2nd November 2021
How to care for your prescription dive mask:
Ordering a prescription dive mask is a great investment in your diving or snorkeling life, and it can range from a luxury for those with weaker vision correction to an absolute necessity for divers, swimmers, or snorkelers with strong prescriptions. Once you receive your mask, proper care can ensure years of use. I often get asked by divers, how do you take care of your new prescription dive mask?
In this article, I will go over our suggestions for care and maintenance of your new prescription dive mask. These instructions will pertain to our custom prescription dive mask products and NOT to prescription swim goggle or full face snorkel masks. Prescription full face snorkel masks and swim goggles have lenses that are generally polycarbonate (same for the full face diving masks from OTS and Oceanreef which we make lenses for as well) while prescription dive masks use glass lenses. This makes a huge difference as glass lenses can tolerate defog and even products like sea buff which has some grit. Those products would damage polycarbonate or plastic lenses.
For those that want the quick answers without reading my full article, here are the general do’s and don’ts with your prescription dive mask:
- Do use defog before diving
- Do clean your mask lenses with sea buff or a small amount of dish soap if desired
- Do be careful when transporting your mask in checked bags (I recommend taking your mask in your carryon bag). Add some padding to the mask case if possible.
- Do rinse your mask off after diving
- Do NOT take an open flame or heat to your dive mask lenses to “burn off” any film.
- Do NOT leave your mask out in the sun
How to care for your prescription dive mask when you first get it:
As all of us scuba divers are told when we are first trained to scrub a new mask when we receive it, to remove any film from the production process that will prevent mask defog from working. While this is correct for any off the shelf mask, our lenses are custom made, and we complete both a scrub and burn off process of the prescription and mask lenses before the installation and shipment; however, you are welcome to scrub your lenses further with toothpaste or seabuff without hurting the lenses.
Some masks like the scubapro dmask have a UV / reflective coating on the outside of the lenses which can be damaged with scrubbing. Be sure to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific mask.
Can I use a lighter to burn my prescription dive mask lenses?
DO NOT USE HEAT OR A FLAME TO TREAT YOUR LENSES. We burn the lenses prior to installation, but heat after the installation is likely to damage the laminate in the glass and will not be covered by our warranty.
How should I treat my prescription dive mask before a dive?
You can treat your prescription dive mask like any normal mask before a dive. Use your favorite defog before the dive (I like sea drops, and I have no fogging in my scubapro d-mask with lenses).
One of the biggest ways divers break their prescription (and nonprescription dive masks) is dropping them onto hard boat decks, docks, rocks (we have even seen some stepped on).
After your dive, like with any other dive equipment, be sure to rinse off any saltwater or chlorine with fresh water before packing your dive gear for the day. Do not leave your mask out in the sun as that can cause color bleaching.
Whether you have bifocals, reading lenses, single vision, or other corrective lenses in your scuba mask from See the Sea, proper care of the mask will lead to years of clear diving.
One last note- When traveling, I encourage divers to carry their mask on instead of using a checked bag as a lost or damaged checked bag containing your prescription dive mask is a sure way to miss out on some clear dives.