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Posted : August 8, 2007
Hi, my partner and I are visiting Egypt in a few weeks and plan to do a lot of snorkling. My partner is looking to purchase a prescription mask (she has a negative prescription), my questions are:

1) which lens are any good, the fitted type or the stick in lenses?

2) does the refraction of the water effect the strengh of the prescription required? ie does it need to be the same as her glasses prescription?

3) any tips or general advice when purchasing a prescription mask for snorkling purposes?

Thanks in advance for your advice

Posted : August 9, 2007
Thanks for the enquiry. For a bit of casual snorkelling the stick-in lenses would suffice, but if you are at all serious about snorkelling or diving then I would go for a decent set of fitted lenses. These can either be replacements for the whole lens of the mask, or inserts fitted between the existing lens and the eyes. The inserts mean that you can remove them as and when you need to, but they are a bit more susceptible to fogging. Generally speaking the prescription is the same as the glasses prescription, as the water has a magnifying effect only. If the prescription is roughly the same for both eyes you can get premade sets which are cheaper than getting each lens made up separately. Your other option of course is contact lenses - if you go for these then try to use soft disposable ones.
Hope that helps.

Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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