Can very Short-Sighted People Scuba Dive?

Can very Short-Sighted People Scuba Dive?

by Jennifer Elku
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)


My dream has ALWAYS been to scuba dive, but my vision is now very myopic (short-sighted) and is about 20/1240 in each eye and I also have significent astigmatism in each eye. If I were to walk along the sidewalk without my glasses, I can barely see the sidewalk itself. Cracks and curbs are dark lines and shadows.

I snorkel around the lake at our cottage and do duck dives and am a fat fish, but really want to experience the freedom of scuba diving. Even if I only can swim underwater in a pool once, it would make my breathing underwater dream come true!

I believe I have found a websire which offers to replicate your prescription in a diving mask. But, I want to know if there's a limit on how blind you can be without your glasses and still scuba dive.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and anwser my question!



Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for your question.

Less than perfect vision will not keep you from scuba diving. If you wear glasses, you will still be able to see underwater and enjoy all the amazing things the marine environment has to offer. I’ve seen lots of divers with some pretty bad vision, but they never let that get in the way of their scuba diving and having a good time. All they did was have the prescription lens in their scuba mask made with the same prescription of their everyday eye wear.

If you are thinking about trying scuba diving you might want to consider a Discover Scuba Program before you spend a lot of money on a prescription mask. You would be able to experience breathing and swimming underwater in a pool with a certified scuba instructor. If this experience thrills you (like it does most people) to the point where you want to become a certified diver, then a prescription mask would be jus t the thing to let you get the most out of scuba diving.

Before you order a mask online, check to see if there are any dive centers in your area that offer prescription masks in their retail shop. By buying at a local dive center you will be able to try on different styles of masks to find the one that fits you the best.

Never let a little bad vision keep you from scuba diving. If your vision can be corrected with prescription lens above water, then your vision underwater can be corrected with a prescription mask.

Find a dive center in your local area that offers Discover Scuba and sign up. Some dive centers provide a generic prescription mask for students and clients. If you can’t find one that does, don’t worry, there’s not to see in swimming pool. The important thing is to experience breathing underwater and the freedom of scuba diving.

Good luck with your scuba experience.


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