Want to start snorkeling, but wear glasses or contact lenses? You might be wondering how you can easily use a snorkeling mask alongside your prescription glasses or prescription lenses. Do prescription masks exist?
I have taught hundreds of students that use glasses on land, and the question arises at the beginning of the course, can I wear my glasses underneath my mask? In this guide, I’m going to take a look at everything you need to know about snorkeling mask prescription options. I’ll also explore what glasses and lens wearers need to know before going ahead and buying snorkel masks or full face masks.
You are able to wear scuba masks when snorkeling and they far exceed the masks on the snorkel market – I recommend checking out my review of the best scuba masks and adding your prescription lens to your customised mask, it is far less effort than you’d expect.
Snorkel Mask for Glasses Wearers
Essentially, if you wear prescription glasses, they are not going to work with an everyday snorkel mask. That’s why you will actually find that there are prescription snorkel masks you can wear instead.
These will give you much more comfort when diving and swimming, and the best masks will make it feel as though you are taking your prescription lenses into the water!
It is possible to wear a snorkel mask with prescription contact lenses, and I will cover this in a bit more detail below. However, a prescription snorkel mask will take away all the worry and fuss that comes with wearing corrective lenses or contact lens options in the deep.
In my opinion, prescription snorkel masks are absolutely the best choice if you are used to wearing glasses or contact lens options on dry land.
There are different snorkel mask options when it comes to built-in lens support:
- Many will come with tempered glass or extra strength, and will include a built-in prescription to match your existing lenses. However, strengths can and will vary, so it’s worth shopping around.
- You might also find that there are some prescription mask options which actually bond prescription lenses to the inside of your tempered glass. This tends to be a good option if you have very specific prescription lenses, or are struggling to find the best fit in an everyday prescription mask.
- Or, you might even want to choose a snorkel mask that lets you interchange lenses. This is a good option if you want to buy your lenses outright, or if you want to ever swap them out at any point, say for example, if your prescription changes a few years down the line. These prescription mask options tend to be pretty affordable and easy to manage, on the whole.
There are no right or wrong answers as far as finding prescription snorkelling masks are concerned. You simply need to find a fit that is comfortable for you. Glasses wearers who are keen to go exploring but who will struggle to see anything in the deep could also look for a full face snorkelling mask, but should also consider regular models and slimline options, too. It’s worth shopping around.
Can I Wear Glasses With My Snorkel Mask?
The short answer is no, simply because it’s potentially very dangerous.
There are a couple of reasons why wearing any form of prescription glasses with a snorkel mask are never going to work well for you! The main reason is the fact that glasses will run the risk of piercing your snorkel mask.
If your earpieces break the mask, then, naturally, you are going to start letting water in. This means that you’re going to have a really annoying experience! Therefore, as convenient as it would be to just wear your glasses beneath a mask, it’s never recommended – and in fact, I encourage you to never consider the risk. You will not create the seal required to keep water out!
Even if your glasses don’t damage your snorkel mask, there is also the fact that your vision will be impaired. While snorkeling, there is nothing in place to keep your glasses fixed to your face. If your corrective lenses slide, you won’t be able to fix them on. While you won’t be travelling too deep when snorkelling, it is still essential that you make sure you can see what you’re doing.
That’s why so many divers and snorkelers look for a snorkel mask prescription before they take to the water. A prescription snorkelling mask is going to offer instant support. However, as mentioned, you may also want to consider wearing contact lenses with a snorkel mask, too. I’ll expand on this a bit more shortly.
Are There Swimming Goggles That Go Over Glasses?
No – and again, this is down to safety.
The idea of wearing glasses or prescriptive lenses (which aren’t contacts) beneath a snorkel mask isn’t anything new, but there’s never been any kind of breakthrough which will allow you to safely wear your specs beneath a mask.
Therefore, scuba mask designers simply don’t enter into the debate. They don’t want you to come to any harm – and you need to make sure of the same!
Can I Wear Contact Lenses When Snorkeling?
Yes, it is perfectly possible to wear contact lenses while wearing a snorkel mask.
However, your experience is going to differ depending on which type of lens you use beneath the mask. There are hard lens options, and soft lens options. If you’re unsure which prescription lenses you currently wear, it is well worth checking before you invest in any kind of snorkel mask.
Hard contact lenses tend to be pretty difficult to wear beneath a snorkel mask. This is because hard corrective lenses tend to be fairly small, and won’t allow air to breathe through as much as soft lenses.
What’s more, hard contact lenses tend to make things more uncomfortable in terms of blinking, and you might even find that they are likely to fall out. It’s all too easy to assume that hard lenses are going to be the best option for a full face snorkel mask.
Soft lenses are more breathable, regardless of your prescription, and regardless of the mask you use. They are comfortable and are lenses which will stay in place during your dive.
I would also recommend opting for daily rather than monthly contacts. This is to prevent any bacteria growth that may occur if water happens to enter your eyes. You can simply throw away the lenses at the end of the day.
If you already wear contact lenses, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about when looking for a snorkel mask. However, if you use glasses instead of corrective lenses, it may be worth looking for a prescription snorkel mask outright. Otherwise, you might have to learn how to use contact lenses from the start. This can be an uncomfortable process, but worthwhile in my opinion!
Can I Wear Contact Lenses When Scuba Diving?
Yes, even if you are diving down deeper than the snorkel standard, it’s safe for you to use prescription contact lenses. I do it every dive.
However, again, it’s always a good idea to use soft daily corrective lenses rather than the hard options, no matter the masks you choose.
Do also keep in mind that scuba masks are quite different to snorkel masks. This is because to snorkel, you don’t necessarily require tempered glass.
Diving masks are built to withstand higher pressures found at depth. Therefore, always consider whether or not a snorkeling mask is actually going to be the best option for you. If you are considering using your mask to Scuba in the future, it may be worth looking for one with tempered glass, that way you can use it for both activities.
Can I Wear Glasses When Scuba Diving
No, and this is again as a result of safety, and how a Scuba mask creates a secure seal to your face.
The last thing you want is to flood your mask on a dive, when it simply can be avoided.
Glasses will prevent you from wearing most masks. It is certainly not worth trying different models and taking the risk.
That’s why, no matter whether you are going snorkelling or full scuba, I recommend prescription masks or contact lenses in the first instance.
If you need prescription lenses for clearer vision, there are no reasons why you can’t enjoy diving and/or snorkeling! Look for corrective lenses built into prescription snorkel masks, or consider choosing soft daily, disposable lenses if comfortable for you.