Can You Safely Scuba Dive with Contacts?




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Diving into the deep blue sea, but unsure whether your contact lenses can take the plunge with you? This is a common dilemma for many scuba diving enthusiasts who rely on contacts for clear vision.

Trouble under water could cloud your exciting underwater excursion. Our article will provide all pertinent information about safely scuba diving with contacts, from choosing suitable lens types to necessary precautions.

Ready to immerse in clairvoyance underwater? Dive right in!

Key Takeaways

  • Soft contact lenses are the safest option for scuba diving because they allow nitrogen to escape and maintain pressure balance in the eyes.
  • Gas permeable and hard contact lenses should be avoided while diving as they can cause discomfort and irritation underwater.
  • Prescription dive masks and LASIK eye surgery are alternative options for scuba divers who want clear vision without wearing contacts.

Can You Scuba Dive with Contact Lenses?

A scuba diver with contact lenses explores a colorful coral reef in underwater photography.

Scuba divers can safely wear contact lenses, but there are important safety considerations and specific types of lenses that are suitable for diving.

Safety considerations

You must be careful when diving with contacts. Both soft and hard contact lenses can be used, but soft ones are safer. They let nitrogen out which helps keep a good pressure balance in the eyes.

On the other hand, hard lenses may cause pain and disquiet under water due to suction as pressure goes up. Any lens, if not kept clean or worn right could get lost or harm your eyes underwater.

The Divers Alert Network says that caution is needed when using any kind of lens while diving. So, it’s best to ask an eye doctor what’s safe for you before you head towards your dive.

Types of contact lenses suitable for diving

Soft contact lenses are the best option for diving because they allow nitrogen to escape, which helps maintain pressure balance in the eyes. Gas permeable lenses are not recommended as they can cause pain and discomfort underwater. Hard contact lenses should also be avoided while diving due to potential irritation. If you wear contacts, make sure they are soft and talk to an eye care professional before diving.

Alternatives to Contact Lenses for Scuba Diving

Prescription dive masks and LASIK eye surgery are two alternatives to wearing contact lenses while scuba diving.

Prescription dive masks

A scuba diver with a prescription dive mask explores a vibrant coral reef.

Prescription dive masks are a great alternative for scuba divers who wear glasses or contact lenses. These masks have customized lenses that match your specific vision prescription, allowing you to see clearly underwater.

They eliminate the need to wear contacts or glasses while diving, reducing the risk of discomfort or damage to your eyes. Prescription dive masks are designed to provide a tight seal and prevent water from entering the mask, ensuring optimal visibility and a comfortable diving experience.

If you rely on corrective eyewear, consider getting a prescription dive mask to enhance your underwater adventures safely.

LASIK eye surgery

If you’re tired of dealing with contact lenses or glasses while scuba diving, LASIK eye surgery could be an option to consider. LASIK stands for “Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis,” and it is a common procedure used to correct vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

During the surgery, a laser reshapes the cornea of your eye to improve your vision. Many people find that after having LASIK surgery, they no longer need corrective eyewear for activities like scuba diving.

However, it’s important to note that not everyone is a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery. It’s crucial to consult with an ophthalmologist or eye care professional who can assess whether you are eligible for the procedure based on various factors such as age, overall eye health, and refractive stability.

Precautions for Scuba Diving with Contact Lenses

A scuba diver with contact lenses explores a vibrant coral reef underwater, captured in high-resolution photography.

Maintain proper lens hygiene and avoid water contamination to ensure the safety of scuba diving with contact lenses.

Proper lens hygiene

A close-up photo of a person cleaning their contact lenses with highly detailed features and various hairstyles and outfits.

To ensure the safety and comfort of wearing contact lenses while scuba diving, it is crucial to maintain proper lens hygiene. This involves cleaning and disinfecting your lenses before and after each dive with a solution recommended by your eye care professional.

Additionally, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling your contacts to prevent any bacteria or debris from getting onto the lenses. Regularly replacing your contact lens case and avoiding wearing expired or damaged lenses are also essential for maintaining good lens hygiene.

By following these simple steps, you can help reduce the risk of infection or discomfort while enjoying your underwater adventure.

Prevention of water contamination

A scuba diver surrounded by clear blue water, showcasing different faces, hair styles, and outfits, in a bustling underwater atmosphere.

To prevent water contamination while scuba diving with contacts:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contact lenses.
  • Avoid touching the inside of the lens or the tip of the solution bottle to prevent bacteria from transferring onto the lens.
  • Rinse your lenses with a sterile saline solution before putting them in your eyes.
  • Make sure you have a clean storage case for your contact lenses and replace it regularly.
  • Avoid swimming in polluted or dirty water, as it can increase the risk of eye infections.
  • If your contact lenses come into contact with water, such as when adjusting your mask or during a leak, remove and clean them properly before reinserting.
  • Never rinse your contacts with tap water or saliva, as they can introduce harmful bacteria to your eyes.

Tips for Scuba Diving with Contact Lenses

Use defogging solutions to prevent your lenses from fogging up underwater, carry backup lenses or glasses in case of loss or damage, and regularly check the comfort and fit of your lenses while diving.

Use of defogging solutions

To prevent your dive mask from fogging up underwater, you can use defogging solutions. These solutions help to create a clear and uninterrupted view of the underwater world. Defogging solutions work by forming a thin film on the inside of the lens, preventing condensation from building up and causing fog.

Simply apply a small amount of the solution to your dry mask lens, rub it around evenly with your fingers, rinse off any excess, and then you’re good to go! Using defogging solutions can make your diving experience more enjoyable and ensure that you have clear vision throughout your dive.

Carry backup lenses or glasses

A photo of backup glasses placed on a rocky beach with a beautiful sunset backdrop.

It’s always a good idea to have backup lenses or glasses when you’re scuba diving with contacts. Just in case something happens, like your contacts getting dislodged or damaged underwater, having an extra pair of lenses or glasses can save the day.

Plus, if your vision starts to feel uncomfortable during the dive, it’s nice to be able to switch out your contacts for glasses and continue enjoying the underwater experience. So remember to pack those backups before heading out on your scuba diving adventure!

Regularly check lens comfort and fit underwater

A scuba diver underwater adjusts their contact lenses while being photographed in a bustling atmosphere.

During your scuba diving adventures, it’s important to regularly check the comfort and fit of your contact lenses underwater. This will help ensure that they stay in place and provide clear vision throughout your dive.

Keep an eye out for any discomfort or irritation, as this could be a sign that the lenses need adjusting or are not suitable for diving. It’s crucial to prioritize your comfort and safety while exploring the underwater world with contacts, so be mindful of how they feel and make adjustments if needed.


In conclusion, it is safe to scuba dive with contact lenses if you take the necessary precautions. Soft contacts are recommended over hard lenses due to their ability to maintain pressure balance in the eyes.

However, it’s best to consult with an eye care professional and follow proper lens hygiene practices for a comfortable and clear diving experience.


1. Can you safely scuba dive with contacts?

Yes, you can safely scuba dive with contacts as one option for vision correction underwater, but remember to take good eye care and protect your eyes when diving.

2. What are some tips for maintaining vision clarity during scuba diving?

Some tips include: choosing the right eyewear such as prescription goggles for diving or using corrective lenses in your mask. Always aim to keep your eyes moist and free from harm.

3. Is it safe to wear glasses while scuba diving?

Wearing glasses while scuba diving has risks due to water pressure and movement which may cause them to slip off, so it’s better to use options like contact lenses or prescription goggles.

4. How do I choose the best vision aid style for my water sports activity?

Your choice depends on what suits you best – snorkeling or scuba diving with prescription lenses offers optimal eye protection underwater compared to wearing regular glasses.

5. Is there any special equipment needed when choosing contact lens safety over glasses while diversifying?

You may consider getting special gear like prescription goggles designed specifically for water sports that help maintain clear sight under water without damaging your eye health.

About the author

Tony is a Scuba enthusiast and has published many works on Scuba Diving. He created ScubaDiveCentral to share fascinating insights into the captivating world of scuba diving from a place of passion and integrity.

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