How Does a Prescription Snorkel Mask Work?

Do you want to snorkel, but you have terrible eyesight? Some of us might wear contacts with a standard mask, but what do you do if you wear glasses? Fortunately, there are plenty of options on how to turn your snorkel mask into a pair of corrected glasses so you could clearly see underwater. Plus, you can also wear them before and after getting in the water.

Not so long ago, a prescription snorkel mask would cost you up to $250 dollars, which can be very expensive. Luckily, a wide variety of snorkeling masks with pre-made corrected drop-in lenses are available in the market today at a very affordable price. That’s why there’s no reason for you not to see the stunning beauty of the underwater world. And we are here to explain how a prescription mask work and all your options for a prescription snorkel mask.

  • Prescription Snorkel Mask with Bonded Corrective Lenses – With this prescription snorkel mask, the corrective lens is created to your prescription. And the lens is glued on the inside of your snorkel mask lens. To get one for yourself, you have to send in your own snorkel mask or buy one from the companies that offer this service. They grind a lens according to your prescription specs, they shape it like your mask lens, and they bond it inside your mask using a special glue. This process will most likely take up to ten days. They can also add prescription readers on the bottom part of your mask if you’re having trouble seeing things up close. The downside of a prescription snorkeling mask with bonded corrective lenses is that it adds weight to your snorkeling mask. And the bonded lens doesn’t always match the shape of your mask lens so expect some gaps at the edges. The bonded corrective lens might not work for you if you have extreme astigmatism or prescription.
  • Prescription Snorkel Mask with Custom Prescription Lenses – The method to create custom prescription lenses is just the same as the bonded corrective lens. However, when it comes to custom prescription lenses, the entire lens of your snorkeling mask is removed, and they are replaced with a lens that is custom made for your prescription. Custom prescription lenses are perfect for people who have powerful prescriptions or astigmatism. This option also offers an ideal fit because unlike the bonded corrective lens, the custom prescription lens has no gaps at the edges. Plus, they can also weigh much less because they are often made with a lightweight but durable plastic lens. The only downside of custom prescription lenses is that there are quite a few companies that offer this service.
  • Prescription Snorkel Mask with Drop-In Lens – This is the most popular among the prescription snorkeling masks. It’s because you can find a wide range of snorkeling masks that are designed to have their lenses easily removed. In that way, you can insert the drop-in pre-made corrective lenses easily. Drop-in lenses are the most affordable option, and this is what snorkelers often opt for if their prescription or astigmatism is not too strong. Drop-in lenses usually have -1.5 to -8.0 in .05 increments. You can purchase them and place them into the snorkeling mask yourself if you already know what your prescription is. These pre-made drop-in lenses are affordable and quick to install, most quality masks start at about fifty dollars, and drop-in lenses can cost about 30 dollars for each side. However, the downside of the drop-in lenses is that their correction is not always centered exactly where your eyes are. That’s why it might not be as accurate as of the bonded and custom lenses. If you gave wide or narrow eyes, then this can be a minor issue.

Take note that for all of these options, you need to see an eye doctor first to get a prescription so that you will know what’s the correct lens to purchase.