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How to choose Prescription Swim Goggles: Pre-made vs Custom Goggles

Boy In A Pool

For swimmers who grapple with vision issues, the water can present particular challenges. The search for a flawless swimming experience is made difficult by foggy seas, contorted shapes, and the inability to see the surroundings. The open water or a large pool can become confusing, endangering both swimmers' safety and enjoyment of the activity. Especially for professional swimmers, this can be extremely frustrating and needs an immediate remedy.


Worry not—we have a revolutionary solution: prescription swimming goggles. The limitations imposed by vision impairment can be overcome with prescription swim goggles. In addition to fixing optical errors, they also mark a new era of safety and clarity, making swimming a joyful and visually stimulating activity for everyone.


If you have heard of them, you might be wondering “How to choose prescription swim goggles?”. As you go, there are a few things to consider because selecting the incorrect ones could seriously impair your vision. Let's examine each of these elements and offer some advice to bear in mind while you pursue crystal-clear vision.


Understanding Your Vision Requirements


Over 2.2 billion people worldwide have vision impairments, of which over 1 billion have cases that can be appropriately treated. Knowing the nature of your visual issue is therefore very helpful. Most often, people suffer from one of these easily correctable impairments:


  • Myopia, or nearsightedness: Myopia causes clear eyesight up close, but hazy vision when looking at distant objects. It's easier to focus on what's close at hand while seeing the distant world as slightly blurry. To correct this, you will need nearsighted swim goggles, which we will get to in a bit. 


  •  Farsightedness (Hyperopia): Hyperopia puts more emphasis on distant vision, which could cause nearby things to appear hazy. It's like being able to see the big picture yet having trouble seeing the little details.


  • Astigmatism: Variations in focus result from imperfections in vision caused by astigmatism. It's as though some details are seen clearly, while others seem skewed.


Therefore, comprehending these concerns aids in getting custom prescription swimming goggles to meet specific visual requirements.


Finding Your Lens Strength

After considering the range of impairments that prescription swimming goggles can help with, you probably want to know how to buy prescription goggles for swimming. The following steps are to be followed as you accomplish this:


1. The first step to choosing prescription goggles is determining the diopter strength that most closely matches your current prescription. Follow the below steps, or ask your doctor to help you choose the best ones for you.


2. Keep these in mind: Sphere (SPH) is the degree of refraction error in diopters. This is always a negative number for nearsighted people and a positive number for farsighted. Cylinder (CYL) is the degree of astigmatism in your eye. Add half of this number to the sphere to determine diopter strength.


Note: if your cylinder is over 1.50 diopters, then you will want to consider custom-made goggles as vision will still be a bit blurry without the astigmatism corrected.


3. Get your most current prescription numbers, and then you can calculate the strength of the diopter you need using this formula:

1/2 of the cylinder + sphere = diopter strength

Or, + 1/2 Cyl ____ + SPH___ = _____


Note: If your cylinder and sphere are opposite signs, you need to subtract instead of add. For instance +3.00 sphere and -1.00 cylinder would be +3.00 + (-1.00/2)= +2.50 or -3.00 sphere -1.00 cylinder would be (-3.00) + (1.00/2)= -2.50


4. To choose a diopter lens, simply find the one that has a prescription closest to your own. A general rule of thumb when choosing a diopter lens is to round down — rather than up — to the prescription that most closely matches your own. This places less strain on your eyes. For instance, if the calculation results in -4.25, round down to -4.00.


If you want the most accurate results, it is always best to consult with your doctor to get your eyes checked. Regular eye check-ups are also advisable to make sure your power is correctly made into your lenses.


Types of prescription swim goggles 


When it comes to choosing the perfect fit, you can choose between diopter goggles or customized ones. Let us look at the pros and cons of both:


Step-Diopter/Pre-made lenses: With pre-made lens strengths, diopter goggles offer a quick and affordable solution that's perfect for prescriptions that don’t have much astigmatism (under 1.50 cylinders). They are immediately available, but they limit customizing choices for people with complicated prescriptions. This type of lens production is similar to the generic reading glasses found in drug stores: 


The prescription will be a close match to your own, but may not be as precise as that in the glasses or contact lenses you use every day. For use in the water (an already-blurry environment), step diopter prescription glasses are perfectly adequate. 


They are also more widely available and affordable than custom-made prescription goggles.  Negative diopter lenses are the most commonly available goggles and are intended for those with nearsighted or myopic vision. Lenses range in diopters from -1.5 to -10.0 and come in increments of 0.5. Positive diopter lenses are for farsighted swimmers and are less common, hence custom lenses might be the only solution in such cases. 


Customized Lenses: Custom goggles are made to order and tailored to each patient's prescription, guaranteeing accuracy and maximum clarity, particularly for complex visual needs. The advantages include a customized and engaging swimming experience, even though they need a larger time and financial commitment. Custom goggles are correct for astigmatism and are made to the exact same prescription as your eyeglasses. Thus, you can expect to see as clearly as you do with your everyday eyeglasses.


Selecting the Best Fit: Depending on personal preferences and the complexity of the prescription, one may choose between Step Diopter and Custom Goggles. Step Diopters are ideal for simplicity and speed, but Custom Goggles address more subtle requirements and help you make an informed choice for a clear and unique swimming experience. 


If you are using the swim goggles for water sports like jet skiing where reaction time comes into play, you will want to for sure go the customized route for instance. 


Tips on selecting the perfect goggles 


Toddler Swimming on Pool Wearing Blue Goggles


Now that you have all the knowledge necessary to choose the right kind of goggles for your needs, let's take a closer look at some essential advice that will improve your experience. 


1. Coating to prevent fogging: Because anti-fog coating prevents condensation from developing, it improves safety and visibility—a necessary condition for a continuous swimming experience.


2. UV Protection: This is essential for swimming outdoors since it shields the eyes from harmful rays, preventing potential long-term damage and maintaining eye health.


3. Comfortable and Secure Fit: A snug and customized fit is essential for comfort on long swims. Not only can adjustable straps increase comfort, but they also allow for personal preferences, making the experience more customized.


4. Selecting the Right Frame: Choosing the right frame enhances functionality and goes beyond appearances. A snug fit maximizes overall performance and helps to prevent discomfort by following the natural shape of the face.


Our Recommendations 


With so many options around, it can get a little difficult to narrow down your selections of the best prescription swimming goggles for yourself. Well, don’t worry! We’re here to help you out with some leading swimming goggles from our catalog. 


1. View Swipe  Step Diopter Prescription Swim Goggles


View Swipe  Step Diopter Prescription Swim Goggles


The View Swipe is a pre-made swim goggle that can be assembled according to the prescription power of your eye ranging from -10.00 to +5.00 with 3 sizes of nose bridges to fit pre-teens to adults.  The smoke-tinted lenses will help make your surroundings look more contrasting and crisp, whether you’re swimming indoors or outdoors.


2. Hilco Leader Vantage Step Diopter Prescription Swim Goggles


Hilco Leader Vantage Step Diopter Prescription Swim Goggles


If you are looking for a pair of prescription swim goggles for kids or yourself, the Hilco Leader Vantage goggles are the best choice.  With an easy-to-assemble design, these goggles are the best fit for adults as well as kids 9+ and can support prescription powers ranging from -8.00 to +8.00. These swimming goggles are available in blue and black with high-quality smoke-tinted lenses.


3. Hilco Velocity Step Diopter Prescription Swim Goggles


Hilco Velocity Step Diopter Prescription Swim Goggles


If you prefer swimming indoors, blue-tinted lenses are the best for you. Velocity is one of the few swimming goggles that are available in blue-tinted lenses as well as smoke-colored lenses. These prescription goggles are available in adult size and can be assembled in powers ranging from -8.00 to +8.00. 


4. Hilco Leader XRX Custom Prescription Swim Goggles


Hilco Leader XRX Custom Prescription Swim Goggles


Looking for swimming goggles that fit your personality and your vision perfectly? The Hilco XRX is the best choice for you. Ranging from vibrant colors like Cherry, Red, and Pink to common ones like Black, Blue, and Clear, these swim goggles are available in Adult and Youth sizes. Each goggle is customized with your exact prescription power and offers a wide range of powered lenses from -16.00 to +16.00. 


To ensure that you have the perfect fit, you can adjust/interchange the nose bridges and also add tints ranging from brown to blue colored tints or even transitions. Additionally, you can choose from a variety of coatings including anti-fog, anti-scratch, mirror, or even polarized coatings for your lenses. 


Customize your goggles according to your needs and have the perfect pair of swim goggles at your doorstep in 2 weeks. 


  • Progear HSV-1301 or HSV-1302 Custom Prescription Swim Goggles


 Progear HSV-1301 or HSV-1302 Custom Prescription Swim Goggles


Just like the Hilco XRX, Progear is a fully customizable swim goggle that comes in a variety of colors and adult and youth sizes. The lenses are custom-made to your prescription and come with all the options you would expect from a conventional pair of glasses, including polarization, anti-fog, and anti-scratch coatings, colors, and materials.


Final Word 


When it comes to your vision, there should simply be no compromise. For swimmers, prescription goggles are a game-changer, providing clear and unobstructed vision for strong gameplay. It is essential to choose your prescription swim goggles carefully, considering UV protection, anti-fog properties, and a comfortable fit. With the right combination of these, you will be unmatched in any water environment. Explore our range of prescription goggles to know more.

15 Feb 2024

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