One of the most common questions those who are new to snorkeling if swim goggles can be worn instead of a snorkeling mask. Whether you are an advanced swimmer or a newbie swimmer, it is important to wear a snorkeling mask, or dive mask, while snorkeling. It’s easy to become confused as to why you can’t simply wear swim goggles because many people assume that with swim goggles, they will be able to see underwater.
Snorkel Mask vs. Swimming Goggles Underwater
However, a mask is the most important part of your snorkeling equipment because it allows you to see under the water, but it also allows you to breathe while underwater. Without a mask, you would need to plug your nose or attempt to not breathe out of your nose the entire time you are underwater, a mask prevents this and basically ensures that you are inhaling through the mouthpiece of the snorkel instead of through your nose. Here is some brief information about snorkeling masks and how to buy the best one for you.
Provides a Clear View
Wearing goggles allow you to keep your eyes open underwater and in a clear environment, such as a pool, you can see clearly. But, in ocean water, everything will appear slightly blurry. This is caused by refraction, which means that the light waves deflect when they are passing through a medium, such as air and water. When you wear a snorkeling mask it will create an airspace in the front of your eyes, which allows you to see clearly under the murky water. It will allow you to see clearly, so you can avoid getting injured on a slippery rock or stepping on a jellyfish, but the most important reason is because it allows you to see the beauty underwater.
Allows You to Breathe
One of the issues with wearing swim goggles instead of a snorkeling mask is that goggles will not allow you to breathe with your face in the water. Even though you are breathing through your mouth while wearing a snorkeling mask, the mask encourages you to use the attached tube to breath instead of breathing through your nose. Wearing a mask helps to lower the pressure inside, whereas if you wear goggles, the pressure builds the further underwater you go, and you may end up with black eyes due to the force of the pressure against the goggles and your eyes.
Qualities in a Good Snorkeling Mask
When buying snorkeling gear in general it is important that always buy good quality items that are designed to last a long time. When possible, try on the snorkeling mask before buying to ensure it fits correctly and that it’s comfortable. There are numerous types to choose from, including masks with tempered glass lenses or plastic. Both are safe to use, but the tempered glass lenses may provide a clearer view. If you do choose plastic lenses, make sure it is a thick, high quality plastic. Cheap plastic lenses will generally scratch easily, which can interfere with your vision, and they aren’t durable.
Clean Your Snorkeling Mask Beforehand
Snorkeling masks occasionally get foggy because of the difference in temperature between the inside of your mask and the outside water. A foggy snorkeling mask can be distracting and possibly dangerous if your vision is limited. Fogging may also be caused by a leak, so make sure you are wearing the mask correctly to prevent leaks. To ensure your mask will remain fog free, the night before your snorkeling adventure, be sure to thoroughly clean the lenses with a soft cloth before each snorkeling trip. After each snorkeling adventure, be sure to thoroughly clean the snorkeling mask and allow it to dry before storing.
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