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Old 02-18-2013, 12:54 PM   #1
sdjen
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?? how do you snorkel with contacts glasses?

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!
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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I've always snorkeled with my contacts without a problem. I have gas perms. But my son has soft lenses, and he hasn't had a problem either. I think you'll be fine.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:07 PM   #3
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I too have never had an issue but I did switch to using swim goggles for the eyes and nose plugs. I always found that face masks never sealed well so this setup was much more comfortable and kept the water out of my eyes and nose better.

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Old 02-18-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
WanderlustNZ
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I've snorkeled a lot with contacts and have never had an issue. However, I've always used a mask I bought myself that fits me well. I also use daily contacts whenever I'm in water. That way if I loose them it's not the end of the world.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:29 PM   #5
luvmy2kids
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Swimming with contacts have never been a problem for me either...Bring another pair just in case though... Enjoy
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:44 PM   #6
xmansmom
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My vision has gotten worse since last snorkeling. I don't wear contacts anymore. Can you rent special masks or should I get some contacts? I'm glad you posted this. I've got several months but I'm not sure I would have thought of it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmansmom View Post
My vision has gotten worse since last snorkeling. I don't wear contacts anymore. Can you rent special masks or should I get some contacts? I'm glad you posted this. I've got several months but I'm not sure I would have thought of it.
I work pt in a dive shop and cant think of any shops that rent perscription masks. Your options are basically to get fitted for contacts( I wear them to dive all the time) and either bring your own mask or rent one, or go with a regular mask and hope for the best. If you get your self a mask make sure it fits and doesnt leak. You can buy scripted masks (we make them up in the store while you wait) but I wouldnt suggest it it if you are only going to use it once.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdjen View Post
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.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:26 PM   #9
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I use disposable contacts and make sure to bring a spare pair with me, but I have never needed them after snorkeling. (I'm blind without them and don't want to end up not able to see for the boat ride back)

My husband can't wear contacts so we ordered him a prescription mask. It really wasn't that expensive and it makes a huge difference in his snorkeling enjoyment.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:10 PM   #10
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I haven't been snorkeling yet, but figured I would wear my contacts to snorkel in a couple weeks and just make sure I have my glasses in my beach bag in case I need them. DD is 5 y/o and has a very strong prescription, she'll be wearing her prescription goggles. I don't know if you've checked the price on RX goggles, but I was pleasantly surprised when I found out hers were only $18!
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:15 PM   #11
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They sell diving masks with your prescription in the lens of the mask. There are a number of suppliers on line and if you plan on a lot of snorkling than it may pay to purchase one.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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I normally wear the gas perm contacts but I get a box of the disposable contacts to use when I am going to be spending much time in the water on vacation.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:53 PM   #13
xmansmom
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I'm happy to hear that they aren't that expensive. Have y'all had luck buying online or is it better to try on first?
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:09 PM   #14
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where do you buy RX swim goggles? DH, DD and I all wear contacts so have no issues when snorkeling, or even using swim goggles in the lake or pool at home. But DS is only 13 so doesn't have contacts yet. I'd LOVE to get him a pair of RX goggles because he never uses the snorkel part when we go anyway, so he'd be just as happy using only goggles on our upcoming cruise.

We're Canadian so not sure if that makes a difference.

TIA for any info you can provide !
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
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They sell diving masks with your prescription in the lens of the mask. There are a number of suppliers on line and if you plan on a lot of snorkling than it may pay to purchase one.
Again, be very careful with those. It may have your script, but if it doesnt fit, it wont work. And no, Im not trying to sell anything either. Just a friendly warning.
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