Can I dive wearing contact lenses?

ANSWER

There are essentially two types of contact lenses: hard contacts and soft contacts. Hard (gas-permeable) contacts will often float off an open eyeball underwater. So if you flood your mask, ensure you keep your eyes closed. You will never find a contact lens after it has left the eye since they are essentially invisible under water.

I would not recommend any water sports with hard lenses. Soft contact lenses contain their own percentage of salt water (same concentration as blood, which is much lower than seawater), so a flooded mask is much less of a problem. My advice is to dive with disposable soft contacts (not permanent ones) because, in the unlikely event of losing one, they’re cheap to replace.

All contacts can become irritating in a dive mask and you can’t rub your eyes to fix it. An alternative is prescription masks which optometrists regularly construct. There are very reasonably-priced ones and very unreasonably-priced prescription masks; so do your homework first. The success of these is dependent upon your prescription, so consult your optometrist first.