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Prescription Goggles for Athletes & Water Sports

There is so much excitement when it comes time to planning a big outdoor adventure; where you’re going to go, what you’re going to do, and who you’re going to go with.

When you’re planning on shredding down a slope or riding a sick wave, the very last thing you want to be worrying about is your vision.

If you are an athlete looking for an alternative to wearing pesky glasses or contacts, which impede your ability to play, the solution is clear: you need a pair of prescription goggles. With a pair of prescription goggles, you can see clearly while you’re playing sports, skiing, surfing, or even scuba diving- without the stress of keeping your contacts in, or your glasses on.

If you’re looking for prescription sunglasses, protective sports glasses, ski goggles or even scuba goggles, you’re in luck! There is an expansive selection of prescription goggles available, in almost every type of sports-related eyewear!

Below, we’ve broken down a few types of prescription goggle options available on the market, and we’ve outlined some important things to know before purchasing your own pair.

Goggles for Athletes & Water Sports

Prescription Goggles for Swimming & Underwater Sports

One of the biggest fears of people who wear contacts during swimming activities is the potential of losing them; while those who opt to only wear their glasses typically ditch their frames in order to participate in the underwater fun. Another reason lots of swimmers opt to forego their contacts during underwater activities is the increased chances of getting a serious eye infection, such as Acanthamoeba keratitis.

Not being able to see well underwater is not only dangerous, it’s also not as much fun!

Thanks to current technology, prescription swim goggles have come a long way. Today’s offerings are just as sleek as the non-prescription options. In fact, no one will even know that they’re prescription goggles unless you tell them…

If you are looking to buy a pair of prescription swim goggles for adults, below are a few things to keep in mind.

Determining Your Swim Goggle Prescription

Before choosing your prescription swimming goggles, you should first find out what your existing eyeglass prescription is. You can get this information by asking your eye doctor, or the office that administered your last pair of prescription glasses. 

Finding the Correct Diopter Strength of Your Prescription Swim Goggles

This is a very important step in choosing your prescription swim goggles. The best prescription goggles are ones whose “diopter strength” matches your current lens prescription. 

This can get a bit confusing, so Aqua Goggles created a calculator to help you figure out the correct diopter strength, based on your current prescription. 

You can check it out here!

Which one to Buy: “Racing” or “Recreational” Prescription Swim Goggles

When you’re shopping for prescription swim goggles, there are usually two different styles available: racing and recreational. 

Serious swimmers that play lots of underwater sports, or swim competitively, should look for racing goggles. These goggles are generally a little more sleek and low-profile.

People who swim for fun and a more casual type of exercise should opt for recreational goggles. This style typically has more comfortable frames, and offers better peripheral vision.

If you are having trouble deciding which goggles to buy, consider asking your Optometrist or eye care specialist. They should be able to help you identify exactly which pair would be best for your particular underwater vision needs. 

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Taking Care of Your Prescription Swim Goggles

Finding the perfect pair can be tricky, but keeping them clean won’t be! Here are a few tips to keep your prescription goggles looking good as new:

  • After each use, gently rinse your goggles with fresh water
  • Due to the anti-fog coating, avoid touching or wiping the inside of the lens. This can destroy or damage the coating, and render them ineffective underwater. 
  • Do not wipe down your goggles- allow them to air-dry naturally
  • If your goggles are wet, don’t store them in a closed container. 
  • To avoid color fading, do not store your goggles in direct sunlight
  • For scratch-protection, consider purchasing a goggle case, if yours doesn’t already come with on

Goggles for Snowboarding & Skiing

Prescription Goggles for Snowboarding & Skiing

It’s not entirely unheard-of for people who wear prescription glasses to want to wear them underneath their normal ski goggles. This can be problematic however, as it can be uncomfortable and distracting, especially when worn for long periods of time. They can also fog up, making it harder to see than if you weren’t wearing your glasses at all!

Not to fret; there are plenty of viable options available to help you enjoy your time on the slopes without 20/20 vision. 

One of your options is to invest in a pair of prescription goggles for your next snowboarding or skiing adventure. As REI puts it, “Ski goggles and snowboard goggles can help protect your eyes from…on-mountain hazards, making your outing a lot more enjoyable.”

There are a few things you should consider before purchasing a pair of prescription goggles for snowboarding or skiing:

Selecting a Snowboarding and Skiing Lens

There are usually two main lens options for prescription snowsport goggles: cylindrical and spherical. 

Cylindrical lenses are the most common. They curve around your head, horizontally, and they’re flat vertically. This is usually the less expensive option. 

Spherical lenses are curved both vertically and horizontally, giving you a wider field of view, and less distortion compared to cylindrical lenses. 

To reduce fog, you can even find goggles that have an anti-fog coating and double-layer lenses. To make things even more interesting, now you can even find glasses that have a tiny fan to prevent them from fogging up! 

Technology really HAS come a long way…

Polarized vs Non-Polarized Ski & Snowboarding Goggles 

Polarized goggles provide better protection from the glare of sunlight on the snow or water. Polarized skiing or snowboarding goggles have a special filter on the lens that can effectively block a majority of reflected light, reducing glare that can fatally impair your vision. 

Polarized lenses are made of plastic and polycarbonate materials, making them significantly lighter than their glass counterparts. 

Here’s a word of warning though: because polarized lenses help reduce glare, they might also make it more difficult to see icy patches. Just be sure to know which pair you’ll be needing for which snowsport.  

Non-Polarized goggles are very different from polarized goggles. Since there is no protection from any glare, your eyes might feel more tired at the end of a long day. However, you’ll be able to see icy patches, dips in the snow, and moguls more easily- making this a great option for beginners. 

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How to Choose a Ski Goggle or Snowboard Goggle Lens Color

There are several different factors to think of when it comes to deciding which lens color to buy. The best lens for a bright, sunny day will not be the best lens for a cloudy day, same goes for morning treks versus evening adventures. 

Your lens color serves to filter and emphasize the colors in your vision. The amount of light that comes through the lens to your eyes is known as the visible light transmission, or VLT for short.

On bright, “blue bird” days, try: 

  • Colors like dark copper, dark brown, gray, and dark green; these will allow less light to pass through the lens to the eyes
  • Goggles that have photochromic lenses; they change based on the light exposure, and will become darker or lighter depending on the setting. This transition is seamless, and helps to maintain visual accuracy in all snowsport conditions. 

On moderate-to-low-light days, try:

  • Colors like pink, yellow, gold, amber, violet, rose and light copper; these let more light in allowing you to see more clearly. 
  • Clear goggles with UV protection; especially if you’re skiing at night. 

“If you choose to use just one color, consider orange,” Sue E. Lowe, chairwoman of the Sports Vision Section of the American Optometric Association, tells Ski Magazine. “An orange tint- light, medium or dark- seems to be the best color for allowing proper light transmission and helping you see moguls and curves.” 

Prescription Sunglasses for Biking & Cycling

Cyclists who wear prescription sunglasses might seem pretty cool when they’re whizzing by, but there is another, more practical reason they choose to wear prescription glasses: protecting their eyes. 

A convert to prescription cycling glasses writes to Sportive Cyclist: “In 2008 I got a wasp or bee caught between my prescription glasses and my eye whilst riding. Thankfully, uphill. Just before I whipped off my glasses, I hit a parked van and smashed said glasses. And my face. No lasting injuries, but I bought a pair of prescription cycling glasses with interchangeable tinted lenses, and an inner layer with my prescription ground into it.” 

In addition to protecting your eyes from flying debris, dust, bugs, and anything else in the air, prescription cycling glasses are by far the best way to make sure that your eyes don’t suffer from UV radiation from the sun, cataracts, and broken glass in the event of an accident. With prescription cycling sunglasses, you don’t have to sacrifice your vision for protection. Now, you can have both. 

There are a few key points to consider if you’re wondering what to look for in prescription sunglasses for biking or cycling:  

Which Lens Color is Best for Prescription Sunglasses?

For optimal vision protection, it’s recommended that you block around 75-90% of visible light on bright days, and 35-50% on darker days. 

Gray sunglass lenses are a popular lens tint. They are useful for both bright, sunny days, and gloomy or moderately sunny days. In addition to providing comfortable, anti-fatigue benefits to your eyes, they also provide protection from glare from water and wet roads. 

Gray prescription lenses are are a perfect choice for outdoor activities, including cycling, fishing, and active sports. And for nature lovers, gray lenses have the added benefit of allowing the color of objects to be seen in their purest form.

Also, consider these options for colored prescription lenses:

  • Brown or Amber sunglasses: the reddish hue of brown and amber lenses are perfect for activities where you need to be able to perceive distance. These colors are best for sunny days and are great for biking, sailing, fishing, or when you’re on the golf course.
  • Green sunglasses: prescription sunglasses with green lenses are ideal for both sunny and low-light days, and are able to significantly reduce glare. Perfect for biking, skiing, or water sports- rain or shine. 
  • Yellow sunglasses: providing better clarity, yellow lens will allow you to focus more clearly on moving objects- making this color option great for target shooting, mountain biking, tennis, and hunting. 
  • Blue or Purple sunglasses: fashionable and practical, blue lens are great for protecting your eyes against harmful UV rays. The blue tint will help enhance your color perception, as well as have a calming effect on your eyes. Also excellent in snowy and foggy conditions, so wear when you’re skiing, snowboarding, or mountain biking.

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What Type of Prescription Sunglass Lens and Frames Should I Buy?

When you buy a pair of polycarbonate lenses, it is almost impossible to break them! Polycarbonate lenses are also much lighter than glass sunglasses. However, sunglasses made of plastic are often more likely to get scratched, and are not always “optically-sound.”

To check for any kind of distortion in your glasses, hold them about an arm’s length away and look through them at the light. You should see clearly through every part of the lens.

The searches for finding the perfect pair of sunglasses for all your biking, cycling needs can be challenging, so you’ll probably want your perfect pair to last you a long time. 

With this in mind, you’ll most likely want to invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses that are made of nylon or plastic. These are often more durable and safe- just be aware that sometimes plastic frames can become more fragile in the extreme cold.  

Also, check to make sure that the hinges are sturdy, and the nose-piece is solid. You don’t want them breaking on you mid-ride!

Enjoy Your Activities with Permanent, Unaided Vision; Forgo Prescription Goggles & Glasses, and Get LASIK Instead!

Having an outdoor hobby that you love taking part in is fun! Missing out because you can’t see without glasses or contacts, is… not

If want to be able to see clearly and maintain an active lifestyle, you should invest in a pair of prescription goggles or prescription glasses.

However, if you have tried (and failed) to find a solution to wearing glasses and contacts while you’re snowboarding, skiing, biking, hiking, swimming or sailing, it might be time to think outside the box. While buying prescription goggles or sunglasses for sports is a great short-term solution, you have better options. 

Chances are, if you love getting outdoors and being active, you also are passionate about prioritizing your health. One of the best choices you can make for your health and wellness is to invest in your vision. Many professional athletes have chosen LasikPlus’ doctors for their LASIK to help with their poor vision- and their lives, and careers, have been changed for the better. 

The risk is low, and the reward is high; never having to wear glasses again! 

Envision a better future: Take a step in the direction of total freedom, and book your free consultation at a LasikPlus center near you, and discover how LASIK surgery at LasikPlus might be the right choice for your active lifestyle.