At last there is a way for those of us who wear contact lenses or glasses to see safely and clearly when swimming. Optical swimming goggles designed specifically for the farsighted and nearsighted have all the features of regular swimming glasses, but with the advantage of ensuring perfect vision. They are manufactured in a wide range of various positive and negative diopters.
Good vision is just as important in the swimming pool as it is anywhere else – whether you are just splashing around in the pool while on vacation, or you are a serious competition swimmer. People who sail or play other water sports such as windsurfing and skiing can also benefit from having prescription goggles.
Surprisingly, swimming goggles are not a new invention – during the 14th century, Persian divers used protective goggles made from the polished shells of tortoises. Swimming goggles as we know them today were devised in the early 1960s and the basic design has been improved upon over the last 40 years, as technology has improved. The widespread popularity and increased use of swimming goggles during the 1960s and 1970s led to many swimming speed and distance records being broken.
Not only do goggles help you to see more clearly underwater, the range of colors and styles available have helped them to become a stylish accessory. Optical swimming goggles today come in many different styles, colors and prescriptions. Swimming goggles offer a wide range of strengths making them suitable for both shortsighted and farsighted users. There are also prescription goggles specially designed for children.
Apart from the wide range of styles available, there are also different tints and colors of the lenses themselves. Blue or green tinted lenses help protect the wearer from bright sunlight, while yellow colored lenses can seem to make indoor light appear brighter. Clear swimming goggles are suitable for night swimming and also for use in indoor pools.
Swimming goggles have health benefits too – they can protect your eyes from the often harsh chemicals found in many swimming pools. They can also help to protect eyes from potentially harmful micro-organisms and bacteria in the water.
Wearing prescription goggles is particularly important if you wear contact lenses. Although most people are able to swim with contact lenses, the Center for Disease Control found that swimmers who kept their lenses in faced more health risks, as well as the risk of eye infection.
And of course you take the risk of losing your lenses – studies indicate that about 10% of swimmers who regularly swim with their lenses in will sooner or later lose one or both of them. Another benefit of wearing goggles!
As far as comfort goes, ideally, goggles should feel comfortable and fit snugly over your eyes – if you routinely do a lot of diving, the goggles should be a little bit tighter in their fit, to help prevent them from being dislodged.
There is no doubt that optical swimming goggles have come a long way in the last 40 years or so – today’s goggles are not only stylish and functional but have features such as anti-fog coating, ultra-violet protection and are long lasting and shatter proof. Clear and safe vision in the form of prescription goggles is now readily available to all – perhaps the most useful invention since the swimming costume!
Dr. Josef Reindl is doing research in sports and special sports equipment, particularly in sports protection and rehabilitation. Besides his wide-ranged interests in sports and health Dr. Reindl is owner of http://www.opticalgoggles.com and http://www.optische-schwimmbrillen.de while also running http://www.sport-bandagen-doc.de .