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The MEGA has zero optical power when there is air on both sides of the lenses.  It is the seawater’s concave shape that creates the prescription power when you are submerged.  There is a CoverLens which provides in focus vision while wearing the mask above water.

Divers of some ages and some vision prescriptions will have to wear contact lenses to temporarily adjust their vision to match the range of the MEGA mask.  But what a view underwater!

The mask comes with several components.  There is a custom fitted carrying case to house the mask and its assorted features. 

  • MEGA 4.5 DD mask
  • Fitted Lens Protector + Neoprene Mask Strap
  • Monocle with wrist lanyard
  • CoverLens with Stowing-Plate and Retractor
  • Sea-Gold Anti-Fog Gel
  • Quality Buddy Holly-style prescription glasses
  • Polarized amber clip-on sunglasses
  • Eyeglass clamshell case

FirstUse on land:  Now to get ready.  First, the new prescription contact lenses were inserted.  At this point, my vision is compromised on land, in air, so I put on the Buddy Holly-style prescription glasses while I got ready for my dive. 

Next, I removed the Buddy Holly glasses, and put on my own traditional diving mask.  In the water, I conducted a comparison test. I positioned myself four feet from the edge of the pool.  I looked straight ahead, not moving my head.  Moving eyes only, I looked from side to side with an assistant who measured the distance.  I could see three feet in each direction from my straight, central original spot. 

I repeated the test with the MEGA mask.  Looking straight ahead, only moving my eyes, I could see over ten feet on either side!  It was a wonderful field of vision, clear and sharp.  But this was the bonus.  I am nearsighted and I use corrective lenses to correct my vision to see distance.  This means I need reading glasses to see close up while I have lenses on.  With the MEGA mask, I was able to see all the small print on my camera housing and see distances equally well.  It was just like I was 16 years old!!  There were razor sharp, panoramic views with no distortion as well as close up clear vision.

So although there are some things a diver would have to get used to, the vision of this mask is striking which would compensate for any perceived inconvenience.  The hard shell case protects the components and could be a carry on bag for travel.  The maintenance is simple, wash with fresh water. 

The total cost for the package described above is $215.
There are optional accessories for divers who wear contact lenses to match their vision to the MEGA 4.5DD mask including:

Optional accessory for divers who wear contact lenses to match their vision to the MEGA 4.5DD mask.*

Underwater Kinetics dry box
• Two shatterproof mirrors (5X magnifying mirror & 1X mirror)
• Eyeglasses -- choice of six colors
• Clip-on UVA / UVA blocking Polarized sunglasses
• Neoprene sports retainer (Croakie style)
• Clamshell eyeglass case                                     

• Generic Rx for 20/20 with average PD; -4.5 or -3.0  $ 110.00
• Custom Single-Vision Rx; for non-average PD  $ 130.00
• Custom Bi-focal Rx   $ 150.00

Frequently Asked Questions:
This new technology generates many questions from potential users.  Several of the most frequently asked are here for your convenience and information.  The following information was copied from the HydroOptix site.  If you do not see your answer here, check the HYDRO OPTIX website.

Q1.  I am nearsighted.  Do I have to see my Eye Care Professional in order to purchase a mask?

A1.  Not necessarily. The MEGA 4.5DD can work without contact lenses.  If your prescription is generally in the range of -2.5 to -5.0 diopter, and astigmatism less than ± 2.0, you may be in the Naked-Eye-range.  Please email HydroOptix a copy of your prescription, along with your age - they will get back to you quickly.

Q2.  I have 20/20 vision.  Can I use the Double Dome MEGA mask?
Absolutely! First, check the Rx Conversion Chart on the website to see if your vision falls in the range of the Naked-Eye-Match.  If it does, congratulations.  Divers who do not fit the Naked-Eye-Range of our Double-Dome masks can use contact lenses to temporarily adjust their vision to match the range of our masks. To some this may sound crazy but we currently have over 700 divers doing just that. If you are not sure what type of contact lenses you would require, there are 2 options. If you know your eye prescription simply check out our Rx Conversion Chart. If you do not know your prescription it would be best to have your eyes tested by your local Eye Care Professional. If you discover that you would require contact lenses to dive with our Double-Dome masks you can visit one of our DEC-Pro's (Diving Eye Care Professionals) who can fit you with the latest generation of super-comfortable disposable contact lenses. If there are no DEC-Pro’s in your area contact us with your personal eye care professional’s contact info and we will call them and give them the information they need to help you.

The Double Dome lens allows divers to see almost 5x more underwater because of its unique shape.  The domed lens is able to wrap around, giving the diver a much-improved field of view.  Double Dome divers see 170 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically compared to a conventional flat mask that only sees 71 degrees horizontally and approximately 50 degrees vertically (depending upon the mask).  Having each eye centered in a dome eliminates the refraction that causes objects to appear 34 % larger and 25 % closer when using a flat mask. 

Q3.  It sounds like contact lenses are a big hassle.  Is it really worth the effort and cost?

A3. Using contact lenses is a skill that must be learned. Your body has a natural blink reflex that exists to protect your eyes by preventing foreign debris (dust, sand, etc) from entering your eye.  The body is not accustomed to wearing contacts and is trying to protect itself. But with practice inserting and removing contact lenses your body adjusts and it becomes easier and easier. Soon using contact lenses will be as common a task as checking your air gage before diving. 

Q4.  If my vision is 20/20, do I need to see an eye doctor before I purchase a mask?

Not necessarily -- Many divers first arrange a demo of the mask with their local retailer where they compare the field-of-view with a traditional flat mask.  You will be able to experience how much larger the Double-Dome mask field-of-view is over a conventional flat mask. If your vision is out of focus, you will need to see your eye care professional to purchase contact lenses to be able to effectively wear the MEGA mask.  This A to B comparison helps divers become more motivated to overcome the initial awkwardness that ALL contact lens users have overcome.

Q5.  I'm in my 50's; I don't wear contact lenses, only reading glasses. Can I use the Double-Dome masks?

A5.  If you only wear reading glasses you will most likely require contact lenses to use the Double-Dome masks. Once you use the proper contact lenses to dive with the Double-Dome mask you will experience the Magic Bifocal Effect underwater. Underwater your eyes will focus close, like they did when you were in your 20's! No longer will you need bifocals underwater if the Rx strength of your bifocals or reading glasses is +2.0 or less.  If +2.25 or stronger, then the latest bifocal contacts or monovision will give you great close-focus ability. The new generation of disposable soft contacts work for a wide variety of vision needs, for folks well into their 80's. There are now affordable disposable contact lenses that will work great for your eyes and the Double-Dome masks. As we get older, it is a wise idea to have regular eye-health examinations anyway... the additional cost of getting fit for contact lenses is a small price to pay for a view that's priceless

Q6.  Do you have any other solutions that don't require contact lenses?

A6.  Please check out the HYDRO OPTIX Products Page for more information on HYDRO OPTIX products that do not require contact lenses.

Q7.  If I'm 20/20 and don't want to use contact lenses, can't I just put eyeglasses inside the Double-Dome Mask?

A7.  We would love the solution to be that simple. A simple dome, submerged, creates a negative-power effect, which then requires complimentary positive-power optics to net "0" power.

Q8.  Which contact lenses are right for me?

A8.  This is a question that only you and your eye care professional can answer together. To give your eyes maximum comfort, not just the diopter power is considered; lens diameter and base curve are also important. We have established our DEC-Pro Network (Global Network of Diving Eye Care Professionals) to ensure that each and every diver using the Double-Dome system is completely satisfied, and continues to enjoy razor-sharp underwater vision and almost 5X times the view.





Mega 4.5DD

By Andrew Martinez

Are you a scuba diver?  Are you interested in seeing up to 5 times more than your traditional mask allows?  If so, check out HYDRO OPTIX’s MEGA DOUBLE DOME mask for a wide angle, clear view of the underwater world. 

For the FirstLook review, we’ll check out the mask and its accompanying components.  For the FirstUse review, we’ll give you our impressions of the mask on land, entering the water, and underwater use.

Before FirstUse, I visited my eye care provider.  He gave me my current contact lens prescription which I then sent to HYDRO OPTIX via email.   They recommended a different prescription strength to coordinate with the Double Dome MEGA mask for clear vision underwater.  I ordered and received the new contact lenses. 


1. First Look

2. FirstUse

3. In The Wild


Review Summary:

Initial Impression - Unique design

Usability - Requires getting used to

Durability - Well constructed

Price -$215


Photography by Wan Chi Lau
Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment Group © 2008