Contact lenses and snorkeling...can you do it?

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Alburtis, PA
955 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
I've never gone snorkeling before and I wear contact lenses....can you keep them in while snorkeling? I'm extremely near-sighted and would not be able to see more than 18 inches in front of me w/o!!!
central NH
227 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
I always do without a problem!
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17,665 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Did it for years before Lasix, never had a problem, in fact even dove with them with no problem, unless of course you tend to be one of those who always loses them anyway. If you no problem on land or in the shower you will have no problem.
Austin, TX USA
549 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
My sister is almost blind without her contacts and she wears them whenever she snorkels. No problems - go and enjoy!
17,665 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by loveysbydesign
Thanks everybody! nNow I just have to decide if I want to buy gear before we get there or wait and rent it.
IMHO you would be better off buying a well fitting mask and snorkel before you go. (Renting fins is OK)

Why? With rental/loaner gear there are lots of adjustments to be made to get a good fit. Takes too much time. With your own mask from a reputable dive shop they will help you fit it and adjust it. This helps minimize leaks. With contacts leaks are even less fun than without.

As far as the snorkel issue all reputable rental shops rinse, or even soak their gear in buckets of disinfectant/cleaning solution, but who knows how many people have chewed on your shorkel. I used to get a cold or uppper respitory infection every time I used rental snorkels. A good snorkel is only $15 +/- so even if you don't buy a mask at least buy the snorkel.

Most of all have fun.
22 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
My eye doc used to give me a few pairs of the daily disposable ones that I would wear when snorkeling. While I never lost them my regular ones were expensive and I didn't want to take the chance. Unfortunately for my DH, he couldn't wear the disposable ones and didn't want to risk losing one so I found a place online that had great prices on snorkel sets and for not a lot more I was able to get his prescription lenses put in. However, if you don't plan on using them a lot, try asking your eye doc for a freebie.
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462 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
We always carry our own gear... It works better than the rented gear, and I know it's clean and I can count on it!
Melbourne, FL
41 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
If you really like snorkeling, it might be worth buying a mask that can take corrected lenses and then your worries are over! I bought one a few years ago, and it's like having my glasses or contacts - I can see perfectly underwater with no concerns about a lens washing out if the mask gets dislodged.

12,034 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by loveysbydesign
Thanks everybody! nNow I just have to decide if I want to buy gear before we get there or wait and rent it.
I'd buy, for obvious reasons. Just be aware, that you'll still need to do a tour of some kind to see any sea life. There really isn't any good snorkeling off the beaches.
Lafayette, LA, USA
332 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I've done all sorts of water things with my contacts in. I wear the daily disposables and am sure to pack extras just in case, but knock on wood I've yet to lose one in the water. And remember, even if you get splashed without a mask on, it's not like fresh chlorinated water that makes your contacts and eyes all dry and sticky-feeling, it's salt water ... also known as saline solution!
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Toronto, ON, Canada
590 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
I would like to second the suggestion of getting a few pair of disposable lenses.

On one trip I met a guy who was scuba diving (same mask as snorkeling) with contact lenses. The mask leaked and he lost one of his lenses. Spent the rest of the cruise unable to see out of one eye.
1,240 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Anyone remember where they got their masks and snorkel? I am interested in the corrected lens mask for myself. Rest of the family can use regular ones.

Toronto, ON, Canada
590 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by 55J5-5
Anyone remember where they got their masks and snorkel? I am interested in the corrected lens mask for myself. Rest of the family can use regular ones.

I live in Toronto, On, Canada so I don't think the place I buy my equipment is going to work for you. Generally speaking, I just go to the local scuba diving shop.

Your profile indicates you are in Maine so maybe this link will help you out:
1,240 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Thanks. Ya getting to canada would be ok, but there are places closer. That site was great. Guess i'll be checking a couple out this weekend.
45 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I wear disposable contacts and both snorkel and dive - I have never had an issue even when we were getting certified and had to take the mask off.

I always bring an extra pair just in case anything happens plus I like to them out and clean in case I got salt water on them so I have another pair to put in while these get cleaned.

Just my opinion..
Upstate NY
2,282 Posts
Joined Mar 2005

Another contact wearer that dives and snorkels with them in. No losses in 15 years. However, the extra contacts do make sense. I've had contact lenses that were exposed to salt water and they stung a bit until I got them cleaned (I was splashing around on the beach without a mask on). Also remember that if you get a perscription lensed mask that you need to wear glasses or take your contacts in/out, going to the dive/snorkel site. You might look funny wearing your mask off the ship to the day boat.

1,240 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Snorkeling and scuba with contacts WORKS!!! I took extra sets but didn't need them.

This was some great info.

Thanks everyone.