Last Updated: May 9, 2023
If you use glasses and are interested in water sports, you may wonder if it is possible to snorkel in them.
After all, the main goal of the adventure is to enjoy the beautiful underwater marine life. Therefore, a clear vision is an essential component.
So, is it possible to snorkel with glasses? Yes, you can snorkel with glasses on, although there are a lot of things that could go wrong if this is not done right.
Read on to learn some tips you can use when snorkeling while wearing your favorite pair of glasses.
Can You Snorkel with Glasses?
Yes, you can snorkel with glasses but you would need to be a little creative to get them to remain safely in position as you snorkel. This is a high-stakes game and some would argue that you’re better off using prescription snorkel masks instead.
You see, if you put on a mask and glasses together, the mask and the glasses may fit together. However, the frames of the glasses can create a gap on the sides of the ears and let water into the mask.
In addition, glasses are to be worn some distance away from the eyes and sit in a particular way on the face. If you put them on while in a mask, they can be pushed close, be uncomfortable, and most likely affect your vision.
Ways to Snorkel with Glasses
It is only possible to snorkel with glasses if (and when) some modifications have been done. Below are some measures you can use:
- Modify an old pair of glasses to fix and fit in your snorkeling mask.
- Have a dive shop insert prescription lenses in your mask.
- Purchase a snorkel mask with regular corrective lenses.
You can also purchase a brand of snorkel masks that can allow you to wear glasses when snorkeling (such as this one from Ocean Reef).
When in such a mask, you wear your glasses in the following ways:
- The glasses have detachable feet which you can remove for the lenses to fit inside the mask.
- You have to order the mask and the detachable-feet lenses separately. The extra expense is, however, worth it. It is lower than to custom-make such lenses from an optician.
- The lenses are compatible with several brands of snorkeling masks except for size XS.
The Problem with Snorkeling with Glasses
Snorkeling with your glasses on would be a problem since snorkel masks are made to fit well around the face. The masks use a silicone seal to keep water out.
When you are in glasses, you create a gap in what should otherwise be a tight seal. The space can cause water to leak into the mask.
Alternatives to Snorkeling with Glasses
There are a variety of options that you could use to enjoy your aquatic exploits without compromising your vision.
1. Contact Lenses
You have the option to use contact lenses, preferably the soft type. It is advisable you snorkel with soft contact lenses only. The soft contacts do not get blurry; neither do they get affected by pressure as you swim deeper.
Hard and gas-permeable lenses are not good for snorkeling. They tend to get blurry and painful to the eyes as the pressure increases when you go deepep into the waters.
If you are prone to eye infections, it is better to use disposable soft contact lenses. Whenever snorkeling, have an extra pair of lenses in case you lose the pair you have on. As a precaution, let a fellow snorkeler know you wear contact lenses in case you need help.
2. Custom-made Prescription Lenses
These days, some snorkel masks come with prescription lense. However, it is difficult to get a perfect size for each snorkeler. It is possible, fortunately, to purchase and replace a non-prescription mask with your prescription lenses.
Send your prescription lenses and the mask to your dive shop for a replacement. The process may cost you a bit of money, but it is a worthy investment.
3. Bonded Corrective Lenses
Bonded lenses are almost similar to tailor-made prescription lenses. However, bonded lenses are shaped as the mask, then glued on the original mask lenses. Bonded lenses are, however, not recommended for those that struggle with eye astigmatism, or have a strong prescription.
The challenges with bonded lenses include:
- If the bonded lenses and mask lenses are not of equal sizes, the snorkeler will have limited vision.
- The bonding process is expensive and can take several weeks to complete.
- Your snorkeling mask gets heavier due to the additional lenses.
Wearing magnifiers is one of the cheapest and the best options you can use to snorkel with glasses. It is a convenient alternative for people that use reading glasses. Magnifiers are made of flexible and reusable circles that you stick on the original lenses of the snorkel mask.
5. Drop-in Lenses Masks
Drop-in lenses are snorkeling masks with removable lenses that you can replace easily. It is one of the most convenient and cheapest options.
6. Optical Snorkel Masks
Optical snorkel masks are generic prescriptions that come with basic corrective lenses similar to your own. The glasses may not provide great eyesight but will give you a clear vision, so you can enjoy every minute of your snorkeling session.
7. Do it Yourself
You can make your own do-it-yourself mask from a pair of your old lenses. Use super glue to skillfully stick the prescription lenses on the original lenses of your snorkeling mask.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Wear Glasses in a Snorkel Mask?
Yes, it is possible to wear glasses in your snorkel mask but you have to make some modifications to achieve a good fit.
If you snorkel with ordinary glasses without modifications, the mask may not seal tightly around your face. The frame of the glasses will create a gap at the sides of your ears, and water might enter into the mask.
Can You Wear Glasses with a Full Face Snorkel Mask?
It is never a good idea to wear glasses with a full face snorkel mask. The frame and earpieces will create a barrier that breaks the waterproofness of the mask, thereby beating the purpose of wearing it in the first place.
A trial on the land may look quite okay, but once in the water, you will be frustrated. You will get a leak since the glasses disrupt the silicone seal that makes the mask tight.
How Do You Attach Snorkel to Glasses?
Attaching snorkel to glasses is an economical fix.
The items you need:
- An anti-fog snorkeling or dive mask
- An old pair of prescription glasses
- An eyeglasses screwdriver
- Waterproof superglue that is safe to use on plastic or tempered glass
Use the steps below to attach the glasses to the snorkel:
- Unscrew the earpieces from the glasses
- Fit the glasses in the mask, and ensure they are comfortable, and the frame does not touch the mask’s seal
- If the lenses and the frame fail to fit in the mask, remove the lenses from the frame
- Apply superglue on the outer edges of the lenses and then fix on the mask
Can You Snorkel with Contacts?
Yes, you can snorkel with contacts. But only with soft contact lenses as they are comfortable for the eyes. Unlike hard lenses, soft contacts are not painful nor do they get blurry due to pressure changes when one goes deep into the water.
The only requirement when you use contacts is to close your eyes in case you remove your mask while in the water to avoid losing them. It is also advisable to carry an extra pair just in case you lose your main one.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.