Can you snorkel if you wear glasses?

Can you go snorkeling if you wear glasses?

There’s a significant number of you out there wearing glasses, and a question we get asked a lot is whether you can wear glasses while snorkelling. As dreamy as that may be, the short answer is that unfortunately no, you cannot wear glasses while snorkelling. The simple reason is that the earpieces of your glasses will break the silicon seal of the mask, allowing water to leak through.

That said, it does not at all mean that people who wear glasses cannot go snorkelling! There are a number of options out there for you spectacled beings who want to enjoy a good ol’ snorkel. In this article we’ll talk about your options when it comes to snorkelling if you wear glasses.

The power of water

First things first, we’ve gotta explain the miraculous power of water. Water magnifies images by about 25%, meaning that things will naturally appear larger and closer when you’re underwater. And when sunlight passes through the glass lens of your mask, it diverges, also making images appear larger.

So basically, if your vision issues are only mild, then you won’t even have to worry about a thing. Just go snorkelling. How’s that for a little science lesson? Now, if you’ve got stronger vision issues then this might not work for you. Not to worry, let’s get into some other options for bespectacled snorkellers.

  1. Wear contact lenses

  2. We’re sorry to state the obvious, but it’s gotta be done. Contact lenses are the quickest and easiest problem solver when it comes to wearing glasses while snorkelling. That said, there’s a number of things to keep in mind if you want to wear contact lenses while snorkelling:

    • It’s not recommended to wear hard and gas permeable contact lenses as they can cause blurry vision due to the increase in pressure when underwater. They can also get a little bit painful.
    • If you are wearing soft contact lenses, keep your eyes closed if you take your mask off underwater or if water leaks into your mask. This will make sure you don’t lose your contact lens in the water! It might be a good idea to keep a few extra contact lenses handy just in case that does happen, however, and if you’re going snorkelling with a mate then be sure to let them know you’re wearing contacts.
    • If you plan on snorkelling a lot, then you might wanna go for disposable lenses as they’re just as safe and don’t have to be cleaned after each use. Easy peasy!

  3. Find a prescription snorkel mask

  4. They do exist, and if you have the same prescription in both eyes then it’ll be easy to find a snorkel mask that suits you perfectly. This can be a good investment for those snorkellers who don’t find contact lenses particularly comfortable.

    Ring around a few dive shops in your area and see if you can find one that stocks a mask with a similar prescription to yours. Most pre-made prescription snorkel masks will have the same prescription in each eye, so again, this may not be the right option for you if you have a different prescription in each eye or an unusually high prescription.

  5. Use a removable magnifier

  6. If you only use reading classes, a removable magnifier might be a good option for you. What’s that, you ask? Magnifiers are removable and reusable flexible circles that you can stick on the lens of your snorkel mask.

    They’re cheap, easy to use, and super effective. A lot of divers use magnifiers on their masks to help them read video camera screens or dive computers. If it works for those pros, it should definitely work for you!

  7. Drop in lens

  8. Another fast and cheap option, drop in lenses are great for people with near- or far- sightedness. If you have astigmatism, unfortunately this won’t work for you, so read on. For those of you who may be interested, drop in lenses are diving masks with removable lenses that can easily be replaced with your own prescription lens. You can read more about different corrective lenses for snorkel masks here.

  9. Have a prescription snorkel mask made

  10. If you’re serious about your snorkelling, then this is the Ultimate Option. Expensive, but worth every single penny if you have a high prescription or just want to invest in a quality piece of snorkelling equipment.

    What you can do is buy a snorkelling mask and take it to an optometrist who specialises in prescription masks. You can have them replace the original lenses with prescription lenses, or insert prescription lenses over the top.

    This option works for anyone with near- or far- sightedness, astigmatism, bifocal lenses, and reading glasses. You may also be able to find dive shops who perform this service. If you wanna go online, this is a great website for having a snorkel mask customised to your exact prescription.

  11. DIY option

  12. There’s always someone out there who wants to fix things themselves, and there’s always an option for them too! For a cheap, DIY method, you can take the prescription lenses off an old pair of glasses and stick them on the lens of your snorkel mask. We’re not sure if we recommend this, but hey, we’ll let you know how to do it anyway.

    1. Place the snorkel mask on your face and, using a marker, draw a dot on the outside of the lens outlining where you want to glue the prescription lenses,
    2. Take off your mask and lay it flat on a surface,
    3. Clean your mask and your prescription lenses with a dry cloth to remove any dust,
    4. Apply a small amount of superglue to the outer edge of your prescription lenses, and stick them on the inside of the mask where you marked the dots.

    If you do choose to use this method, please show us your results! We’d love to see how it worked out for you…

    So there you go, four eyes, snorkelling should be no issue at all! Don’t feel let down if you try one or two methods and they don’t work for you, give the others a go and you’re sure to find an option that allows you to enjoy snorkelling. Vision shouldn’t get in the way of enjoying sea life, it’s what helps us to see it in the first place!

    Can you scuba dive if you wear glasses?

    If there’s one thing we don’t like doing here at Ninja Shark, it’s telling people that they can’t do something. And we’re happy to report to you today, our little bespectacled friends, that scuba diving is just one of the many wonderful activities that you can do. We get asked a lot by glasses-wearing-people if going underwater is something they can do, and while we don’t recommend taking your expensive Ray Bans for a dive, there are plenty of other options out there for you lot.

    Whether you want to look at the cheapest possible option to get you scuba diving, or you’re willing to invest hefty sums for the ultimate scuba diving experience, we’ll cover all your options here. What’s important is that there’s an easy and suitable opportunity for everyone, big or small, young or old, low prescription or high.

    Mild eyesight issues

    If you’ve only got mild eyesight issues, then you might not even need any special contraptions or equipment to get you scuba diving. The magnifying properties of water are enough to correct a lot of mild eyesight issues, so you may see even better underwater than you do on land!

    Pop on a pair of goggles and have a look before you go ahead and invest in any fancy equipment. Don’t be too kind with yourself in the hopes that you can get away with not purchasing the necessary equipment though. If there are still some blurriness or vision issues then be honest here and look into appropriate solutions.

    Can I scuba dive with contact lenses?

    There are a lot of arguments for and against taking contact lenses underwater with you, and both of them are reasonable. The key point when wearing contact lenses underwater is that it can be easy for water to get in and be absorbed by your lenses, lending the possibility of eye infection. There are all sorts of awful eye infections out there and this isn’t something you want to put yourself at risk of.

    That said, a lot of people believe soft contact lenses are okay to take underwater. The Diver’s Alert Network (DAN) reckon that scuba diving with soft contact lenses rarely causes issues – it’s hard or gas permeable contact lenses that tend to cause problems. Disposable contacts are always a brilliant option as they can be disposed of immediately afterwards and don’t require incessant cleaning.

    If you do use contact lenses underwater then it’s recommended that you carry some lens rewetting drops just in case the change in water pressure does cause your lens to become stuck to your eyes. We do not want to picture that happening! It’s also important to be careful not to let water get into your goggles here as your lenses could simply float away…

    Prescription diving goggles

    If you’re feeling iffy after reading about those eye infections, we don’t blame you. There’s another option out there that’s less squirm-inducing, worrisome, and maintenance-free. Sure, it might be a little more expensive, but you’re paying for quality, longevity, and comfort here.

    Just like investing in a good, trusty pair of glasses will leave you with stress-free crystal clear vision, so too will investing in a pair of prescription diving goggles. There are a couple of options when it comes to prescription diving goggles, and it all depends on your particular prescription.

    If you have a common prescription, then there are plenty of pre-made prescription goggles available from special diving stores that might already carry your prescription. It’d be as simple as hitting them up and seeing if they stock your prescription. It’s always advised that you head into the shop beforehand and try the mask on for yourself if you can, just to make sure the prescription translates the same from glasses to goggles.

    If your prescription is a bit stronger, or different in both eyes, then you can have a snorkel mask customised to your prescription. How good is that, a custom mask, made just for you and your particular eyesight! There are a number of optometrists that offer this service, and while it might require a bit of a wait, we assume it’d be well worth it.

    Bifocal scuba masks

    If you only use reading glasses to magnify things like small print (and tiny fishies!), then there are small stick-on magnifying lenses that do the same job for your scuba mask. All you’ve gotta do is stick one of the tiny lenses on the bottom of your scuba mask lens and you’ve got yourself a pair of scuba bifocals!

    In a way, people who wear glasses have more options for scuba diving than others. You could wear contact lenses, bifocals, a prescription diving mask… well, that’s how we like to think about it anyway. The point is that wearing glasses is not and should not get in the way of having fun, ever. There’s always an option and there’s always a way!

    Can you wear glasses in the swimming pool?

    If you’re one of the lucky people who has four eyes instead of two, you might be wondering if you can take all four of those eyes into the swimming pool. While it’s easy enough to do laps with your eyes closed, it’s also a good idea to know where you’re going in a swimming pool – considering you’re sharing it with lots of other people.

    If you’re wondering whether you can wear glasses in the swimming pool, we’re gonna go into all the details here. What’ll happen if you wear glasses underwater, any tools that make it easy for you to wear glasses underwater, and a whole host of other alternatives so you can leave your glasses in your bag and out of the pool.

    Wearing glasses in the pool

    OK, look, you’re a free being and you can do what you want. Feel free to wander into a swimming pool with your glasses on. That said, be aware of the dangers. Your glasses could float off your face. They could crack or break. Be aware of the gap that exists between your eyes and the lenses, where water will flow. Also be aware that having excess water in your eyes isn’t good, and can contribute to dry eyes.

    Take all this information in mind, and make your decision. If you’ve decided that, yes, you want to wear your glasses in the pool, then good for you! Let us know how it goes. While you’re at it, you might want to consider a piece of equipment like this strap from Oakley that’s been designed to keep your glasses on.

    Alternative #1: Contact lenses

    If you’re a saner type, you might have decided that wearing glasses in the swimming pool isn’t the best idea for you. Fair enough, we agree. So let’s get into some other options. It’s not advised to wear normal contact lenses in the water, as they can cause irritation, but what you can do is wear your contact lenses underneath a pair of goggles.

    Goggles are what two-eyed people use to see underwater, so there’s no reason why four-eyed people shouldn’t use them either. Wearing contact lenses underneath your goggles will help you to enjoy crystal clear vision without getting water into your eyes, reducing your chance of irritation and infection.

    If you don’t want to wear goggles, then we advise that you go for disposable contact lenses, as they’re designed for one-time use and therefore less likely to carry bacteria from the swimming pool back into your eyes.

    Alternative #2: Prescription goggles

    If you’re more than just a casual swimmer, then you might want to invest in a pair of prescription goggles that’ll save you money on disposable contact lenses in the long run. There are many different types of prefabricated prescription goggles that could easily correct your underwater vision, and you can easily find them at optometrists and some dive stores.

    If your prescription is extra strong, or different in each eye, then you might want to approach a specialist who deals with creating customised prescription goggles.

    The verdict

    Look, if you’re only planning on having a little splash here and there, you might be able to get by without needing glasses at all. As water is a magnifier, it can correct a lot of nearsightedness, and you may be surprised at how well you can see underwater.

    If you are a water baby, however, and want to have a good look at what’s going on underwater, or make funny faces at your friends while in the pool, then we reckon it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of goggles. Whether they’re normal goggles that you wear contact lenses under or special prescription goggles is up to you.

    Can You Swim With Your Glasses On?

    If you’re wearing glasses and want to know if you can take those bad boys out into the ocean or pool, we’ll let you know now that it’s not the best idea. You can do it, sure, but it’s very likely that your glasses will float away. If not that, they’ll definitely end up scratched. Not to mention the fact that you’ll still have water in between your eyes and the lenses.

    Does that mean you can’t go underwater if you wear glasses? Not at all. There are a number of saner options out there for you bespectacled water babies that don’t involve the possibility of losing or damaging your spectacles. Glasses wearers can enjoy all the same underwater activities as non-glasses wearers, from snorkelling to diving and just plain old swimming. We’ll go through you different options here in this article.

    Option 1: Contact lenses

    This is a debated topic, but the Diver’s Alert Network thinks that it’s okay to wear contact lenses underwater as long as they’re the soft type. Hard or permeable contact lenses can cause issues, as it’s easy for them to absorb water and other bacterias from the ocean or swimming pool, causing irritation or infection.

    That said, if you only have hard or permeable contact lenses, you can try wearing them underneath a pair of goggles or a snorkel mask. Just try to avoid getting water in there as much as you can and you should be good to go. To be on the even safer side, go for disposable or soft contact lenses. Since they’re designed for one-time use, then you can just chuck ’em out afterwards to reduce your chance of infection.

    Wearing contact lenses comes with the chance of the lenses becoming stuck to your eyes due to the changes in water pressure. If that does happen, we recommend carrying around some lens rewetting drops to help release them from your eyes. Gross!

    Option 2: Prescription goggles or snorkel masks

    If you’re more serious about your underwater sports, then you’ll want to go for this option. Maybe a little more expensive and requires a bit of patience, but well worth it in the long run. Just like your glasses, you can have a pair of prescription goggles or snorkel masks to help correct your vision underwater.

    If your prescription is quite common – and more importantly, the same in both eyes – then you might be able to find a premade snorkel mask or pair of goggles that matches your prescription. Have a look around specialist diving stores in your area, or take a look online, and you might have your prescription snorkel mask on its way to you in no time!

    If your prescription is less common, or different in both eyes, then you still have the option of having a snorkel mask or pair of goggles customised to your prescription. There are optometrists out there that offer this service, and we reckon it’s the best way to enjoy crystal clear views underwater if you’re a bespectacled snorkeller.

    Option 3: Bifocals

    Not a lot of people know these things exist, but they can be great for those who usually wear reading glasses or want things to be magnified (so you can see all the tiny fishies!) Bifocals are basically small stick-on lenses that work similarly to reading glasses, magnifying things like small print and patterns on fishes bodies. All you need to do is stick the bifocals on your snorkel mask or goggles, and you can enjoy clearer underwater vision!

    So there you have it. Three different options for you four-eyed friends to enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving, freediving, or just plain swimming – without having to put your glasses at risk. If you still want to wear your glasses underwater and find that none of these options appeal to you, then we advise you at least try to strap them on somehow… and then let us know how it goes!