Can You Wear Contact Lenses While Snorkeling?

Can you wear contacts while snorkeling? If you’re a contact lens wearer who loves exploring the underwater world, this question has likely crossed your mind.

In this article, we’ll explore the topic and provide you with valuable insights on how to enjoy snorkeling without compromising your vision.

Understanding the Risks of Wearing Contacts While Snorkeling

wearing contacts while snorkeling

While wearing contacts when snorkeling may seem convenient, you need to understand the potential risks involved.

  1. Water Contamination: Snorkeling in natural bodies of water exposes your eyes to various microorganisms and contaminants that can adhere to your contact lenses.
  2. Eye Irritation: Saltwater, sand, and debris can cause discomfort and irritation when in contact with your eyes. This can be exacerbated by wearing contact lenses.
  3. Loss or Damage: There’s always a risk of losing or damaging your contacts, especially if they become dislodged due to water pressure or physical activity.

To minimize these risks, it’s recommended to explore alternative options specifically designed for underwater vision correction.

Exploring Alternatives: Prescription Snorkeling Masks

If you require vision correction while snorkeling, prescription snorkeling masks offer a safer and more convenient solution. These masks are specially designed with built-in corrective lenses tailored to your prescription. Here are some benefits:

  • Clear Vision: Prescription snorkeling masks provide clear and distortion-free vision underwater, allowing you to fully enjoy the marine environment.
  • Comfortable Fit: These masks are custom-made to fit your face shape, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit during your snorkeling adventures.
  • Added Protection: Prescription masks also offer protection against water contaminants, reducing the risk of eye irritation and infection.

Tips for Safely Wearing Contacts in the Water

If you still prefer wearing contact lenses while snorkeling, here are some tips to help you do so safely.

Use Daily Disposable Lenses

Opt for daily disposable lenses, which can be discarded after each use. This reduces the risk of contamination and allows for a fresh pair each time you snorkel.

Apply Waterproof Eye Drops

Before wearing your contacts, use waterproof eye drops recommended by your optometrist to lubricate and protect your eyes from dryness.

Secure Fit

Ensure they fit properly and are securely in place before entering the water. Avoid loose-fitting lenses that may get dislodged easily.

Protective Eyewear

Consider using swim goggles or a snorkeling mask over your contact lenses to provide an extra layer of protection against water contaminants.

Contact Lens Care Tips

To ensure clear vision underwater with contact lenses, follow these care tips:

  • Proper Hygiene: Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contacts to prevent contamination.
  • Don’t Touch Your Eyes: Avoid touching your eyes or rubbing them, especially in saltwater environments.
  • Carry Spare Lenses and Supplies: Pack extra contact lenses, lens cases, and cleaning solutions in case of loss or damage during your snorkeling adventure.
  • Regular Eye Exams: Schedule regular eye exams with your optometrist to ensure your prescription is up to date and to address any concerns.


Q: Can I wear my regular contact lenses while snorkeling?

A: It is not recommended to wear regular contact lenses while snorkeling due to the potential risks of water contamination, eye irritation, and loss or damage to the lenses.

Q: Are prescription snorkeling masks expensive?

A: The cost of prescription snorkeling masks varies depending on factors such as lens prescription strength and additional features. However, the investment in a prescription snorkeling mask is worthwhile for clear vision and enhanced eye safety.

Q: Can I wear my contact lenses if I use a full-face snorkeling mask?

A: While full-face snorkeling masks provide a wider field of vision, it is still not recommended to wear contact lenses underneath. Water can still enter the mask and come into your eyes, potentially leading to irritation and contamination.

Q: Can I wear prescription swim goggles instead of a prescription snorkeling mask?

A: Prescription swim goggles can be an alternative to prescription snorkeling masks if you prefer a different style of eyewear. However, ensure that the goggles provide adequate protection against water contaminants and fit securely to prevent water leakage.

Related: Tips for Snorkeling with Glasses


When wearing contacts while snorkeling, it’s essential to prioritize your eye health and safety. Consider exploring alternative options such as prescription snorkeling masks for a clearer, more comfortable underwater experience.

If you choose to wear contact lenses, follow the tips provided in this article to minimize the risks and enjoy your snorkeling adventure to the fullest.

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