Originally Posted by sdjen
Need some help. I wear contacts and have really bad vision without them. For those of you that also need glasses or contacts, how do you swim/snorkel? I dont want to spend the money for RX goggles since I wont use them very often. I am worried with a mask that water will get in and my contact would get washed out of my eyes. And, I assume you cannot wear glasses and also a snorkeling mask?
Help!! Any advice welcome!
I wear contacts to snorkel and dive all the time. I even swim with them. Never had a problem. Even on the rare instances that I got splashed with salt water, the worst that happened was my eyes burned a little and I just rinsed them out with eye drops I carry with me.
You are correct in the you cannot wear a mask and regular glasses at the same time.
When you purchase a mask or even rent one, this is what you want to do. First forget cost (It doesnt matter if its a $200 mask or a $70 mask. If it doesnt fit and its not comfortable youll be miserable and so will everyone else around you.) and for the most part forget the prepackaged sets at the big box stores. I can tell you from experience that most of the time either they will not fit properly or if you break something like a strap, you cant get it replaced. Typically a mask will leak for 1 or 2 or 3 reasons.
1. It is not the proper size for your face,
2. There is hair or another obstruction in the seal,
3. This applies more to women and children though some men will have the issue is that the snorkel mouthpiece is too big and distorts the lower seal.
When a mask leaks, its typically not going to flood a mask so fast that you dont have time to react. It will be a slow leak until you realize that you have water in the lower portion of the mask. Then its a simple matter of tilting your head back,lifting the lower portion of the mask slightly, and exhaling. That should expell all of the water.
When you purchase a mask or rent one, put the straps in front of the mask, make sure all of you hair is back and out of the way, and place the mask on your face where it should sit, inhale (through your nose)and keep inhaling. THe mask should suck up against your face, and you should not feel air moving at any point around seals. Look in a mirror there is one nearby. The skirt seals should not be sitting on the corners of your eyes. It should be back a little bit so if you move your eyes or blink it doesnt create a void for water to slip through.
Once you have one that is comfortable and feels good, do it again, and this time put the snorkel in your mouth with the mask on your face and see what happens. You can tell if the mouthpiece is too big, if you have to really bite down on it, if it feels like its pulling or your mask leaks. Either ask for another snorkel, or if you are buying one, ask if they can change the mouthpiece.
If you buy your own mask, buy some anti fog and a mask cleaner or simply go to a big box store and get some generic plain toothpaste and a toothbrush. Scrub the inside lenses (unless its an anti reflective coating then dont do anything) at least times rinsing each time. Theres a film left over from the manufacturing process and if you dont get the film off your mask will fog no matter what you do. After each use, rinse the mask thouroghly with clear fresh water, and let it air dry out of the sun. Then store it in its container or someplace cool and dry.
Just before you go to the water, put on a drop or 2 of no fog, rub it in with your fingers, and have fun.