For those of you who need corrective lenses to see the beautiful coral and colorful fish when they are further than a foot in front of you, prescription snorkel masks are available to rent or to buy. Yes, you can use your contact lenses, or retro fit a pair of regular glasses to fit your mask. For those of us who are unhappy with the results from these options, prescription lenses will give you a richer snorkeling experience.
Over the years, corrective lenses for snorkeling masks have evolved and pricing has been reduced drastically to an affordable level. Here are some of your options:
The newest alternative for custom lenses are drop in lenses. Select a mask that fits wells, select a lens for each eye that closely match your prescription, pop them in, and you're ready to go! While you may not find an exact match to your regular glasses, it will be close enough for you to see all the sea creatures around you. To avoid eye strain, select a lower prescription if you're eyesight is in between sizes.
For those of you who require an exact match, custom prescription lenses are available. This is a better option for those with strong or complicated prescriptions, such as an astigmatism. Custom lenses include measurements for your pupils, giving you a superior experience over the drop in option mentioned above. Here are three companies that sell custom lenses:
Prescription lenses that are glued to the inside of a mask were early choices for snorkelers. The extra lens makes the mask heavy and because they are obtained from a 3rd party vendor, they are not necessarily the same shape as the original lens. With the new technology available today, use this option as a last resort.
Maybe you're far-sighted and need to read your underwater watch? In this case, magnifying lens can be glued to a snorkel mask using UV adhesive which cures when exposed to sunlight. The lens and glue are purchased as a kit and are available from Magni View in 2x or 3x magnifications. Take your time to decide where these 2 inch x 4 inch circles will be located in the mask before adding the glue.