Stepping into the pool when you cannot see clearly enough to feel safe or confident can be daunting. Many new or would-be swimmers are put off from even trying swimming because of this. Unfortunately, keeping their glasses on doesn't work for very long and wearing contact lenses in the pool risks eye infections!
Luckily, nowadays there is no reason to compromise your swimming enjoyment and performance with poor vision. Swimming goggles are available in a wide range of prescriptions and are surprisingly affordable compared to glasses so can be added to every swimmers essential kit. What's more no one need know you have prescription lenses as many goggles are stylish and modern in design!
The starting point for selecting prescription swimming goggles is a recent spectacle prescription from your optician. An eye examination is recommended every two years and you can simply ask for a copy of your prescription at any time. Below we will explain how to order a set of prescription goggles once you have your sight test prescription to hand.
If you get stuck at any stage then do let us know. We are here to help. We also have access to qualified opticians should your prescription be unusual or you need further advice on selecting the right goggles for you.
How do I choose the right power for me?
Prescription swimming goggles come with optical lenses that are usually a reasonably close match to your exact prescription. So, unless you have a very basic prescription, most swimming goggles will not provide the same level of vision as your glasses or contact lenses. However, they will provide more than adequate vision for use in and around a swimming pool. And for most wearers they will be significantly better than nothing at all!
To choose you lenses, follow these simple steps:-
A spectacle prescription is usually written in the following way:
sphere cylinder axis
R -3.00 / -0.50 x 180
L -2.50 / -1.00 x 180
In order to calculate the goggle lens power you need to take into account two aspects of your prescription
The sphere (or sph) is the main part of your prescription and will be ‘–’ for short-sightedness (myopia) and ‘+’ for long-sightedness (hypermetropia)
The cylinder (or cyl) is the secondary part of your prescription and refers to the amount of astigmatism you have. This is usually a minus (-) number but may occasionally be plus (+) so take careful note what sign the cyl is
The axis is the third part of your prescription and can usually be ignored when selecting prescription goggles
If you do not have astigmatism in one or both eyes, then your prescription will only have one number, the sph power, which may be written in the form of -3.00 or -3.00 DS (where DS or ds stands for dioptre sphere)
You should base the power you order primarily on the amount of short or long sightedness you have. If you also have a moderate degree of astigmatism (up to around 2.00 cyl), then you should add around half of this to choose the most appropriate lens power. Most swimming goggles come in 0.50 dioptre steps so you may have to select the nearest power. To do this you need to take account of the power and sign (+ve or -ve) of both parts of the prescription
Here are some examples:
-3.00 /-1.00 x 90 - the best power would be -3.50 (-3.00 plus half of -1.00 so -3.00 plus -0.50)
-3.00 /+1.00 x 90 - the best power would be -2.50 (-3.00 plus half of +1.00 so -3.00 plus +0.50)
+4.00 /-1.00 x 90 - the best power would be +3.50 (+4.00 plus half of -1.00 so +4.00 plus -0.50)
+4.00 /+1.00 x 90 - the best power would be +4.50 (+4.00 plus half of +1.00 so +4.00 plus +0.50)
-4.00 /-1.50 x 45 - the best power would be -4.50 (-4.00 plus half of -1.50 so -4.00 plus -0.75 = -4.75, then rounded down to the nearest half dioptre)
Remember to do this simple calculation for each eye as most prescription goggles allow you to select different powers for the right and left lenses.
It's worth bearing in mind prescription goggles can take a bit of getting used when wearing for the first few times and unless you have a very basic prescription, most swimming goggles will not provide the same level of vision as your glasses or contact lenses. However, they will provide perfectly adequate vision for use in and around a swimming pool.
It is important to note that prescription swimming goggles are not for use outside of the swimming pool and especially for driving, operating equipment, or any other use where your normal prescription glasses or contact lenses would be indicated.
What powers do we sell?
We are able to offer a wide range of prescriptions and powers can be different in each eye. The highest prescriptions we currently offer are -10.00 dioptres for short-sighted (myopic) corrections and +6.00 for long-sighted (hyperopic) corrections.
If you require a prescription higher than we offer please give us a call or drop us an email to see if it’s something we can source for you
Does it matter if I have Astigmatism?
Astigmatism, if present in either or both eyes, is simply a minute variation in the shape of the front surface of your eye. An analogy would be the difference between a football and a rugby ball. If you have astigmatism then the curvature of the cornea (front of the eye) in different directions varies like that of a rugby ball.
As prescription swimming goggles are used in the pool and not for any detailed tasks then small amounts of astigmatism (denoted by the cyl value of your prescription) do not need to be corrected with the goggles. Instead we calculate the approximate equivalent power of a spherical lens that doesn't correct astigmatism.
So, if your astigmatism is less than around 2.50 dioptres and it is not the majority of correction then the standard prescription goggle lenses should be fine
Where the majority of your prescription is astigmatism or you have astigmatism over 2.50 dioptres you may find the goggles aren't as effective for you.
In this case if you would like to know whether prescription goggles are likely to be suitable then feel free to contact us.
It’s important to make sure you take as much care as possible with your goggles to preserve their life and to maintain performance
For extended protection we recommend:
Avoid touching, rubbing or wiping the inside of the lens as this can quickly break up or destroy the anti-fog coating on the lenses which cannot be replaced
Always keep lenses clean
Gently rinse goggles with fresh water after every use
Do not put wet goggles in closed containers
Allow goggles to dry naturally
Do not leave in direct sunlight to avoid colour fading
Consider a goggle pouch for added protection against scratching
Goggle maintenance is not an exact science but by following our hints and tips above you’ll go a long way to prolonging the life of your goggles!
Don’t compromise your performance with poor vision. Our selected optical goggles allow you to choose the correct prescription for each lens.