How To Snorkel With Prescription Glasses

How To Snorkel With Prescription Glasses 1

How to Snorkel with Glasses

If you are wondering how to snorkel with glasses, you are not alone. Planning a tropical vacation that includes snorkeling excursions can be fun, but it can be a bit problematic for those with vision impairments.

75% of American adults require some form of vision correction, and 64% wear eyeglasses, according to the Vision Council of America. In light of the fact that the majority of the population requires spectacles, many individuals have wondered how snorkeling with glasses will affect their view of fish, coral reefs, and other marine life.

People who wear glasses have a variety of options that will help them maximize the enjoyment of a snorkeling trip without having to worry about missing any of the excitement.

Can you snorkel with glasses on?

If you have ever attempted snorkeling with glasses, then you know that it is not easy. Leaky masks and blurry vision are just a few of the issues you will encounter.

Even full face snorkel masks are not large enough to accommodate eyewear, and they do not fit well over glasses. While it might sound fine on land, once you get into the water, the earpieces will interfere with the seal on the snorkeling mask, causing it to leak.

In addition, glasses are designed to sit at a certain distance from your eyes. When worn under a snorkeling mask, the lenses may be pushed closer or further away than intended, resulting in a worse vision than if you did not wear them.

It is not possible to wear glasses when snorkeling, however, individuals with vision problems can still enjoy this exciting activity without having to miss out on its beauty. In place of glasses, snorkel masks can be purchased, DIYed, contact lenses are used, or water magnification can be relied upon.

Alternatives to snorkeling with glasses

Due to the impossibility of snorkeling while wearing glasses, let’s explore the other options available to us.

Natural magnification

As a result of water magnifying objects below the surface, objects can appear 33% larger and 25% closer to the viewer if they are worn with a flat diving mask, snorkeling mask, or swimming goggles.

You will probably be fine leaving the glasses behind, grabbing your snorkeling equipment, and diving into the water even if you have mild vision problems or wear prescription glasses between +1.00 and -1.00.

Contact lenses

If you are interested in snorkeling and would like to replace your glasses with contact lenses, there are several things you will need to keep in mind before choosing contact lenses as some types are not suitable for snorkeling.

  • Especially if you plan on freediving or scuba diving in addition to snorkeling, you should avoid hard contact lenses and gas permeable lenses. Soft contact lenses are the best choice as the water pressure increases as you dive deeper, resulting in painful and blurry vision.

  • If you need to remove your mask underwater for any reason, keep your eyes closed so you don’t lose your lenses if water leaks into your mask.

  • In order to avoid irritation and to reduce the risk of developing an eye infection, thoroughly rinse your eyes with clean water after snorkeling and disinfect your contact lenses.

  • Take a few extra pairs of lenses along with you in case you lose your lenses while snorkeling. If you intend to snorkel frequently, you should opt for disposable lenses. In order to prevent eye infections, disposable lenses are an excellent choice for snorkelers since they can be discarded after snorkeling and replaced with new ones.

  • Make the switch to contact lenses before your snorkeling trip if you do not already use them. This will allow you to adjust to them as quickly as possible.

  • It is advisable to consult your eye doctor before snorkeling with contact lenses in order to find out what he or she recommends based on your specific vision problems and health history.

Prescription snorkel masks

It is advisable to wear a prescription mask if you are uncomfortable with contact lenses or if you plan to snorkel or dive often. Prescription masks can either be premade or can be tailored to your specific needs.

People who suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, as well as those who need bifocal lenses, have options available.

Masks with prescription lenses are the most expensive alternatives to glasses. Premade masks are slightly cheaper, but are best suited to those with the same prescription for both eyes. A custom-made diving mask from a dive shop or an optician specializing in prescription diving masks will be necessary if you have astigmatism or require different prescription strengths for your eyes.

For nearsighted people, dive masks with corrective lenses are typically available in a range of -1.0 to -10.0, and for farsighted people, they are available in a range of +1.0 to +4.0.

A prescription mask can also be ordered online via Amazon and other online stores. Before ordering the mask, it is recommend that you consult an optometrist to ensure that your prescription is current.

Prescription lenses

If you anticipate your prescription changing in the future, you may wish to consider purchasing a scuba mask that has removable lenses, which may be made of plastic or tempered glass.

When your needs change, instead of having to purchase a new prescription mask, you will only have to purchase new lenses.

In addition to prefabricated masks, pop-in lenses are available in a range of prescription strengths in increments of 0.5. These can be ordered online or obtained at your local dive shop or ophthalmologist.

Stick-on magnifier

Stick-on magnifier lenses are a cost-effective alternative to prescription snorkel masks for those who are farsighted and wear only reading glasses.

This handy stick-on lens is popular among underwater photographers and scuba divers. If you have a traditional mask, you can turn it into a bifocal mask. It will assist you in viewing camera settings and screens clearly without obstructing the view of the underwater environment.

DIY snorkel mask

Making your own snorkel mask can be a great option if you are only snorkeling while on vacation, and don’t want to spend a lot of money on a specialty piece of snorkeling gear like a prescription snorkel mask.

Here are the items you will need for this project:

  1. Anti-fog dive mask or snorkel mask

  2. An old pair of glasses

  3. Waterproof super glue safe for use on tempered glass or plastic

  4. Eyeglass screwdriver

Make your own snorkel mask by following the steps below:

  1. Remove the earpieces from the old glasses by unscrewing them.

  2. Ensure that the glasses are properly fitted to the mask and that they do not push against your nose bridge or elsewhere on your face. You should also ensure that the glasses will not interfere with the seal of the mask.

  3. If the frame does not fit inside, you can remove the lenses and glue them directly to the mask if the frame does not fit inside.

  4. The glasses should be adhered to the inside of the mask using waterproof super glue once you have located the appropriate location for them.


In spite of the challenges associated with snorkeling with glasses, there are a variety of solutions that can be utilized to facilitate the enjoyment of this underwater activity by spectacled snorkelers. It depends on your eyesight, budget, and how much time you anticipate spending snorkeling and diving to determine the best solution for you.