If you wear normal prescription glasses as most Americans do, then snorkeling with your glasses can be a bit complicated. This is because your glasses are likely to fog up and the snorkel mask may also squish your glasses closer to your face and this may be very uncomfortable.
There’s no doubt that one of the best ways of observing the underwater beauty and creating a bond with nature in a unique way is through snorkeling. In fact, snorkeling offers numerous benefits including giving you unhindered access to fresh air and loads of perfect physical activity. Despite these numerous benefits, you’ve probably been wondering whether you can enjoy snorkeling if you have eye difficulties and often use prescription glasses.
So, can you snorkel with glasses? The straightforward answer is: No, it’s impossible with your prescription glasses without any issues. Glasses will probably get in the way of your snorkeling mast and this can prevent the mask from forming a watertight seal on your face. As such, water may get its way into your eyes and this will spoil the whole snorkeling experience.
That being said, the normal pair of prescription glasses should not be worn during snorkeling but this is not to say that you have to snorkel with blurry vision. If you’ve always admired your loved ones and friends with perfect vision who can snorkel freely without having to worry about their glasses becoming a hindrance, you shouldn’t feel sorry for yourself as all hope is not lost. This is because there are a lot of options for those who have imperfect visions but still want to snorkel. Read on and learn more about what you should do.
Is It Possible to Snorkel with Glasses?
Wearing glasses is not unusual nowadays. According to the Vision Council of America, 64% of adults in the country wear glasses while 75% require some type of vision correction. This translates to about three in every ten people! As such, a huge chunk of would-be snorkelers have some form of vision problem and are likely wearing eyeglasses.
But if you were to ask anybody who has tried snorkeling with their glasses on, they’ll tell you that it often doesn’t end well and spoils the entire snorkeling experience. You’ll have to deal with a couple of issues including blurry vision, fuzzy eyesight, and a leaking snorkeling mask.
The idea here is that prescription glasses are made in such a way that they fit a certain position on your face. So when you place the snorkeling mask over the eyeglasses, chances are that they’ll be pushed into a different position and your vision will likely be contorted. Again there’s a possibility that the seal of the snorkeling mask will be broken since the handles of the eyeglasses go around your ears. Needless to say, water will start seeping into your snorkeling mask if the seal is broken and this will get quite uncomfortable and the whole snorkeling experience will turn into a nightmare.
In essence, snorkeling masks do not work perfectly over eyeglasses. This is because the snorkel mask is too small to fit in the eyeglasses and you shouldn’t even try it because it will make the entire snorkeling experience uncomfortable.
What is the Problem of Snorkeling with Glasses?
As we’ve just mentioned, it’s not a good idea to snorkel with your regular pair of prescription glasses. But why, you may ask. Well, the main issue often revolves around the earpieces of the glasses as they’ll get in the way of the mask skirt. You’ll probably fail miserably in the same way anybody who puts a snorkeling mask over a beard would.
And even if you get the largest snorkeling mask on the market, the issue will most likely be on the mask’s seal on your face and not the space in front of the mask. The only solution might be to modify the temples of the glasses frame but this will also affect the position of the lenses. As such, this will likely warp your vision and even induce headaches. You’ll then find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation and the entire snorkeling adventure will turn nightmarish.
Again, heat, sweat, sunscreen, and chlorine may be bad for your eyeglasses and your vision in general. You’ll then have to thoroughly clean and rinse your eyeglasses after every snorkeling adventure, which can feel quite draining to most of us.
That’s not all; your glasses may not be the right option underwater given the ranging differences in index refraction between water and air. Lenses also have varying indexes of refraction and this might affect your vision underwater.
Numerous studies have also indicated that any individual with normal visual acuity may have problems seeing underwater and this may not change without corrective lenses. So even if you use your regular prescription eyeglasses, you may have problems seeing clearly with the glasses underwater.
What are Your Options
Now that we’ve looked at the downsides of trying to snorkel with your eyeglasses, it’s time to look at the available alternatives. The most important thing is to ensure that you can see clearly underwater. Without it, snorkeling will make no sense and you’ll probably not be safe being in the water if you can’t see clearly. If anything, you do not want to find yourself trapped in a dark hole underwater just because you assumed that you can see with your regular prescription glasses. For this reason, it’s of great importance to consider the available option that will ensure that you can see clearly underwater and enjoy your snorkeling adventure. So without further ado, let’s look at the alternatives to prescription glasses when it comes to snorkeling.
Prescription Snorkel Mask
One of the first options to consider is a prescription snorkel mask. If you have visual acuity and wear prescription eyeglasses, you should consider going for a prescription snorkel mask. With the latest technologies in the snorkeling accessories industry, more and more manufacturers are producing prescription masks that have lenses bonded to them. These lenses are designed to meet the needs of countless snorkelers who wear eyeglasses. In other words, there are full-face snorkel masks that are designed with built-in prescription lenses for individuals with visual acuities.
You, however, have to keep in mind that snorkeling masks with built-in lenses will cost a lot more than regular snorkeling masks that you can pick on your way to your snorkeling adventure. They can cost you hundreds of dollars and will most certainly make perfect sense if you are a regular snorkeler. But even with that, prescription snorkel masks are the best option for a snorkeler who wears eyeglasses. The masks are designed with the appropriate lenses for you and you’ll wear them just as you’d wear normal snorkeling masks.
The main benefit of using prescription snorkeling masks is that they’re designed to include everything that you need to see comfortably and properly underwater including prism corrections and bifocals.
Going for the contact lenses is another viable option if you’re a glass wearer and want to indulge in snorkeling activities. The best part of using contact lenses is that they are a low-cost alternative to eyeglasses and can be disposed of immediately after use. Contact lenses will not only correct your vision underwater but will also save you hundreds of dollars that you’d otherwise have to spend on acquiring a prescription snorkeling mask.
Besides being affordable, contact lenses are easy to use, safe, and do not present any issues when using your snorkeling mask. You, however, have to keep in mind that it has certain limitations. For example, you’ll have to avoid certain lenses if you have to use contact lenses. In other words, you have to choose contact lenses that are compatible with the ones that are on your regular lenses. If you go for any random lenses, chances are you might get eye infections or irritation, especially if you choose gas permeable or hard lenses that can cause blurry vision or pain in your eyes. This is because such lenses are likely to exert excess pressure on your eyes as you dive deeper and will cause pain, discomfort, and blurred vision. That being said, you should always consider going for soft contact lenses.
Again, you have to always remember to close your eyes when taking off your mask underwater for any reason and swim to the surface of the water. You also have to keep in mind that contact lenses can come off and get lost if they come in contact with water. This is because they’ll easily develop a leak and will be dislodged in the water.
Relying on Magnification by Natural Means
Whether you wear swimming goggles, a snorkeling mask, or a flat mask, the water has a natural magnifying ability. This means that any object underwater will look closer and larger than they actually are.
As such, you can consider ditching your regular eyeglasses especially if you suffer from slight visual difficulties as you’ll be good to go with your regular snorkeling mask. This is because objects underwater will appear about 25% to 30% bigger than they actually are and this can play to your advantage.
Using a Stick-On Magnifier
If you’re looking for another less expensive option for the prescription snorkeling mask, you can consider going for a stick-on magnifier. This can be an appropriate option if you’re a farsighted individual who only wears reading glasses.
Common among scuba divers and underwater photographers, a stick-on magnifier can convert your standard snorkeling mask into a bifocal. This stick-on magnifier will allow you to see objects clearly without obscuring anything in the underwater setup.
DIY Snorkel Mask
If you’re an occasional snorkeler and do not want to invest your hard-earned money in a prescription snorkeling mask, you can consider making a DIY snorkel mask. You must have old eyeglasses that you don’t mind sacrificing. You can glue the lenses on the inside of your snorkeling mask. You, however, have to keep in mind that this is neither a long-lasting nor professional solution.
Choose a Snorkeling Mask with Drop-In Lenses
The latest technological developments in the snorkeling industry mean that there are snorkeling masks with changeable lenses. The most popular ones are the TUSA drop-in masks with removable lenses. Using this kind of snorkeling mask is a lot easier in the sense that you can find suitable lenses for your eyes and incorporate them inside the mask as long as they match your normal prescription glasses.
This can be an ideal option if you are a regular snorkeler and do not want to buy snorkeling masks or lenses from time to time.
Other Things to Bring with You on Your Snorkeling Trip
Now that you have an idea of what to do since it’s not right to snorkel with your eyeglasses, here are a few more things that you should bring for your snorkeling adventure.
The snorkeling mask is one of the most important things to bring with you for your snorkeling adventure. You have to make sure that the mask fits perfectly on your face and stays in place without letting any air or water leakage.
The mouthpiece of your snorkel is an integral part to consider if you want to enjoy snorkeling. You should, therefore, select the right snorkel mouthpiece that’s comfortable. You have to make sure that the purge valve on the snorkel mouthpiece works perfectly as it allows water to exit but not to enter. The snorkel should be near your head to avoid feeling headrush.
Having a float vest is important if you’re an inexperienced swimmer and may want to stay buoyant and ease your anxiety.
Shorter fins are the best for snorkeling as they make it a lot easier to change direction. They’re also lighter, which makes it a lot easier to kick. You can, however, go for longer fins if you want to swim quicker and deeper.
Even if you have well-fitting fins, your feet can suffer from blisters, especially around your ankles. As such, you should put on comfortable neoprene socks that will not only help in keeping your feet warm but will also keep you comfortable and devoid of painful blisters.
To this end, there’s no doubt that snorkeling is a very fun adventure and a great way to connect with nature. Whether you want to come up close and personal with coral reefs or the unique plantation and species in the water, snorkeling is a great way to experience this. And if you wear glasses and wondering whether you can snorkel with them, there are loads of various options to consider and still enjoy your snorkeling adventure.