It is important to be able to see well when you’re swimming. Have you tried walking with your eyes closed or with your eyesight impaired slightly? It is very difficult to do; you lose your balance and stumble. It’s the same with swimming. You can’t get a feel for what your body is doing if you have to constantly worry about where your body is in the water.
Pool water irritates the eyes. Occassionally it’s caused by faulty chemical balance. Most pools use chlorine, which is hard on the eyes. Even salt water pools, which are easier on the eyes, can be irritating, especially if you are swimming laps or are in the pool for a long time. Goggles help reduce eye irritation while maintaining clear vision.
I prefer to fit my students and then recommend goggles to you. I, also, often carry a few different styles that I sell. If you choose to fit goggles yourself, follow these guidelines:
- Decide on the type of goggle that you want to purchase. Goggles come in a wide variety of styles, including anti-fog, anti-glare and tinted. I highly recommend anti-fog. Depending on where you plan to do the majority of your swimming, decide which style fits your needs. Dark tinted goggles with UV protection are best if you will be swimming outside, but may be too dark for an indoor pool. For children, look for child-specific goggles. The age on the package often doesn’t mean anything. It’s more about fit.
- Press the goggles firmly around your eyes, without using the strap. Release the goggles and see if they stay stuck for a few seconds. If they fall off right away, then they are not the right shape for your eyes. If both or even one stays stuck for a few seconds, then they are a good fit.
- Check to see if your eyelashes hit the lense. This can be very irritating when swimming. Some goggles are deeper.
- Adjust the head strap so that the goggles fit comfortably. They should be tight enough to stay on while you are swimming but not so tight that you get a headache or deep rings around your eyes.
- Goggles with a nose bridge strap need to be adjusted so that the goggles fit comfortably over your nose without rubbing or pushing into your nose. It is important to be very careful to fit the nose strap properly the first time, since this strap can be very difficult to move once in place. If goggles that do not have an adjustable nose straps fit fine, it is not necessary to buy goggles with an adjustable nose strap.
You can buy goggles with magnification or you can obtain them with your prescription from an optician.
If you get to the pool and find that your goggles still don’t fit properly, most stores will take them back. Check with the store for their return policy.