Swimming goggles

How Deep Can I Dive With Swimming Goggles? (Important Facts to Know)

People who are new to water sports like scuba diving and snorkeling are mostly confused about whether swimming goggles can be worn or not.

Whether you’re a newbie or a pro swimmer, putting on a mask is recommended. Thus, it is quite normal to get confused about why you’re not able to wear swimming goggles.

This is because many people assume that with goggles, they’ll be able to get clear underwater vision. 

Can You Dive With Swimming Goggles?

Firstly, a little clarification is required – there isn’t anything like snorkeling or a scuba diving goggle. Goggles are great for swimming, skiing, and also flying sometimes and these are also ideal as safety eyewear in different applications. These aren’t necessary for free diving, scuba diving, snorkeling, spearfishing, etc. 

When you’re getting into water activities like skin diving, scuba diving, or snorkeling, Boyle’s physics law about pressure effect on the air spaces can be felt. The law is perfectly explained with what happens when you put on swimming goggles and dive into deeper waters.

While talking about the pressure, we’re discussing the weight. After applying pressure to the object you’re just applying more weight. When the object in which pressure is getting applied is compressible, we’ll notice compression.

This goes true for air when the water pressure gets applied to it. The water gets 800 times denser compared to air and when we’re going underwater in a denser environment, the water weight affects air spaces for both mask and goggles. With deep diving, more weight (higher pressure) water gets placed on such air spaces.

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Here the effect would be that masks and goggles get pushed tight to the face. The phenomenon here is known as a squeeze that runs anywhere to either sharp or mild pain. The analogy here would be the difference between a tight bear hug and a gentle hug.

Now that we’ve stated that the pressure can affect both, we haven’t gotten a definite reason for why goggles should not be put on while snorkeling.

The fact is quite straightforward, that masks enclose the nose and eyes as well, whereas with goggles you only get eye protection. With enclosed nose divers get air inside the mask for equalizing the pressure. Adding air through simply exhaling through the nose alleviates discomfort.

Max Safe Depth for Goggles

While putting on swimming goggles you shouldn’t go deep inside the water. This is because, with more depth, you get a buildup of higher water pressure on you. Just in 10 meters of depth, you’re in double pressure (less or more) compared to the surface. This results in the air getting squeezed out of goggles and you crush them against the face. While it isn’t comfortable it can get worse. 

With continuous building up of pressure with more depth, you don’t get any way of equalizing pressure in little goggles, so in this situation, you’re just forming a vacuum between your eyes and the goggles. 

However, if you’re planning to dive deeper inside the waters, you would require a mask that includes your nose, as then you’ll be able to add up the pressure by releasing air through the nose, which compensates suction in the mask. 

Deep record-breaking divers use pressure equalization equipment and techniques for getting deeper. However, the same isn’t recommended for you.

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So, what would be recommended way to get deeper into the water?

Nowadays, dive masks are becoming a popular choice as diving equipment. These are designed for withstanding the problems associated with scuba diving. Air pressure felt underwater is a lot greater when compared to on land, and this increases as you move deeper. 

As your mask has a thin air pocket in front of the eyes, deep-sea diving tightens the mask and creates a lot of pressure in the area surrounding the eyes. Thus, deeper diving results in discomfort or bruising.

For compensating the applied pressure underwater, dive masks are available as sturdier equipment compared to snorkel masks and goggles, with the lenses made through tampered safety glass. 

When you’re out in the ocean in conventional swim goggles, you won’t have to dive more than ten feet deep. Beneath such depth, water pressure can become intense and results in your goggles squeezing.

Can You Snorkel With Swimming Goggles?

While using swimming goggles has been recommended for eye protection and seeing everything with clarity in snorkeling expedition.

You must not attempt using a snorkeling mask or goggles in a deep-sea diving situation. Although the snorkel masks, diving masks, and swim goggles have many things in common, using the wrong one subjects the eyes and eyewear to high pressure from water resulting in their damage.

It is advisable to choose the right breathing equipment and eyewear when you’re going for underwater exploration. 

Swimming goggles have a design that can easily get sealed against outer and inner eye socket areas, whereas snorkeling and diving masks can also include the mask of the wearer. While swimmers can put on masks, but snorkelers and divers don’t use swimming goggles. Though this wouldn’t sound fair, there are various reasons for their distinction.

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Of course, you won’t be able to breathe while having your face underwater. However, the snorkeling mask also has the advantage of lower pressure. So, the snorkeling mask does the job here!

After dealing with scuba diving, snorkeling, Boyle’s physics laws regarding pressure can have effects on air spaces. It must not be confused with physics and mathematics, but rather you can explain it through the possibilities of using swimming goggles for such applications.

Risks of Diving in Deep Waters With Swimming Goggles

A little bit of rigid pressure is on the vessel over each eye resting on solid surfaces (bones) having tissue seal. While descending the applied pressure in a vessel stays at 1 atmosphere till failure at an unknown depth but it is well beyond the assumed normal max depth. Due to which the goggles in your face bones are solid. Therefore they don’t get affected by the pressure change. 

Three damage possibilities can arise with deep-dive, two of which can be highly catastrophic. 

  1. You may break a lens leading to a sudden water rush with glass fragments left in the vessel and can also get into the eye.
  2. The seal on your skin can develop a leak, filling the vessel with water until internal pressure and external pressure reach the same level. 
  3. Sinuses in the head at ambient pressure might break resulting in blood and air buildup in the vessel. This isn’t clear and recorded, but the chances of such instances can increase.

Beyond these three, there are many other mechanisms that can result in failure. The aforementioned info suggests that it isn’t a sound decision to put on your underwater goggles while you’re going for a deep-diving session.

If no other option is available, the better thing would be to postpone your plans and later dive in with all the necessary safety equipment.