How to Snorkel with Glasses – Navigating Underwater Visions

It’s a common quandary: adventurers eager to explore the underwater realm yet tethered to the surface by the need to wear glasses. The thought of missing the kaleidoscopic beauty due to blurry vision often dampens the spirit of exploration. While wearing lenses while snorkeling isn’t as straightforward as slipping on a pair of swimming goggles, it’s not an insurmountable challenge. The solution isn’t as simple as tucking glasses into a snorkel mask, but don’t let this deter you; the ocean’s clarity awaits.

Imagine gazing upon a world where vibrant corals and playful fish abound, all while seeing clearly. Though the path to this clarity may seem obscured, rest assured that options to seamlessly merge the need to wear glasses with the desire to snorkel are within reach. With a hint of ingenuity and the right gear, that crisp vision underwater can be yours. Curious about how to snorkel with glasses? Stay with me as we dive deeper into the possibilities.

Can You Snorkel With Prescription Glasses?

For those who wear prescription glasses, the question arises: is it possible to snorkel with glasses? Inserting a pair of glasses into a snorkeling mask is generally not recommended. It can cause discomfort, compromise the seal, and even risk damage to both the glasses and the mask. However, this doesn’t mean that individuals who wear glasses must resign themselves to a life with eyes closed to the underwater spectacle.

Fortunately, there are several alternative and safer methods to ensure clear vision during a snorkeling trip. From prescription snorkel masks tailored to fit your vision needs to innovative solutions that allow you to wear contact lenses, exploring marine life with clarity is not only possible but also comfortable and enjoyable. As we move forward, I’ll unveil these methods, guiding you to a solution that best fits your snorkeling aspirations and optical requirements.

how to snorkel with glasses

Exploring Solutions for Clear Vision Underwater

Submerged in the water, the need to wear glasses becomes a unique challenge. Lenses while snorkeling must cater not just to vision correction but also to the aquatic environment. The quest for a clear underwater view is both a practical concern and a safety imperative. Exploring the available options to achieve this clarity is the next step in our snorkeling journey.

1. Prescription Snorkel Masks

Prescription snorkel masks are a game-changer for those with a built-in prescription in both eyes. These masks come equipped with prescription lenses, often available from dive shops, ready to transform your snorkeling and scuba diving experiences. Whether you need bifocal lenses or a uniform corrective mask, the options are extensive. A custom mask may even be tailored specifically to your prescription diving needs.

Opting for a premade snorkel mask with optical lenses is akin to wearing a pair of prescription glasses tailored for the sea. You can unscrew the tiny screws to replace or adjust the lenses, ensuring your underwater views are as sharp as they are on land. These corrective masks bridge the gap between the world above the waves and the mysteries that lie beneath.


  • Customizable to match your exact prescription
  • Clear vision in all directions underwater
  • No need for additional corrective wear
  • Comfortable fit designed for prolonged use
  • Can be used for both snorkeling and scuba diving


  • Higher cost compared to non-prescription masks
  • May not be suitable for those with rapidly changing prescriptions
  • Can take time to get used to the mask

2. Prescription Lenses

When snorkeling, clear vision is paramount, and prescription lenses can be fitted into scuba masks to cater to those who need them. These lenses, made of tempered glass, are designed to withstand the pressures of diving while providing the necessary correction. A prescription snorkeling mask with such lenses can offer a tailor-made underwater experience, ensuring you don’t miss a single detail of the aquatic environment.

These mask options are versatile, allowing snorkelers to choose between having corrective lenses bonded to a non-prescription mask or purchasing a mask with prescription lenses pre-installed. The result is a bespoke piece of equipment that brings the underwater world into sharp relief, enhancing every snorkeling excursion.


  • Precise vision correction tailored to individual needs
  • Durable tempered glass construction
  • Seamless integration with existing scuba masks
  • Enhanced underwater experience
  • Long-term investment for regular snorkelers


  • Additional cost over standard lenses
  • May require professional fitting
  • Not as easily interchangeable as non-prescription lenses

3. Stick-on Magnifiers

For those who wear reading glasses, stick-on magnifiers offer a simple and effective solution for snorkeling. These removable and reusable flexible circles act much like the bifocal part of reading glasses, providing magnification where it’s needed. This innovative approach can be a quick fix for those who only require a boost in vision for close-up observations underwater, like inspecting the intricate details of coral or using a video camera to capture marine life.

Stick-on lenses are applied directly to the inside of a scuba dive mask, providing an easy and temporary way to enhance vision. They’re perfect for those who may not need full prescription lenses or for those looking for a more budget-friendly option compared to permanent corrective solutions.


  • Easy to apply and remove from any dive mask
  • Cost-effective compared to permanent prescription lenses
  • Flexible and adjustable positioning for optimal vision
  • Reusable, making them a good choice for occasional snorkelers
  • Immediate improvement in vision for close-up tasks underwater


  • May not offer full vision correction
  • Can detach if not applied properly
  • Less durable than permanent prescription options

4. Dive into DIY: Crafting Your Own Snorkel Mask Adaptations

Crafting your own snorkel mask adaptations can be a rewarding and budget-friendly approach for those who wear your glasses. A pair of readers, for instance, can be transformed into a makeshift solution for face snorkel masks. By taking a DIY approach, you gain the freedom to customize your snorkeling gear to your unique vision requirements, and preferences.

Consider these DIY adaptations:

  • Attach a pair of readers inside your mask with super glue for a quick fix.
  • Use a whiteboard marker to outline where you need clarity, then apply stick-on lenses in those areas.
  • Experiment with removable lens holders that allow you to insert your own lenses into the mask.
  • Opt for mask inserts that can be added or removed, giving you flexibility with different diving conditions.
  • Get creative with waterproof adhesives and old glasses.


  • Low cost and customizability to your specific needs
  • Resourcefulness and satisfaction of creating your own gear
  • Immediate solution without waiting for custom orders
  • Flexibility to adjust or change as needed
  • Empowerment through self-sufficiency and ingenuity


  • Lack of precision and fit compared to commercially available options
  • Susceptible to leaks and discomfort
  • Can be time-consuming and may not deliver the clarity needed underwater
  • There’s always a risk of damaging your glasses or the mask itself during the modification process.

5. Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses for snorkeling can be a game-changer, especially for those who usually rely on glasses. Disposable lenses are a popular choice for a snorkeling trip because they can be thrown away at the end of the day, which is convenient. With your eyes closed, you can dive deeper without worrying about losing a lens, and if water seeps into your mask underwater, you can just rinse your eyes with fresh water afterward. Gas-permeable lenses offer sharp vision, but wearing soft contact lenses might be more comfortable for underwater activities due to their flexibility and fit.

However, snorkelers should be cautious about the increased risk of eye infections when wearing contacts in the water. Blurry vision can occur if lenses become dislodged, and managing contact lenses for snorkel masks requires extra care to keep them clean and free from contaminants. Moreover, keeping a mask on your face snugly is crucial to prevent water from flushing out the lenses, potentially narrowing the field of vision if the mask shifts.


  • Contact lenses offer a wide field of vision, unobstructed by frames.
  • They do not require any adjustments or affect the mask in any way.
  • They fit comfortably beneath a snorkel mask, eliminating the discomfort of wearing glasses.
  • Contact lenses don’t fog up like glasses might.
  • They are convenient and hygienic for snorkeling trips


  • Wearing contacts increases the risk of eye infections
  • Lenses may dislodge causing blurry vision
  • Handling them requires thorough hygiene practices to avoid contamination.
how to snorkel with glasses

Making the Right Choice for Your Eyes

• Consult With an Optometrist

Before deciding between contact lenses or a snorkel mask with prescription lenses for snorkeling, consulting with an optometrist is crucial. An optometrist can offer expert advice tailored to your specific vision requirements and snorkeling frequency, ensuring you choose the most suitable option. They can guide you on the best type of lenses, considering factors like comfort, fit, and underwater clarity. Additionally, they’ll provide important information on maintaining eye health, such as precautions against eye infections and the best practices for wearing contact lenses safely in aquatic environments. This professional input is essential for both optimal vision during snorkeling and long-term eye health.

• Compare Costs of the Suitable Options

When evaluating the cost of various underwater vision solutions, it’s important to balance different costs. A snorkel mask with prescription lenses involves a one-time investment, potentially offering a long-term solution without recurring expenses. In contrast, using disposable contact lenses entails ongoing costs with each purchase. Custom lenses for snorkel masks, another one-time expense, can be a tailored solution but might be costly upfront. Additionally, modifying existing glasses or using stick-on magnifiers as a budget-friendly alternative should be compared against these options. Each choice has its financial implications, and the decision should align with your snorkeling frequency, budget, and personal comfort preferences

• Consider How Frequently You Plan to Snorkel

When deciding on snorkeling gear, consider how often you plan to snorkel. For infrequent snorkelers, investing in an expensive snorkel set with prescription lenses might not be cost-effective. On the other hand, regular snorkelers may find that a higher upfront investment in a durable, prescription-equipped set pays off in the long run, both in terms of convenience and cost savings. The frequency of your snorkeling adventures plays a key role in determining the most economical and practical choice for your underwater vision needs

• Consider the Potential for Prescription Changes

When choosing snorkeling vision aids, it’s important to consider the stability of your eye prescription. For those with frequently changing prescriptions, disposable contact lenses might offer a more adaptable and cost-effective solution, allowing easy updates to match vision changes. In contrast, if your prescription remains stable over time, investing in a custom snorkel mask with prescription lenses could be a worthwhile one-time expense. This option provides clear, consistent vision for numerous snorkeling trips, eliminating the need for regular adjustments or replacements.

• Comfort and Preferences

In the end, selecting the right underwater visual aid for snorkeling is a personal decision. If you have particular requirements or preferences, opting for custom-made solutions can be ideal. Such tailored options cater to your unique visual needs, ensuring maximum comfort while snorkeling. Comfort is crucial, as it significantly enhances your underwater experience, allowing you to fully enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the marine world. Your choice should prioritize what feels most comfortable and suitable for your snorkeling adventures.

Beyond the Lens: Maintaining Your Snorkeling Equipment for Optimal Performance

Proper maintenance of your snorkeling gear is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re using a mask with prescription lenses or wearing glasses underneath, ensure they are clean and free from scratches that could impair your vision. After each use, rinse your mask or goggles with fresh water to remove salt, chlorine, or other residues that can degrade the materials over time. Let’s dive into some key maintenance tips:

  • Rinse snorkeling gear with fresh water after each use.
  • Allow all equipment to air dry completely before storage.
  • Store your mask and snorkel set away from direct sunlight to prevent material degradation.
  • Check the straps and seals regularly for wear and tear.
  • For diving masks with removable lenses, clean and inspect the lenses regularly.

Final Thoughts

Exploring the ocean reef with clarity is paramount for a memorable snorkeling experience. Whether you choose contact lenses, prescription masks, or another solution, make sure they’re suited to your vision needs and snorkeling conditions. Keep in mind the maintenance of your face masks and goggles, as it’s essential for both the longevity of the equipment and the quality of your underwater excursions.

Remember to always factor in your comfort and the practicality of wearing a pair of glasses or optical lenses beneath your snorkel mask. With the right equipment and care, you’ll be ready to uncover the wonders beneath the waves, making every snorkeling trip an adventure to cherish.

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