Can you wear glasses in the swimming pool?
If you’re one of the lucky people who has four eyes instead of two, you might be wondering if you can take all four of those eyes into the swimming pool. While it’s easy enough to do laps with your eyes closed, it’s also a good idea to know where you’re going in a swimming pool – considering you’re sharing it with lots of other people.
If you’re wondering whether you can wear glasses in the swimming pool, we’re gonna go into all the details here. What’ll happen if you wear glasses underwater, any tools that make it easy for you to wear glasses underwater, and a whole host of other alternatives so you can leave your glasses in your bag and out of the pool.
Wearing glasses in the pool
OK, look, you’re a free being and you can do what you want. Feel free to wander into a swimming pool with your glasses on. That said, be aware of the dangers. Your glasses could float off your face. They could crack or break. Be aware of the gap that exists between your eyes and the lenses, where water will flow. Also be aware that having excess water in your eyes isn’t good, and can contribute to dry eyes.
Take all this information in mind, and make your decision. If you’ve decided that, yes, you want to wear your glasses in the pool, then good for you! Let us know how it goes. While you’re at it, you might want to consider a piece of equipment like this strap from Oakley that’s been designed to keep your glasses on.
Alternative #1: Contact lenses
If you’re a saner type, you might have decided that wearing glasses in the swimming pool isn’t the best idea for you. Fair enough, we agree. So let’s get into some other options. It’s not advised to wear normal contact lenses in the water, as they can cause irritation, but what you can do is wear your contact lenses underneath a pair of goggles.
Goggles are what two-eyed people use to see underwater, so there’s no reason why four-eyed people shouldn’t use them either. Wearing contact lenses underneath your goggles will help you to enjoy crystal clear vision without getting water into your eyes, reducing your chance of irritation and infection.
If you don’t want to wear goggles, then we advise that you go for disposable contact lenses, as they’re designed for one-time use and therefore less likely to carry bacteria from the swimming pool back into your eyes.
Alternative #2: Prescription goggles
If you’re more than just a casual swimmer, then you might want to invest in a pair of prescription goggles that’ll save you money on disposable contact lenses in the long run. There are many different types of prefabricated prescription goggles that could easily correct your underwater vision, and you can easily find them at optometrists and some dive stores.
If your prescription is extra strong, or different in each eye, then you might want to approach a specialist who deals with creating customised prescription goggles.
Look, if you’re only planning on having a little splash here and there, you might be able to get by without needing glasses at all. As water is a magnifier, it can correct a lot of nearsightedness, and you may be surprised at how well you can see underwater.
If you are a water baby, however, and want to have a good look at what’s going on underwater, or make funny faces at your friends while in the pool, then we reckon it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of goggles. Whether they’re normal goggles that you wear contact lenses under or special prescription goggles is up to you.
Can You Swim With Your Glasses On?
If you’re wearing glasses and want to know if you can take those bad boys out into the ocean or pool, we’ll let you know now that it’s not the best idea. You can do it, sure, but it’s very likely that your glasses will float away. If not that, they’ll definitely end up scratched. Not to mention the fact that you’ll still have water in between your eyes and the lenses.
Does that mean you can’t go underwater if you wear glasses? Not at all. There are a number of saner options out there for you bespectacled water babies that don’t involve the possibility of losing or damaging your spectacles. Glasses wearers can enjoy all the same underwater activities as non-glasses wearers, from snorkelling to diving and just plain old swimming. We’ll go through you different options here in this article.
Option 1: Contact lenses
This is a debated topic, but the Diver’s Alert Network thinks that it’s okay to wear contact lenses underwater as long as they’re the soft type. Hard or permeable contact lenses can cause issues, as it’s easy for them to absorb water and other bacterias from the ocean or swimming pool, causing irritation or infection.
That said, if you only have hard or permeable contact lenses, you can try wearing them underneath a pair of goggles or a snorkel mask. Just try to avoid getting water in there as much as you can and you should be good to go. To be on the even safer side, go for disposable or soft contact lenses. Since they’re designed for one-time use, then you can just chuck ’em out afterwards to reduce your chance of infection.
Wearing contact lenses comes with the chance of the lenses becoming stuck to your eyes due to the changes in water pressure. If that does happen, we recommend carrying around some lens rewetting drops to help release them from your eyes. Gross!
Option 2: Prescription goggles or snorkel masks
If you’re more serious about your underwater sports, then you’ll want to go for this option. Maybe a little more expensive and requires a bit of patience, but well worth it in the long run. Just like your glasses, you can have a pair of prescription goggles or snorkel masks to help correct your vision underwater.
If your prescription is quite common – and more importantly, the same in both eyes – then you might be able to find a premade snorkel mask or pair of goggles that matches your prescription. Have a look around specialist diving stores in your area, or take a look online, and you might have your prescription snorkel mask on its way to you in no time!
If your prescription is less common, or different in both eyes, then you still have the option of having a snorkel mask or pair of goggles customised to your prescription. There are optometrists out there that offer this service, and we reckon it’s the best way to enjoy crystal clear views underwater if you’re a bespectacled snorkeller.
Option 3: Bifocals
Not a lot of people know these things exist, but they can be great for those who usually wear reading glasses or want things to be magnified (so you can see all the tiny fishies!) Bifocals are basically small stick-on lenses that work similarly to reading glasses, magnifying things like small print and patterns on fishes bodies. All you need to do is stick the bifocals on your snorkel mask or goggles, and you can enjoy clearer underwater vision!
So there you have it. Three different options for you four-eyed friends to enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving, freediving, or just plain swimming – without having to put your glasses at risk. If you still want to wear your glasses underwater and find that none of these options appeal to you, then we advise you at least try to strap them on somehow… and then let us know how it goes!