Purpose: Swimming goggles increase the intraocular pressure (IOP) via the periorbital frame pressure and suction effect. In comparison, diving masks have a larger frame rim and incorporate the nose. The exact effect(s) of diving masks on IOP is unknown. This study evaluates the influence of diving masks on IOP in normal, healthy subjects. Methods: Tonometry was performed in both eyes of all subjects with an AVIA®Tono-Pen by a single investigator. Measurements were taken at baseline without the diving mask and with the subjects wearing a small-volume, double-window diving mask, but with the mask lenses removed. Two IOP readings in each eye were measured, and an additional reading was measured if the difference between the initial 2 was ≥2 mm Hg. Central corneal thickness (CCT) was also measured in each eye, using a contact pachymeter (OcuScan®Alcon). Results: Forty eyes of 20 healthy volunteers (age 29.7 ± 9.3 years; range 21–52) were included. The mean CCT was 544.4 ± 43.5 µm. The mean IOP before the diving mask was worn had been 17.23 ± 2.18 mm Hg (n = 40). The IOP decreased by 0.43 mm Hg (p < 0.05) to 16.80 ± 2.57 mm Hg after the diving mask had been put on. There was no correlation between IOP change and age (r = 0.143, p = 0.337), gender (r = –0.174, p = 0.283) or CCT (r = –0.123, p = 0.445). Conclusion: There was no increase in IOP after the diving mask had been worn. A small but statistically significant decrease in IOP was observed. This study demonstrates that unlike swimming goggles, the strap tension and frame pressure on the periorbital tissue from a diving mask does not increase IOP. Diving masks may be a suitable alternative to swimming goggles for patients with advanced glaucoma or glaucoma filtration surgery.

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