Can you wear contact lenses while wearing a scuba mask?
Having sight problems shouldn’t stop you from enjoying snorkelling or scuba diving. The bottom line is yes you can wear contacts but they can be expensive and there are a couple of things that you should consider when heading out into the water.
Advantages / disadvantages of contacts
First off on a point of safety, if you are wearing contacts let your buddy know. If by chance your contacts come out you could very easily become disoriented, which can easily happen above or below the surface.
For one reason or another, masks can become flooded and contacts can be lost very easily, they are after all only held in by suction. Make sure that if your mask becomes flooded and you are wearing soft contacts that you close your eyes to clear the water to allow you to continue your activity. Hard lenses are available however they are susceptible to trapping gases such as nitrogen that can cause blurry vision. The bottom line here is the trade-off between a soft lens and potentially losing it and or a hard lens and losing vision, either way, there are pros and cons.
After leaving the water make sure to clean or dispose of the lens correctly to avoid infection and drink plenty of water or you may end up with dry eyes that can cause irritation. Infection can come from more than just the water. Be careful of the type of cleaners you are using to clean your mask as they can cause irritation/infection when caught behind the lens. Ultimately it is your optometrist that will determine your vision needs and will prescribe what is suitable for your eyes, a harder or softer lens.
If snorkelling or diving is something you intend to do on an ongoing basis you can buy masks that can have lenses replaced for prescription lenses. Some examples of these would be the Cressi Big Eyes Evolution Crystal diving mask, Seac Sub Extreme diving mask, or Scubapro Zoom to name but a few.
Where these masks are typically more expensive they eliminate the need for contact lenses and most can be fitted with a type of reactive lens. The best place to enquire about these is your local dive store or opticians.