Dive Masks Tips

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Dive Masks Let You View the Underwater World

Dive shops offer many different types of dive masks to suit both beginner divers and frequent divers. Dive mask choices include two-window and three-window masks, kids' masks, low-profile masks, masks with panoramic views, gauge reader masks, and masks for divers with small or narrow faces. Dive masks range in price from about $20 to $90.


Don't Sacrifice Quality Masks for a Cheaper Price

Dive masks are generally made out of rubber or silicone. Silicone is more pliable and generally considered to be the better of the two materials. Silicone feels soft and bends easily to fit the shape of the diver's face. Rubber masks are less expensive than silicone masks and do the job, but are not often the first choice of shoppers. When purchasing scuba gear, don't cut corners by choosing the cheapest products. Instead, shop at a quality discount scuba retailer with a large inventory, low overhead and better prices.

Can I get a dive mask with a corrective lens for my vision?

Prescription Dive Masks Help with Poor Eyesight

Prescription scuba masks are the answer for divers who wear prescription eyeglasses. It does not matter whether you are near-sighted, far-sighted or require bifocals. With prescription masks, you can see as well underwater as you do wearing eyeglasses on land.

The best part is that divers don't need to buy a new dive mask. There are online opticians who will add a corrective lens to your existing dive mask. You just send your prescription and dive mask in the mail.

The corrective lens size is made as large as possible, so your clear vision will not be limited. The corrective lens is bonded to the glass plate with a clear adhesive, which should not come off.

If you wear contact lenses, you may still benefit from a prescription dive mask. Divers who wear contact lenses are more prone to eye infections unless their mask is sealed tightly. If water seeps in the mask, microscopic organisms can get trapped in your contacts and irritate your eyes.

Does it matter what kind of dive mask I buy?

Don't Sacrifice Quality Masks for a Cheaper Price

Each piece of your scuba equipment performs a vital job. Whether it is your scuba mask or buoyancy compensator, you need equipment that functions well and withstands the elements.

If you choose a cheap mask, for example -- and there are plenty out there -- you are likely to get one made of plastic, instead of rubber or silicone. The mask will be stiff against your face, leak and crack. Limit these masks for your kids' horseplay in the pool.

The bottom line is to buy a quality mask that fits well and won't leak during your dive.

Can't I just use a friend's mask when I dive?

Silicone Masks are Designed to Have a Memory Fit

New divers frequently share scuba masks, use loaners or rent their equipment. Invest in a new dive mask, if you want it to fit properly and function well.

The easiest way to spoil a dive is to wear a mask that does not seal to your face. You will constantly be clearing water from your mask, or heading to the surface with irritated eyes.

The pliable skirting on quality masks is designed to mold to the contours of a diver's face. The soft silicone material will hold that shape -- unless other divers try to use the same mask.

If you borrow a friend's mask, the mask likely will leak because the skirt won't fit your face. You also will destroy the "memory" fit for your friend.

How do you defog a dive mask?

Defogging Your Dive Mask is Easy

Defogging a swim mask is easy. You just spit into the face plate. It's the first thing kids learn to do when they get a mask, fins and snorkel set. They never seem to forget it. This old-fashioned method works just fine, and is a quick solution for divers who don't have their defoggers handy before they dip below the surface.

Here's a quick reminder on how to defog your mask:

  1. Dip the face plate in the water, then shake the water out.
  2. Spit into the face plate and rub the spit on the glass with your fingers.
  3. Dip the face plate again and empty the water. You are ready to dive.

Can I clear the water from my mask while diving?

It's Easy to Clear Your Mask While Diving

Your scuba mask should seal against your face, but don't be surprised if a small amount of water gets in. It shouldn't ruin your dive and is easy to fix while you are underwater. Experienced divers do it all the time.

Just follow these tips: Breathe out through your nose as you tilt your face toward the surface. At the same time, crack the lower skirt of the mask. The water should run out.

Hair can sometimes get into the mask and break the seal. Women should consider pulling their hair back in a pony tail. Men need to keep facial hair trimmed.

What features should I look for in a mask?

Choose a Mask That Fits Well and Doesn't Leak

What makes one scuba mask better than another? Divers want to see well in the water. But there are several features to consider:

  • The dive mask should fit well. Press it against your face and breathe in through your nose. It should create a tight vacuum without squeezing your face.
  • The mask should not leak. A small amount of water seeping into the diver's mask is normal. But you don't want a steady stream. It will spoil your dive.
  • Your dive mask should provide a clear window underwater. Masks come in a variety of shapes and styles for the face plates. If you're a beginner try different ones out. You may even want to buy a less expensive one at first to see if you like the style and design.
  • It should be easy to adjust the pressure on your scuba mask as you ascend and descend. You do this by exhaling through your nose. The smaller the airspace, the easier it is to adjust the pressure.
  • It's always a good idea to try on masks at your local dive shop. If you want to get the best deal, you may want to see, touch and try on the masks at a local shop, then order the one you like online. You are likely to get a better deal.

What is mask squeeze?

Equalize Your Mask to Prevent Painful Mask Squeeze

Mask squeeze is painful pressure from the scuba mask pushing against your face and causing the tissue around your eyes to swell.

Mask squeeze occurs when a diver does not equalize his or her mask during a rapid descent. This creates what is known as barotrauma, or bruising, to the soft tissues of the face within the mask.

There is no treatment for barotrauma, and the tissue will heal in one to two weeks.

Equalizing is easy to do. Scuba masks are designed to let divers exhale through their nose into the mask to lessen the pressure.

What can I learn about dive masks?

Dive Masks Let You View the Underwater World

Dive masks are your window to the underwater world. You have chosen to scuba dive to experience life that is alien to humans. Your dive equipment allows you to see, breathe and move underwater, like a sea creature.

So it makes sense to learn everything you can about diving equipment to make the best selections. The first step is buying a diving mask. It not only allows you to see everything around you, but keeps water out of your eyes and nose.

Masks have a tempered glass plate that is durable and allows divers to see around them. There is a "skirt" around the plate that forms a tight seal against your face. The strap keeps your scuba mask in place, but its function is not to keep water out. So do not try to tighten the straps if water leaks in.

To determine if your mask is a good fit, press it against your face and inhale through your nose. This should create a tight vacuum and hold the mask to your face.

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Joe Wallace