One skydiver jumps while wearing goggles.

Skydiving, vision and a lack of depth perception

August 11, 2021 9:10 am Published by

If you are curious about wearing glasses or contacts while skydiving, you aren’t alone. Data gathered in 2018 from The Vision Council’s large-scale consumer survey, VisionWatch, found that there are an astounding 194.1 million adult vision correction users in the United States. Also, with approximately 2.8 million skydives completed across 200 USPA-affiliated skydiving centers across the country, it’s undeniable that many of those jumpers were making skydives while sporting some kind of vision correction, whether it be contacts or glasses. This means that there are plenty of people in the same visually impaired boat as you.

Now, it’s certainly important to be able to see while tandem skydiving or solo skydiving. After all, who would want to miss that amazing view? And, although you may be bummed about not having perfect 20/20 vision, there is no real reason your visual impairment has to keep you grounded. No one at the dropzone expects your vision to be perfect. As long as you let your skydiving instructor know prior to the jump, we’re prepared to handle the matter with special skydiving goggles.

Wearing Glasses While Skydiving

wearing sunglasses while skydivingTrust us, you don’t want to miss out on these once-in-a-lifetime views. Skydiving with glasses is a pretty normal occurrence, and we have specially sized goggles that can fit over most prescription glasses. The goggles will help to keep wind and debris out of your eyes. Although skydiving goggles are usually secure, it may be a good idea to bring along an old pair/ a secondary pair of glasses.

If you plan on learning to skydive, you may grow weary of sporting goggles over your glasses. If that’s the case, it may be wise to invest in prescription skydiving goggles. Hassle-free, you just slide them on, in lieu of your glasses, as you board the plane.

Wearing Contacts While Skydiving

If you are able to choose between wearing your glasses or contacts, you may be more comfortable in the latter. Aside from being convenient (no bent frames or scratched lenses), with contacts you are able to wear the regular goggles that we provide. As these will be securely fastened for freefall, it is very rare that you will lose a contact lens while skydiving.

How Important Is Depth Perception While Skydiving?

As a tandem skydiver, you will typically follow the instructions given to you by your instructor as you come into the landing and will not have to rely upon your own depth perception. Depth perception will come more into play if you choose to learn to skydive solo.

Typically, if you have the depth perception required to legally drive, you should be able to skydive. Depth perception while learning to steer and land a canopy can be tricky, but it is that way for nearly everyone. Over time, your eyes and mind will begin to attune to the visual cues around you as they overlay with the altitude readings you receive from your altimeter.

Furthermore, depth perception can be strengthened over time by use. Even if one of your eyes is weaker than the other, the brain is a pretty clever organ and can use monocular cues (aka information from the good eye) to gauge distance.

Truly, it is peripheral vision rather than depth perception that will most often come into play as you skydive. In freefall, if you participate in relative work, you need to be aware of others as you approach a formation. While in the air flying the parachute, you need to be able to see off to your side to help maintain a safe distance while you are in the air with other canopy pilots. In short, while you can work to improve weak depth perception, peripheral vision is an absolute must if you want to pursue skydiving solo.

We can see it clear as day: you want to skydive! Ready to take in the sights? Schedule your tandem skydive with Skydive Perris today!

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This post was written by Gabriel