A full face diving mask is a diving mask that covers the entire face of the diver. It completely seals the diver’s face from the water, unlike the typical diving mask. It contains a mouthpiece and a demand valve or constant flow gas supply that provides the diver with breathing gas. The full face diving mask has several functions. It lets the diver see clearly underwater, provides the diver’s face with some protection from cold and polluted water and even helps to shield the diver’s face from jellyfish stings and bruises from corals. The full diving mask also helps in increasing breathing security and provides a space for equipment that lets the diver communicate with the surface support team.
A scuba full face mask can be more secure than breathing from an independent mouthpiece. For instance, if the diver becomes unconscious or suffers an oxygen toxicity convulsion, he or she can continue to breathe from the mask, unlike a scuba mouthpiece which is normally gripped between the teeth. Full face diving masks are often used in professional diving. They are in relatively rare use among recreational divers.
The full-face mask provides breathing gas to the diver, and air space to facilitate underwater vision. There is usually one air space for both breathing and vision, and this is automatically equalised by the breathing gas during descent. However, some models have a mouthpiece isolating the breathing gas supply from the rest of the interior of the mask, or have a divided interior, where the main air space must be equalised during descent by exhaling through the nose.
A full face diving mask consists of a transparent faceplate (lenses or window) through which the diver can see, a connection to a source of breathing gas, a means of removing water which may get inside, a facility for the diver to block the nose to equalise the ears, a means of sealing these components to the diver’s face and preventing ingress of water, and a means of securing the assembly to the diver’s head. Additional components such as communications equipment, scuba lights, alternative breathing gas connections, and a means to defog the interior surface of the faceplate are also included in some models.
Two basic configurations are in common use: Those with a soft elastomer skirt which seals around the periphery of the face, and those with a rigid frame supporting the other components, which is sealed to the face by a soft foam ring which is clamped to the frame by a metal band, to which the straps are secured.
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