Prescription Snorkel MaskAuthor: Joseph Reilly
Prescription Snorkel Mask and Wear Glasses? You Have Options
You're finally about to take the plunge and go deep-diving snorkeling. You have your perfect location, packed all your gear, blew your budget, picked a day, and now realize you have one major issue: you wear glasses and can't see underwater. With the ocean being one of the most beautiful settings on the face of the Earth, and RX masks costing upwards of $250, this realization can be heartbreaking for most. But what most don't realize is that you have a plethora of options when it comes to prescription snorkel masks and wearing glasses. We'll take a look at all your options so that you can decide how you want to see all the fish!
BONDED CORRECTIVE LENSES
One of your first and more practical options is a one time quick fix that turns your snorkel mask into a gateway of underwater clear and crisp site-seeing and that's under a little known process called bonded corrective lenses. What happens when you opt to go this route is that you ship out both your mask and glasses prescription to a company that specializes in this technique. Next, they'll glue a lens to you mask so that you can see clearly through it as if you're wearing glasses! The only drawback here is that your mask may be a little heavier and in most cases the lens won't exactly fit so you'll have some blind spots. Also, if you have a really strong prescription this option may not work.
CUSTOM PRESCRIPTION LENSES
The second option you have when it comes to seeing underwater while Snorkeling is very similar to the first minus one detail and it's called custom prescription lenses. The main difference here between this option and the last that instead of your lens getting glued to the snorkel mask, the mask itself becomes the lens. This option is essentially having your face covered in glasses. This will give you an optimal viewing experience because unlike option one there are no blind spots involved. There's also no extra weight. The drawback here is that this better option may run you $250-$300. Add this to your other snorkeling gear expenses and you may be hitting the wallet hard.
DROP IN LENS MASK
The next option is one on the cheaper side with a little more room for customization and variety. This option you have is regarded as a drop in lens mask. What happens here with the drop in lens is that you send out your prescription to a company that specializes in making these type of lens. The next step on their end is to craft a lens that fits your snorkel mask, you pop it in place and you're good to go. Unlike option one where the lens is typically glued in place permanently, here you have the option of removal to reduce weight or vision preferences. The drawback to this option is that you run the risk of the piece not fitting since the manufacturer is going to be creating a lens on sizes alone.
Our next option for you on your snorkeling mask lens list falls under magnifiers. Magnifiers are somewhat different that most of the options we discussed above. Unlike a full mask lens, or a semi detachable one, magnifiers act pretty much like reading glasses under the mask. With your prescription you'll have two circles of prescription glass that essentially mimics what glasses do. They'll be attached to the interior of the mask and you'll look through them much like glasses. The drawback here is that you're running the risk of reduced vision, since your head will be shifting slightly under your snorkeling mask. Overall with this option you're reducing your range of motion. But, it's a viable option if you want something cheap and practical.
RENT A PRESCRIPTION SNORKELING MASK
Now that we've covered all the different aspects and options if snorkeling mask lenses, now comes the part where we look purely at finance and what options you have that won't entirely break your wallet or feel like a huge commitment. And your biggest option here is actually renting a prescription snorkeling mask. Much like a car you need for only a day or two, here you have the option if instead outright buying a snorkeling mask lens, but you can rent one for a set period of time for much cheaper and then return it when your done. There are many companies worldwide that often this service, so if you find yourself abroad and ready to go for a dive, go rent a prescription snorkeling mask!
OUR RECOMMENDATION- CONTACT LENSES
If those options don't at all sound optimal or perfect to you then of course we have our think outside the box recommendation. Instead of going through the hassle of getting your mask equipped with a snorkeling lens, then determining whether or not it's the right fit or model, the simplest option of all for snorkeling may indeed get to wear contact lenses. With contact lenses, no matter where you look, how you move etc, you're going to have the best viewing experience possible. There will be no proverbial middleman between you and the ocean, just a clear line of sight. You don't run any risks of equipment failure or anything else because the lenses are literally in your face. The drawbacks are yet to be found with this one.
LAST RESORT- WEAR GLASSES UNDER YOUR MASK
Now if all else surprisingly fails and you hate wearing contacts or medically can't then your last resort is to simply just wear your glasses beneath your snorkeling mask. Many snorkeling enthusiasts who have impaired sight go with this option and actually have little complaints.
All in all, if you're looking to go snorkeling anytime soon and find yourself in need of a snorkeling lens mask or other means of seeing under water, as you can see you do have many options available to you!