AchroLenses

We still haven’t tried out contacts—in our future I expect. But I couldn’t help linking to this site even though I can’t vouch for it because it seems to have been started by a fellow parent who like me was devoted to finding the right lenses for his daughter with achromatopsia. But while I just managed a blog about it he/she managed a whole contact lens company! Awesome! https://achrolenses.com/ 

Easy Home-Tinted Prescription Speedo Swim Goggles for about $40 including cost of tools.

The Speedo Women’s Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored Goggles were good for my daughter until they weren’t. In hindsight what is surprising is that she ever found them dark enough to be usable. But last summer I needed to find her something darker. Someone on the Achromatopsia Support Network suggested getting window tint material from a local auto shop and applying it to swim goggles. Great idea—and it worked! But I could have done it better. I got quite a dark tint material, but it was too light in a single layer and a bit too dark in a double layer.

This summer I decided to do better, and do it with prescription goggles too. I am pleased enough with the results to share the recipe:


Materials

  1. Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Optical Mirrored swim goggles—color smoke and approximate prescription for nearsightedness. The prescription strength is listed as the “size”. $27.99 seems like a deal for prescription goggles! (Free shipping direct from Speedo with shoprunner via our credit card. I’ve heard Speedo gear on Amazon can be fake.) There is also a Junior size that we didn’t try because it was sold out in the prescription we needed. Also, you may want goggles without a prescription. In that case you could try a standard vanquisher goggle (or one in a junior or kids size), or really any swim goggle you like—such as one you already have. 

  2. Black acrylic craft paint and fine paint brush with a stiff straight edge. 

  3. Red 35% VLT Auto Window Tinting Film FREE Sample from WindowTint.com (And any other tint samples you might want to try.)

  4. X-Acto knife

  5. Scotch tape.

  6. Cup of water with a drop of dish soap

  7. Squeegee tool (The one I link is okay but not great—it scratched when I pressed too hard so be gentle if you get a felt one like this. Perhaps one of these would have been better.)

Instructions

  1. Peel the protective plastic films off each lens and SAVE.

  2. Paint the sides to the swim goggles with black acrylic paint. Put it on thick or be ready for multiple coats. Let dry completely. Keep adding coats until you can’t see cracks of light on the sides when you hold them up to outdoor light. 

  3. Experiment with all the tint samples you ordered–holding them over your lenses. Try doubling up one sample, or mixing two different tints. Which are best for you? My daughter liked 2 layers of the red, but you might prefer another combination.

  4. Use the protective plastic film as a template to cut out 4 ovals of tinting films (you will apply two layers on each lens) with the X-acto blade. They will be too big—this is fine—you will trim them to size after application.

  5. Watch the tint application instructions and apply one layer of tint film to each lens:

    1. Dip your finger in the cup of soapy water and wet a lens.

    2. Place scotch tape on each side of the tint film oval, and peel apart to remove the backing. Using the tape on the tinted film as a handle to place on the lens—flush at the bridge of the nose but overhanging elsewhere. Remove the tape.

    3. Add another drop of water with your finger tip and then squeegee the tint film in place. Dry excess water with soft cotton cloth (such as your t-shirt:) and press down hard for good adhesion.

    4. Trim to fit with the X-acto knife, being careful not to ruin your paintwork.

    5. Repeat on the other lens.

  6. Repeat step 5 for a second layer of tint on each lens. Now you are done!

Tip: If you mess up tint application, just peel it off and try again (preferably with a new piece so it sticks well)!