Are There Swim Goggles That Don't Leave Rings Around Your Eyes?

goggles for older swimmer
seasoned swimmer in goggles. Getty Images

I was wondering if anyone knows of a pair of goggles that do not leave dark rings around your eye cavity? When I was younger, the marks disappeared quickly, but as an older swimmer, it takes much longer for the rings to disappear.

This is a great question. When you are buying a new pair of goggles, keep these tips in mind to help you make the best buy, and to avoid the pesky raccoon rings around your eyes.

1. Don't go cheap, but don't be influenced by grand claims the company selling you the goggles makes either. 

2. Buy the right goggles for your purpose. There are many different types of goggles—competition, practice, and recreation—and the one you choose will be the one that best accommodates your activity. So, it is possible, as many swimmers know, that you won't walk away with only one pair. 

3. Try them on before you buy them. Don't buy goggles online or from a catalog if you can't try them on first. Your best bet is to go into a store and try them on before you order them online or through the catalog. You want to go for fit, comfort, and a great return policy.

4. Always ask about the circumstances and requirements for returning the goggles. If you cannot return them after you use them, don't buy them. You should be working with a company that understands what swimmers need, and a company with non-return policies may not be the best choice. You need to be able to wear the goggles for a couple practices before your can really understand whether or not they fit right, they stay on, and if they leave the dark rings around your eyes or not.

5. Do not buy goggles that have suction on them, as that is the culprit for the dark rings around your eyes. Competition goggles do not have the suction on them anyway; instead, they seal around your eye socket. When you are looking for goggles that seal, try to go with a soft seal.

6. Do your research. Read online reviews or reach out to the people who know goggles best—swimmers. You can't ask for any opinion more honest and unfiltered. 

Other ways to prevent eye rings:

  • Don't tighten the straps too tight.
  • Experiment with the fit.
  • If the goggles don't fit your sockets the right way, try finding goggles that aren't necessarily made for you. Sometimes people with smaller eye sockets can use adolescent goggles. 
  • Wear a mask instead of goggles to avoid the pressure around your eye sockets.
  • Visit a dermatologist.
  • Use cool compress and eye creams.

After looking around and talking to many "older" swimmers, bruised eye sockets and dark circles under your eyes seem to come with the territory as you age. Yes, you can take steps to avoid it, but there is no magic cure.