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Prescription Lens Masks

We have been told by our suppliers that we sell more corrective lens dive mask than the whole of the rest of the Australian dive industry combined. It's because of the detailed information on this web page, plus our excellent customer service and everyday low prices. Please read the following information carefully. Then join the thousands of divers and snorkellers who are seeing clearly underwater using a corrective lens mask from The Scuba Doctor.

Prescription vs Corrective Lens Masks

If you wear prescription glasses, diving and snorkelling masks fitted with lenses with your exact prescription can be obtained. But it's very expensive and time-consuming. Most divers and snorkellers don't require this expensive solution and their needs can be solved with less expensive and quick to obtain corrective lens mask solutions. The important thing here is to make sure that the variety of your needs are taken into consideration and the right solution is chosen.

Negative Correction Lens — If you are a snorkeller you probably just need to see objects in the distance, therefore a distance only correction lens can be used with selected masks. That's the case for many divers as well. The solution is what we call a negative corrective lens mask — a negative correction to the whole lens, for short/near-sighted people with myopia.

Positive Correction Lens — For some scuba divers and snorkelers it's the reverse and and they need positive correction lenses for near vision issues. The solution is what we call a positive corrective lens mask — a positive correction to the whole lens, for long/far-sighted people with hypermetropia.

Bifocal Correction Lens — Some scuba divers just need a bit of help reading their gauges, dive computers, or camera controls. The solution is what we call a 'bifocal', or 'gauge reading', corrective lens mask — clear or planar on top and a lower pane with positive correction for reading.

Sometimes snorkellers and scuba divers have eye shapes that require lens shapes not available with corrective lenses. They need an exact, full prescription lens mask solution, and we can't provide it.

Also, some divers may need both distance correction to see the underwater life, and near correction to read gauges and dive computers. Therefore, depending on your prescription, true bifocal, or truncated, full prescription lenses may be required — distance correction on top and a lower pane with positive correction for reading. This is what we call a full bifocal prescription lens mask solution, and we can't provide it.

Your optometrist is the best person to advise you as to which of the above solutions are right for you. Please show them this web page so that they can understand what we can and can't do. Then they can give you the right and left eye correction values we need to provide your underwater vision solution.

Diving/Snorkelling Mask Corrective Lenses

The Scuba Doctor is able to provide the dive and snorkelling masks listed here already fitted with pre-made corrective lenses that correct close to your prescription, not exact. This is a good solution for most scuba divers and snorkellers with low astigmatism.

Dive mask with corrective lenses
Corrective lens mask: the mask, plus two separate correction lenses.
Supplied with the corrective lenses fitted, plus the original normal lenses.

We can offer dive masks in a range of correction strengths to suit most people. We offer positive and negative corrections and bifocals. Bifocals are great for people who are long sighted and just struggle to view their gauges. The lenses we supply are not the stick on type, they are complete replacements for the current lenses. We can therefore only supply these on a select few masks.

Some of the masks with optional vision correcting lenses can be obtained with either a '-' (minus/negative) dioptre (e.g. -1.5 to -9.0), or a '+' (plus/positive) dioptre (e.g. +1.0 to +4.5), typically in 0.5 increments.


Some divers require negative distance vision correction, that is, the diver has 'near-sightedness' and the Rx Sphere value is a '-' dioptre.

Other divers require a positive correction, that is, the diver has 'far-sightedness' and the Rx Sphere value is a '+' dioptre.

To order, you can consult your eyeglass, or contact, prescription for the proper amount of spherical power correction. A spectacle prescription is usually written in the following form:

  sphere   cylinder   axis
OD / R -3.00 / -0.50 x 180
OS / L -3.50 / -1.00 x 180

In order to calculate the power you need to take into account the two aspects of your prescription.

  • The sphere (or sph) is the main part of your prescription and will be '–' for short-sightedness (myopia) and '+' for long-sightedness (hypermetropia).
  • The cylinder (or cyl) is the secondary part of your prescription and refers to the amount of astigmatism you have.

We need the dioptre (diopter) value for each eye. When reading your prescription, 'OS' means your left eye, and 'OD' means your right eye.

You could base the power you order primarily on the amount of short or long-sightedness you have. If you also have a moderate degree of astigmatism (up to 2.00), you could also incorporate up to half of this to choose the most appropriate power. If the result is a quarter dioptre prescription, then you should typically increase to the next higher/stronger dioptre. For example, if the Rx is -1.75, then increase to -2.0 dioptre. If the Rx is +1.75, then increase to +2.0 dioptre. If one eye needs no correction, then order a 'Normal' or 'Plano' lens for that side.

If this all sounds very complicated, it's because it is! You will find websites that let you enter your script values to calculate the two values we need. We know the formula they use, but our optometrist friends tell us using this method would often lead to disappointed customers. It's just not that simple.

The decision about the values you need is best done by your optometrist as they know best what's going on with your eyes, and sometimes those other values in your script come into play.

Once you know the dioptre values you need, you can then select a mask for which the range or dioptre values available matches your requirements.

Bifocal or 'Gauge Reader' Corrective Lenses

Gauges gone fuzzy?Finding the numerals on your gauge too small, especially in the dark? Finding your arm is not long enough, but have pretty good distance vision? If you answered yes to these questions, then you probably have presbyopia, a condition where the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects with age. On the surface, the fix is reading glasses (those things you always forget just when you need them most). Bright light also helps, as it constricts the pupils, and decreases spherical aberration. Some people use prescription bifocals, trifocals or multi-focal lenses.

Underwater the solution is a 'Gauge Reader' mask fitted with what the dive industry refers to as Bifocal corrective lenses. These underwater bifocal corrective lenses for masks aren't quite what people are used to with bifocal prescription glasses.

With Gauge Reader dive mask bifocal corrective lenses, the lower pane (roughly a third) has the plus dioptre reading correction, and the rest of the lens is 'Normal' or 'Plano'. That's why they're referred to as Gauge Reading lenses. You need to know the dioptre value for your reading glasses.

Dive mask with bifocal lenses
Bifocal lens mask with gauge reading correction lenses.
Normal (plano) vision for top two thirds and "reading" (plus) correction for bottom third.
Supplied with the bifocal lenses fitted, plus the original normal (plano) lenses.

Bifocal / Gauge Reading corrective lenses are typically available in a dioptre range of +1.0 to +4.5, in 0.5 increments. If you have a quarter dioptre prescription, then increase to the next higher/stronger dioptre. Your eyes will inevitably change and within a few years, you will need the stronger dioptre. Now you can select a mask that has Bifocal / Gauge Reader corrective lenses available with the dioptre value(s) you need.

Note: The bifocal correcting mask lenses we sell have the reading correction attached via a permanent bond by the lens manufacturer. The correction is not an after-market 'stick on' or 'glue in' lens that is not permanent. Our own experience, plus that of our customers, very plainly tells us that none of the after-market 'stick-on' solutions work well, and thus we don't bother selling them.

Please note that all of the masks listed here can have corrective lenses fitted, but only a few of the masks can have bifocal, gauge reading corrective lenses fitted.

What Corrections Do We Offer?

We offer the following levels of prescription/correction, in half dioptre increments:

  • Minus lenses from -1.0 to -9.0*
  • Plus lenses from +1.0 to +4.5*
  • Bifocal lenses from +1.0 to +4.5*

* available on selected masks only.

Please Note: The scripts issued by optometrists use quarter dioptre increments. We can only provide half dioptre increments. This is another reason why you should consult your optometrist, as they will be able to come up with the values you need.

What If I Have Astigmatism?

None of the 'off the shelf' corrective lens masks correct astigmatism, so if the majority of your prescription is astigmatism, or you have astigmatism over 2.00 dioptres, you will need a custom made product for best visual results.

If your astigmatism is less than 2.00 dioptres, or is not the majority of correction, then the corrective lens mask solutions we can provide should be fine. This is another reason why you should consult your optometrist.

Please Consult Your Optometrist

We strongly recommend that you consult your optometrist about which underwater vision correction solution is best for you. We recommend you show them this information. Your optometrist will be able to work out which corrective solutions are available to you and make recommendations as to what to get, plus provide the two dioptre values we need.

We are not optometrists and can't read your script to determine if a corrective lens mask will work for you. Correction lenses typically will work for the vast majority of people, but some eye shapes can't be accommodated this way.

Your prescription may need to be changed because the distance between the lens of your diving mask and your eyes typically is different from the distance between your eyeglasses lenses and your eyes. (This also is one of the reasons your contact lens prescription is different from your eyeglass prescription if you have moderate or high myopia.) An eye care professional specialising in sports eyewear can adjust your prescription for underwater use.

Your optometrist will also be able to provide you with the best spherical correction dioptre values for your left and right eyes given the half dioptre increments of corrective lenses. Then you can order your corrective lens mask from The Scuba Doctor with confidence in achieving a great outcome.

Whatever your preference, there are plentiful corrective options available to ensure that everyone can see clearly to experience the beauty and wonder of the underwater world.

Recommended Optometrist:

Melbourne: David Glennie is an optometrist and experienced scuba diver. His team can check your eyes and translate your script into the values we need for your corrective lenses. They can even show you how it will work.

David Glennie, Karingal Optical
Shop 39, Karingal Hub, 330 Cranbourne Road, Frankston VIC 3199
Tel. 03 9789 4811

Fitting the Mask Corrective Lenses

If you buy a complete mask with two corrective lenses from The Scuba Doctor, we will fit the lenses to the mask for you before sending the mask out. You will also receive the original normal (plano) lenses, placed inside the packets the corrective lenses came in.

Corrective Lens Mask Delivery

Order today and your mask with corrective lenses will be assembled and usually Ship the next Business Day.

We typically place orders for your mask with corrective lenses with our suppliers the same day we receive the order from you. In some cases, they will be assembled and shipped directly to you from the suppliers the same business day, or if not, the next business day. Our suppliers are Sydney based, so you need to allow for the usual postal delivery times for the package to reach you from Sydney.

Colour Options: Many of the masks are available with heaps of colour choices. However, sometimes our suppliers get low on some colour options. Please enter any other mask colour options you'd be happy with in the comments during the checkout process. Then we have options to switch to so that your order isn't delayed.

Other Considerations

Custom made prescription lenses made to your exact prescription are sometimes preferred by more advanced divers, for those shooting underwater photo/video, or those who need a bifocal lens with two different types of correction in each lens. We suggest you try Ozbob Scuba for custom made prescription scuba masks.

Because you asked... the negative and positive vision-correcting mask lenses we sell have the magnification ground into the lenses themselves. The bifocal gauge reading correction is attached via a permanent bond by the lens manufacturer. The correction is not an after-market 'stick on' or 'glue in' lens that is not permanent. Our own experience, plus that of our customers, very plainly tells us that none of the after-market 'stick-on' solutions work well, and thus we don't sell them.

Contact Lens Wearers: Not all contact lenses are suitable for diving. Gas permeable lenses (GP lenses) can 'dig' into the eyes below certain depths, because of the pressure. Soft contact lenses can collect waterborne organisms and become contaminated, causing eye infections. If you wear contact lenses under your mask for diving, you need to make sure you blink a lot. Excessive starring can cause bubbles to form underneath your lenses and which may cause minor discomfort and temporary blurring of vision. Also, be sure to have a spare set of contacts (or glasses) available in case you lose a contact lens underwater.

Health Fund Refunds

As best as we can tell, you will be unable to claim a refund from your health fund for the supply of a corrective lens mask. Most health funds require a medical provider item code for a claim to be successful and no dive manufacturer or dive shop we know of has this. However, you may wish to check with your health fund to see if they are more generous.

More Information

For more information please see our Scuba Buying Guides: Buying a Great Dive Mask and Avoiding Mask Squeeze, plus our Dive Gear Features pages: Mask Features and Fixing Underwater Vision Problems.

Note: Diving/snorkelling masks are very different to Swimming Goggles. See Goggles vs Masks. We have available Prescription Swim Goggles.

The Arch, Flinders

Reef Dive Reef Dive | Boat access Boat access

Abalone Dive Site Advanced Open Water Rated Crayfish Dive Site Reef Dive Site Spearfishing Site

Depth: 3 m (9.84 ft) to 22 m (72 ft)

Level: Advanced Open Water and beyond.

The Arch is is a unique area of coast where an arch has worn away in the rocks on the shore line to create a prominent feature on the southern coast of the Mornington Peninsula, between Bushrangers Bay to the west and Simmons Bay to the east, towards Cape Schanck from Flinders. There are a number of named boat dive sites nearby including: The Arch, Shark Cave, Swell Shark Gutter, Yellow Wall, The Nursery, and The Dungeons.

Heading west from Flinders towards Cape Schanck you pass some spectacular and rugged scenery with towering basalt cliff, blowholes and coastal stacks. Be sure to give West Head and Bismark Reef a wide berth, as swell builds up over these shallow reefs on even the calmest days. Passing The Blowhole and majestic Lady Face Point, The Arch comes into view. It's situated about eight kilometres west of Flinders and is named after the rock formation in the cliff inshore of the dive site.

There are several options when diving The Arch. The most obvious is the dropoff on the seaward side that tumbles to about 22 metres and is decorated with gorgonians, occasional dusky sea ferns and a healthy population of blue throat wrasse and leatherjacket. There are many deep ledges and holes, and one large cavern know as Shark Cave that normally houses a family of Port Jackson sharks. You may even get a glimpse of the unusual upsidedown pipefish swimming inverted under the ceiling of a ledge.

Closer in to shore is a shallow reef with what looks like a riverbed of clean white sand winding through it and heading into shore. This is the home of several reef species including sea sweep and magpie morwong. With a maximum depth of 10–12 metres, you an enjoy a safe long dive here on a day when there is little or no swell.

Further west in the lee of Pelican Point is Swell Shark Gutter, a spectacular area with schools of leatherjacket and sea sweep that trail divers and are approachable. The shallow reef platform is deeply dissected with gutters and chasms draper with bull kelp and decorated with ascidians. With a maximum depth of just nine metres you can spend lots of time here. The site is named after the sell sharks that seem to hang out here. The anchorage at the Swell Shark Gutter site is somewhat sheltered in the lee of the exposed reefs of Pelican Point and offers a huge area for exploration.

While Swell Shark Gutter is the ultimate as regards fish life, Yellow Wall is the pinnacle of invertebrate dives. Located a few hundred metres west of The Arch, this site needs ideal conditions as you're diving the actual cliff face where the swell seems to focus. The wall is covered with yellow soft corals.

Opposite Yellow Wall is huge bommie dotted with small grottos housing gorgonians of every colour with the occasional blue devil for added contrast.

A more sheltered location can be found at The Nursery. This site is just west of The Arch on the tip of a fairly high headland which drops almost straight to the water's edge, giving considerable protection from the south-easterlies. Close to shore the headland drops vertically into 18 metres of water and there are many swim throughs that seem like an underwater adventure playground. Watch the swells as you enter the tunnels, but be prepared to 'roll with the punches' — there is no point fighting the awesome force of tonnes of water. Just relax and enjoy the ride! On the south side of the wall is a section of reef at about ten metres which is dotted with ledges that house many small crayfish and juvenile fish species, hence the name of this dive site! If you rummage around in the kelp you are likely to find a catshark, and the deep ledges often reveal conger eels, bearded rock cod, and schools of bullseyes.

Yet another dive site here is The Dungeons tucked up in amongst the cliffs near The Arch. Here there is a series of deep vertical and horizontal cracks in the reef that lead to huge open-roofed caverns, swim throughs and kelp fringed gutters. Marine life here is particularly rich and colourful. There are walls of colourful sea-fans, a dungeon full of yellow, white and orange soft corals, and cracks full of abalone. Schools of sweep and old wives cruise along the wall, and you will find something new at every twist and turn. With a minimum depth of 15 metres, this is one of the most exciting dives in the area.

Location: Flinders, Victoria 3929
MELWAY Ref: Page 258 G11

Entry/Exit: Access is by boat from the Flinders Boat Ramp in Western Port. Best to keep the dive boat live rather than anchor.

Ideal Conditions: If the swell is anything greater than 1 metre you should be looking for a deeper dive site offshore. For most of these dive sites you need absolutely perfect conditions with no wind, no waves and no swell. The sites face south, so any wind needs to be light offshore northerlies. See WillyWeather (Simmons Bay) as a guide for the tide times and the height of the tide.

Acknowledgement: We'd like to thank Alan Wiggs whose article "The Arch" in "Sportdiving Magazine" provided most the information you see above. See The Arch by Alan Wiggs

Abalone Dive Site
Abalone Dive Site
© Mark Norman, Museum Victoria

Divers have the opportunity to catch Abalone at this dive site. Remember your catch bag, legal abalone tool, current Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence, and abalone measure. Please abide by all current fishing regulations if you intend to catch abalone.

See article-catching-abalone for practical abalone hunting advice from The Scuba Doctor, plus melbourne-abalone-dives for a list of other Abalone dive sites near Melbourne.

Crayfish Dive Site
Crayfish Dive Site | © Ian Scholey

Divers have the opportunity to catch Southern Rock Lobster (aka Crayfish) at this dive site. Remember your catch bag, current Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence, rock lobster measure, and cray tags. Once you get back to the dive boat, or shore, make sure you clip the tail and tag your Crayfish as per Fisheries requirements. Please abide by all current fishing regulations if you intend to catch crays. See article-catching-crayfish for practical cray hunting advice from The Scuba Doctor, plus melbourne-cray-dives for a list of other crayfish dive sites near Melbourne. For tips on cooking your Crays, please see article-cooking-crayfish.

Back Beach Warning: Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any dive on the Back Beaches of the Mornington Peninsula. Please read the warnings on the web page diving-the-back-beaches before diving or snorkelling this site.

Boon Wurrung / Bunurong country
Boon Wurrung / Bunurong country

Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Boon Wurrung / Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation. This truly ancient Country includes parts of Port Phillip, from the Werribee River in the north-west, down to Wilson's Promontory in the south-east, including the Mornington Peninsula, French Island and Phillip Island, plus Western Port. We wish to acknowledge the Boon Wurrung as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Bunjil the Creator Spirit of this beautiful land, who travels as an eagle, and Waarn, who protects the waterways and travels as a crow, and thank them for continuing to watch over this Country today and beyond.


The Arch, Flinders Location Map

Latitude: 38° 29.883′ S   (38.49805° S / 38° 29′ 52.98″ S)
Longitude: 144° 56.301′ E   (144.938346° E / 144° 56′ 18.05″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2022-04-01 16:34:52 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-05 10:00:22 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Simmons Bay Sea Caves, 1,279 m, bearing 47°, NE
Flinders, Mornington Peninsula.
Depth: 3 to 22 m.

DISCLAIMER: No claim is made by The Scuba Doctor as to the accuracy of the dive site coordinates listed here. Should anyone decide to use these GPS marks to locate and dive on a site, they do so entirely at their own risk. Always verify against other sources.

The marks come from numerous sources including commercial operators, independent dive clubs, reference works, and active divers. Some are known to be accurate, while others may not be. Some GPS marks may even have come from maps using the AGD66 datum, and thus may need be converted to the WGS84 datum. To distinguish between the possible accuracy of the dive site marks, we've tried to give each mark a source of GPS, Google Earth, or unknown.


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