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Old 04-08-2011   #1 (permalink)
lost on fifth
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 13
Prescription Snorkel Mask?

Hi all...yes, I'm new here and to the Playa. Please forgive me if I am posting in the wrong forum or asking a question that's already been asked. I've searched this forum extensively and have had most my questions answered. However, this one, still remains a bit of a ? mark for me...

With that said, I can't see without my glasses . I know most folks have recommended getting contacts for the sake of snorkeling. However, that is not an option for me. My corneas have been scratched and now are scarred, wearing contacts, even for a short duration, re-injures them and is incredibly painful.

One of the main activities I want to do on our vacation is snorkel--I have never been before (don't judge the newb). At the recommendation of my sister, we were planning on bringing our own gear for the various reasons that you will find in other threads here (most predominantly, proper fit). I realized, quickly (I is smart), that my only option is to get a prescription mask...which brings us to my question:

I can probably get one online around $60 + shipping (affordable--even if for only one trip--ouch)...or, I could pay $200 or more to get a mask that is fitted. I would just buy online, but I have a small (adorable) face and worry that I'd be spending cash that should be spent on our vacation for a mask that not only doesn't work for me, but won't work for anyone else either (those friends that might love a free diving mask--my friends tend to love free stuff)...I'm in a bit of quandry here...being blind kinda sucks...I try to remain positive, ie: "at least these glasses that I have to wear 24/7 are cute?!? Really, these frames bring out the color of my eyes (even though you can't see them through these ridiculously thick lenses)"

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated...I know I'm not the only blind person around these parts...I mean, c'mon, y'all may have a glorious tan---but you're blind too, right?

Last edited by 9laurel9; 04-08-2011 at 04:54 AM..
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Old 04-08-2011   #2 (permalink)
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The way I'd look at this is whether you want to pay $140 for a mask that fits YOU (the difference between $60-$200).

I guess that's your call, Laurel....

I love to snorkel and it's the only time each year that I suffer through the trauma of inserting my contacts. I can't wear them for day-to-day, but I can get through a few days, here and there, during vacation when I know I'll be snorkeling and want to actually SEE the fish as more than colorful blurs whizzing by my face. I'm not "blind", but nearsighted enough that I need to be a four-eyes (and yeah, glasses are cute on a girl, even sexy some would say!)

Do you plan to snorkel in the future? If you do (I know, you haven't done it before, so how do you know...), then it's worth the investment. If your vision changes, then I'd assume that the lens would be changed, but that wouldn't entail the same cost as a whole new (fitted) mask, so I guess that would be a reasonable, possible future cost.

To help you rationalize the additional $140 cost.... compare it to what the vacation is costing you, amortize it over the number of days you'll be snorkeling this trip, double that number to allow for enjoyment factoring, subtract the age of your childhood cat, divide it by the number of traffic tickets you received in 1984, and then multiply it by the number of years you've been happily in love with your dude. That should give you a good starting point for consideration.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-08-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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Karen, you crack me up!

Hey Laurel, are the cheaper ones available for kids? Maybe a childs size might fit you better. I would try to find one in your local sporting good store to get an idea of size.

Good luck and have a good trip.
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Old 04-08-2011   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Illinois on the Mississippi
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Many years ago we got Donna (before Lasik surgery)a mask at a dive shop in St Louis. They had a slection of different lens for them, she picked the one that worked the best for her and used the mask for years, spent many hours floating around the BVI watching the sea life. We also got her a small snorkeling vest, as she is not a good swimmer but loves to snorkel.

Last edited by Jimontheriver; 04-08-2011 at 10:04 AM..
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Old 04-08-2011   #5 (permalink)
Canada Dry
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Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
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I feel your pain, Laurel, I am blind too (20/800 vision, contact scrip is -7.50 ). Luckily I don't have the problem you have and I wear contacts all the time, also while snorkeling and diving.

If you plan on doing a LOT of snorkeling, as it sounds like, and you can afford it, then certainly spring for the more expensive prescription mask.

I know Wal Mart has them at their vision centres, here in Canada anyway- you might want to check that out? And if youf face size is at all an issue, I would not take the chance of ordering online, maybe too. I have had no issues with online masks, but my face is not small, just adorable.
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Old 04-08-2011   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Pima County, AZ
Posts: 355
Prescription masks

Take a look here at the Snorkel Mart....they may have what you need...good luck, have a great trip!
Snorkel-Mart | Snorkel Gear | Snorkeling Equipment | Snorkeling Combos |
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Old 04-08-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,193
They have lenses that you can attach to your mask that are pretty inexpensive and get the job done. I think I paid around $30.00. They come in different strengths -1 -2 -3 +1 +2 +3 etc. You can go to your local scuba shop to find the correct lenses for your mask. While I wish I had a prescription mask I am very happy with the lens inserts.

Corrective Lenses for Snorkel and Scuba Mask

Last edited by beer_dude; 04-08-2011 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 04-08-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
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I can't see anything without my glasses either, and I also do not wear contacts. After years of snorkeling with rented gear, and not being able to really *see* what I was looking at, I finally broke down and got my own prescription mask. I was fitted for a good mask at the local dive shop, and they sent it in somewhere to be replaced with my prescrption, and now I can see everything! It changed everything for me, and I consider it a great investment, even though I only use it on vacation. I probably would have considered the lenses you can attach yourself if I would have known about them. But having a mask that fits well and that you can see clearly out of makes for a much better snorkeling experience.
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Old 04-08-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Joseph, Missouri
Posts: 260
I scuba dive, my local dive shop in Kansas City, has a wide selection of masks that fit my face (female, smaller, narrow, etc)....Some of the masks have lens options that pop out and can be replaced with your script, I think the pop in RX len options were about $35.00 per lens and my mask was $75.00. A little more than the "cheap" option, but when you are diving/snorkeling....the difference a fitted mask makes is amazing, I tend to like the low volume masks as they are easier to clear if you ever decide to try Scuba...Have fun!
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Old 04-08-2011   #10 (permalink)
into ruins
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 60

Prescription Scuba Diving Masks - Snorkeling Masks - SeaVisionUSA

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Old 04-09-2011   #11 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 447
I can't wear contacts and did not have time to order prescription mask.

What to do?

First, I found a standard one lens mask. Cheap. Then I took an old pair of glasses, removed the arms and shoved them in the mask!

I can't say it was perfect but it beat not being able to see at all.

For the two or three times I did snorkel it worked fine.

Caught plenty of fish this way. They laughed to death.

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