For most people, it is not practical to wear prescription glasses while snorkeling or scuba diving. Even a full-faced scuba mask lacks the inner-mask space to accommodate eyeglasses. It may seem like it will work before you enter the water, but then, you’ll likely discover that the earpieces on your eyewear disrupt the seal of the snorkeling mask, which causes leaking, fogging, and an inability to see clearly.
Continue reading to learn alternatives to wearing prescription glasses while snorkeling or scuba diving.
Alternatives to Snorkeling with Prescription Glasses
The best options are to purchase a prescription snorkeling mask, wear contact lenses, or utilize the water’s natural magnification properties to optimize your underwater vision.
Prescription & pre-made snorkel masks
You can have a snorkel mask manufactured with prescription lenses that are tailored for your eyesight. There are options for people who are nearsighted, farsighted, require bifocal lenses, and/or have astigmatism. This is the most expensive option.
Just like non-prescription reading glasses, there are also premade snorkel masks that are available from -1 to +1 for nearsighted individuals, and from +1 to +4 for the farsighted, in 0.5 increments. This is cheaper than having a custom mask made.
Using the water’s natural magnification
When you wear a flat snorkel mask, diving mask, or swimming goggles, objects beneath the surface of the water will appear up to 33% larger and up to 25% closer than they are.
Wearing corrective lenses
Wearing contact lenses can be a perfect solution to the problems associated with snorkeling with prescription glasses. However, it’s wise to avoid hard contact lenses or corrective lenses that are permeable to gas. This is particularly important if you plan on scuba diving or freediving in addition to snorkeling.
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