Snorkeling With Glasses?

I have very very poor eyesight and I wear glasses. I will maybe be going snorkeling for the first time, if I can figure out a way to see. My contacts are the old fashioned hard lenses, so I would not want to snorkel in them. I don't want to invest 200 dollars in a prescription mask. Is there anyway you can wear glasses under a mask? Thank you.

Comments for Snorkeling With Glasses?

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Sep 03, 2010
Glasses in mask? - Maybe
by: Galen & Nicole

We have seen someone wear their glasses inside their mask. But you would probably need to pull the lenses out of a pair of your glasses. Keep in mind that your glasses are designed to be a specific distance away from your face, and this may change that.

See this page for a basic description:
Instructions For Glasses In Mask

Also read this forum thread where folks discuss doing this:
Glasses In Mask Forum Thread


There are more reasonably priced options now for prescription masks and we outline them all on our prescription snorkeling mask page.

That should get you started. Good luck.

Sep 03, 2010
Snorkeling with hard contacts
by: Phyllis in Oregon

I'm an "extreme" snorkeler and also have done SCUBA diving. I am nearsighted with astigmatism. For diving I used a prescription mask. However, when I snorkel, I use my hard contacts. With over 40 years of snorkeling experience, I have never lost a hard contact lens. Of course, I always close my eyes when I clear my mask (blowing water out through side or through purge valve). Good luck!

May 16, 2011
Try an Optical Mask as a Compromise
by: Anonymous

I am very nearsighted with astigmatism, and I don't wear contacts. When I took up snorkeling I made the best investment: at my local scuba shop, they had what they called "optical masks." These are regular masks that can take pre-made, general corrective lenses. Have you ever seen reading glasses in a store? They're labeled +1, +1.5, +2... This measurement would be the "sphere" or "SPH" if you look at your prescription. If you are nearsighted, your numbers will be negative. The shop plugged the nearest matches into my mask.

Now, since these lenses do not include my other personal prescription values, like the "CYL" and "AXIS," they're not "fine tuned"--they're "in the ballpark." The key is to see "well enough." On land wearing the mask, my distance and peripheral vision aren't great, but underwater it's a totally different story--it doesn't matter. I can really see, it's awesome, and I can't imagine not having that mask.

I have always loved to swim but never really saw anything until I bought it. It was a risk--what if I didn't like snorkeling? But the thing is, I'm not sure how I could have really enjoyed it if I couldn't see!

It cost me around $140--I think the mask itself was only about $50. But a true prescription mask, they told me, could easily cost hundreds of dollars. Then I found optical goggles (these are much cheaper, about $20 from Speedo) for pool use and they're great too!

Jan 03, 2013
Prescription masks
by: Anonymous

My daughter is extremely far sighted, and is also a competitive swimmer. She wears prescription goggles and now uses a center mount snorkel in training. This is a great option for her, and we invested a total of $75 for the whole set-up. We were recently on Oahu and this worked so well.

May 04, 2013
Middle Aged Presbyopia
by: Susan

I am going to St.Lucia in 2 weeks. For most of my life I have been truly blessed with eagle-eyed vision and have never worn glasses. Since my last snorkeling trip 16 years ago, I've become your classic presbyopic who can't read a menu without a pair of readers from the drug store. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm on a computer ALL day, I probably still wouldn't have actual Rx glasses and can get by fine with just readers. My distance vision is still great. It just hit me that while snorkeling I'll be fine until I dive to look at something up close! Even if I were willing to buy a pair of optical lenses, nothing would look right for me while floating. My question is if anyone is familiar with this issue and if anyone has thoughts on whether natural magnification underwater may help compensate. Thanks!

May 04, 2013
Magnifiers
by: Nicole & Galen

Susan, it sounds like magnifiers might be a good solution for you. Read more on this page. Have fun on your trip!

Dec 07, 2013
Other option for far-sighted people
by: Sally

I am so far-sighted that I can't see anything clearly, so I got Sea Vision's magnifier lenses in +3. Those and the natural magnifying quality of the water have enabled me to see well for years. I can't operate the camera, though, and don't dive down to see things up close. I tried the little add-ons for reading-impaired divers, but they were such a small field and I needed the whole mask magnified. My tip--when thinking of ordering a magnifying lens, consider the magnifying quality of water. Snorkeling is my passion, and I don't want to miss any of it!

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