Progressive Lenses for Dive Masks or Bifocals? What Is Best?


In this article, you will learn about progressive lenses for dive masks and where the differences are compared to your normal progressive glasses. Also after reading this article you will know about the benefits of bifocals in dive masks as well. So let us dive into this topic a little deeper.

Depending on the dive mask you will have a wider or smaller field of View with your progressive lenses. In most cases, the field of view for clear vision will be smaller with the progressive lenses in your dive mask compared to your normal ones.

The reason is the increased distance in which the lenses ist in front of your eyes. When the distance is decreased it will be easier to find your diving computer and See it clear. If you have a very Big distance you need need to compensate the little clear field of view of your progressive lenses in your diving makes with head movements.

This means you will be forced more to Point your nose into the direction you want to See clear in. If you enjoy to Look at things a bit wider compared to your normal Reading distance you should get a progressive Lens design with a long Transition from distance Vision in the upper half of the leises into the Reading area in the lower half of the lenses.

Progressive Lenses vs. Bifocal Lenses in a Dive Mask

The alternative to progressive lenses in your die mask are bifocal lenses. One Big advantage with bifokal leises is the bigger Field of View when you compare the Reading Jones in progressives and bifocals.

Depending on the chosen reading segment in the lower half of the lens. In Most Cases, the Reading Segment will be 28mm wide. This is true for every prescription. Because the width in the clear field of view in bifocals does not change.

The picture Shows the Differennce in the Field of View in progressive lenses for dive Masks and bifocals for dive masks with different Colors.
The red color issulstrates full reading support. The Green color illustrativ support for the mid distance. In the grey fields vision will get blurry.

However, if you bought progressive lenses before and you need more Reading support today compared to a few years ago you will end up with a smaller reading area for reading and more blurry field left and right from the reading area.

This of course is a big drawback when it comes to progressive lenses. But of course, there is also a big benefit to them. Because as you perform eye movements up and down you are able to see clearly in every distance.

Because progressive lenses have not only built in the prescription for distance vision and reading but also every distance in between. This oftentimes is just not possible with bifocals if your eyes already lost the ability to adapt to the mid-distance. This usually happens when you are older than 50 years of age.

Then what is left in bifocals are only two distances you can see perfectly clear in. The reading distance and the distance far away. Imagine the situation in which you want to have a closer look at corals.

Usually, you would dive a little closer to be really able to see the fine structures. But normally this is not as near as your reading distance. You would have to be quite close to see everything clearly.

With progressives however you would have more range of distance in which you could see clearly. You could increase it and decrease the prescription would be just built-in.

Here Is Why It Is Harder to Find a Shop Who Fits Progressive Lenses Into Dive Masks

Finding the correct position for the progressives is exactly the same as in bifocals. Of course, the optician needs to take a few things into consideration when it comes to the fitting process like the increased distance in which the lenses ist in front of your eye compared to normal glasses. But this is easy.

With Normal lenses, you get a Little curved lens design on the front surface of the lens. This is not possible with dive Masks as they in Most Cases have flat lenses. This makes it easier to produce the lenses in a progressive design for myopes but a Lot more Harder for hyperopes.

What You Should Think About Before You Buy Progressive Lenses or Bifocals for Your Dive Mask

I would highly recommend documenting a few diving sessions in regard to the distances you need when you dive. Because think about it if you have a Reading area in a certain position in the lower half of your lenses you wohnt be able to See clear if you want to see things in a distance that is further away.

Some people prefer to have dive masks with their distance vision only and compensate the lack of Focus in the near distance with a bigger and brighter dive computer.

This image Shows the different clear Field of views in progressive lenses for dive Masks.
The picture illustrativ the different distances you can see clearly in depending what eye movements you perform.

So not having a reading area in your way if you want to enjoy some details on the ground of the sea can be a benefit. However, if you rely on reading support in your dive masks the reading area can be positioned lower compared to your normal bifocals or progressive lenses.

This way you will be able to have a lot of clear field of view when it comes to distance Vision. If you want to read you need to perform eye movements more down to be able to read. To compensate for the Reading area which is placed lower.

Who Makes Progressive Lenses for Dive Masks?

Generally speaking, you will get progressive lenses in dive Masks only in very specialized opticals. Those opticals usually have owners who are obsessed with diving and have a variety of masks in stock to choose from.

Those people have practical experience with diving and with the technical requirements and adjustments that have been made to the prescription to deliver you the perfect visual diving experience.

Who Makes Bifocal Lenses for Dive Masks?

Bifocal lenses for dive masks are more easily to compared to progressives. Some online opticals Even sell them online which I can not recommend. Because of the missing centration processes a local optician will and the online shop just can not.

The Point here really is just you can get them more easily.

What is Best for you?

This is a very general question in a field in which specifics count. Those specifics are:

  • Your prescription / Add value
  • The distances you need during diving
  • How the dive mask sits in your face
  • Do you have any restrictions in your movements in regard of shoulder an neck positions?

All those come together and give a picture that answers the question if bifocals or progressives are best for you in your dive mask.

I wish you a great Day.

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