vision field. The large lens and close fitting skirt work in harmony to create perhaps the widest viewing angle of any frameless mask design. The lens shape was computer designed to maximize upward, downward and side to side vision. Because an external frame is not needed, the viewable area of the lens is optimized. Squeeze-to-adjust buckles are tucked behind the lens for a sleek hydrodynamic design.

The Frameless line comes in both clear and black skirts and two sizes: Standard & Medium. The medium fit has a skirt designed to fit narrower faces, but the rest of the mask is identical.

Atomic did release a Frameless 2 mask (also available in the two sizes and skirt options) with the main upgrade being the skirt material.

See the Sea RX Atomic Frameless Mask which can have prescription lenses
Atomic Aquatics Frameless Mask available with prescription lenses from See the Sea RX

Venom Mask

The Atomic Venom Mask is Atomic’s highest quality frameless mask. The main features separating the Venom from the standard frameless masks include higher quality (allegedly clearer) glass and the unique skirt design. Two different rubbers comprise the Venom’s skirt including a stiff middle portion to hold the shape of the mask, and a “gummy” rubber where the mask seals around the face.

See the Sea RX can install prescription lenses into the Atomic Aquatics Venom Mask
Atomic Aquatics Venom mask – See the Sea RX- featuring the “Gummy” skirt.

Atomic Subframe

The Subframe is my personal favorite mask for our prescription lenses due to my partiality to twin lens dive masks and the overall durability of the mask. While the frameless dive masks due tend to be the more popular masks from Atomic’s lineup, I like the overall build quality of the subframe. The subframe is available in clear and black skirts (and a pink accent for those partial to the color).

Atomic also makes the Subframe available with their ARC (anti-reflective coating) lens, but in general, I do not encourage the ARC lens in conjunction with prescription glass lenses.

My one complaint about the Atomic dive masks, considering their costs, is overall the quality of the cases. I find the tabs break easily, and I carry my Atomic in a case that I purchased separately. (If you are reading this Atomic, you make such awesome masks- can you please send them in a better case!).

Prescription Atomic Subframe Mask
Atomic Subframe Mask with Prescription Distance Single Vision Lenses

Ordering an Atomic Mask with Prescription Lenses from See the Sea RX

While you can send us your mask (and we definitely believe in supporting local dive shops – You can find a list of Atomic Dealers here), we do make Atomic masks available directly on our order page for divers who would prefer to purchase them at the same time.

When you click on our order page, and then “I need a mask”, you can select your desired mask of choice. Keep in mind when selecting colors, the “medium fit” masks are designed for divers with narrower faces.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call, send us a chat message, or email us anytime.

How long does it take to get your prescription dive mask?

Our standard processing is approximately two business weeks plus shipping once you place your order with us, or AFTER we receive your dive mask. Rush options are available including a 3 day turn around (plus critical cargo shipping if needed). We normally close for a week during December and this time is NOT included in our standard processing time.

-Josh

See the Sea RX

 

 

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Prescription Full Face Snorkeling Masks from See the Sea RX

While our team at See the Sea RX has been shipping prescription scuba diving masks across the globe, we often get requests from snorkelers, who love being in the ocean as much as us. Some snorkelers love our prescription dive masks, but we also get questions about:

    Prescription full face snorkeling masks
    A more affordable product than our custom glass prescription dive masks
Gabriel with Aria Full Face Kids Mask & Duo Fins
My nephew Gabriel testing out a new Aria Kid’s Full Face Snorkeling mask on the beach in Galveston, Texas.

If you are ready to order an Aria full face snorkeling mask with or without prescription lenses, give us a call at 1-800-356-7190 or 281-800-3131.We are excited to announce we have partnered with OceanReef, leaders in full face scuba diving masks & the first to market with a full face snorkeling mask, to offer our snorkeling customers who want an alternative to a traditional prescription dive mask an affordable quality option.

Utilizing the Aria & Aria QR+ full face snorkeling masks, a lens retainer, and advanced lenses matched to your exact prescription, we are able to provide snorkelers (even those with extreme prescriptions)- a more affordable options for crystal clear vision while in the water.

Here is a short video of my nephew Gabriel, trying out the Aria kids mask this last weekend:

Jennifer sent us these pictures of her son, Cameron, using his new Aria mask from See the Sea RX with custom prescription lenses on their recent trip:

Cameron showing off his Aria full face snorkeling mask with prescription lenses in the Caribbean.

Aria Snorkeling Mask with Prescription Lenses

If you are interested in purchasing the Aria or Aria QR+ with or without prescription lenses, please give us a call at 281-800-3131 or 800-356-7190. We will shortly launch them on the See the Sea RX website, but in the meantime, we are able to get you set up over the phone.

The Aria & Aria QR+ Snorkeling Masks

If you do an online search for full face snorkeling mask, or even snorkeling mask, you will see hundreds of products at various price points. Does it matter which mask you get? The short and correct answer is YES!!!

Oceanreef has been in business since the 1940’s and using their manufacturing knowledge of full face snorkeling masks, they produce one of the first full face snorkeling masks. Producing a snorkeling masks presents more challenges than many expect, and ensuring proper gas exchange is crucial. What is the difference between an $80.00 full face snorkeling mask and a $15.00 Chinese manufactured clone? Ease of breathing and gas exchange. There have been reports of cheap masks improperly or inefficiently removing carbon dioxide leading to serious incidents. I would not allow my family to snorkel with the knockoff masks, but I quite happily gave my nephews the aria masks to snorkel with (you can see Gabriel snorkeling with the aria kid’s mask in the video up top).

The Aria masks have been vetted and fully tested by Oceanreef. What are the differences between the Aria (classic) and the Aria QR+? We do offer both masks for our customers, but the primary difference is the QR+ includes a built in go pro mount (available as an add on for the Aria classic) as well as buckle straps for quick removal without having to adjust the straps when donning the mask.

Snorkelers report less jaw fatigue when using the Aria or Aria QR+ as they enable the snorkeler to breathe through their mouth or nose without having to bit onto a snorkel. This can also provide an easier experience for snorkelers who just cannot tolerate a snorkel in their mouth.

Aria QR+
Aria QR+ Full Face Snorkeling Mask

Aria Snorkel Mask Prescription Lenses:

One of the main benefits of the Aria full face snorkeling mask for our customers, besides its exceptional build quality, is our ability to insert prescription lenses via an optical retainer for a lower cost than our traditional prescription dive masks.

Our custom (not pre-made) lenses for the Aria can accommodate all prescription corrections including:

  • Astigmatism
  • Extreme prescriptions requiring high index lenses
  • Prism

Additionally, as our lenses are custom, we can provide our customers bifocals, progressive lenses, or even tinted lenses for those that are sensitive to light.

Call us to find out our current specials on the Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask with and without prescription lenses: 1-800-356-7190 or 281-800-3131.

Aria Classic
Aria Classic Snorkeling Mask

How tp pick the correct size Aria Full Face Snorkel Mask

The Aria Snorkel Mask is available in various sizes. In order to pick the correct size, check out the reference image below:

If you have any questions about how to measure correctly, don’t hesitate to give us a call or shoot us a message on the chat to the bottom right of your screen.

How to buy the Aria or Aria QR+ Full Face Snorkeling Mask with prescription lenses.

See the Sea RX sells the Aria and Aria QR+ snorkeling masks with and without prescription lenses. Discounts are available for multiple mask orders.

Give us a call at 1-800-356-7190 or 281-800-3131 to order your mask today.

UPDATE- 11/22/2019. Online ordering is now live! Click here to order your full face snorkel mask now!

Aria Measuring Scale
Measuring Scale for Aria Full Face Snorkeling Masks

Available Accessories

The Aria is available with a variety of accessories including:

  • Snorkel Talkie- Mask to Mask communication device
  • Go Pro Mount
  • Matching Fins

See Clear with See the Sea RX

– Josh & The Team

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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.

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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

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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

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)
Scuba Pro Spectra Prescription Dive Mask Fast

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

 

 

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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. 
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.

Astigmatism, the Eye, and Diving

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