How to change dive mask lenses?

My wife has a dive mask that, when we bought it, we had fitted with prescription lenses so she wouldn’t have to wear contacts with it. Well, since then she’s had laser eye surgery and doesn’t need the prescription lenses. We still have the plain lenses, but I can’t figure out how to swap them out. They’re in there pretty good, and I’m afraid to break something.

Any suggestions?

This is actually a pretty good question. I snorkel and dive a LOT and I never wondered about this.

Since you’ve obviously fooled around with the mask and found no obvious, nondestructive way to do this, my suggestion would be to either ask someone else who dives if they know, or (better) just go to your local dive shop if you have one.

I’d bet they’ll do it for free or a very nominal sum.

Otherwise, I couldn’t even guess how to do it, given the wide variety of masks and configurations out there. I know that’s not much, but it’s all I could think of.

I have some experience working with similar things, but no actual knowledge of dive masks.

Just thinking out loud, so to speak, I would assume that the lenses go into channels around their edges. If they’re not glued in, carefully working the channel lips off of the glass with a suitable little pry tool ought to work. Said tool should have a blade that won’t cut the mask - rounded edges, maybe even made of plastic. Look closely to see if they should come out from the front or the back of the mask. If the lenses are glued in, it could be tougher, but I’m guessing that probably the glue can be removed without solvent.

For installation of the replacement lenses, a lubricant could be very helpful. My first thought is silicon spray or grease. If glue is used, the unset glue would probably act as a lubricant.

ETA: Soaking the mask in hot water to enhance its pliability is probably helpful or even necessary.

From my PADI certification several years back.


While on the surface it may appear you did a stand up job on your lenses, at 2 atmospheres down the pressure will do something completely different. I wouldn’t want my mask to break or crack but 2 cm from my eyeball…

Take it to a dive shop or certified technician.

Not to dispute your advice, but the physics behind it. Unless the lens is in a JIM suitor similar, the differential pressure on the lens is negligable…that being what equalization is all about. Two atmospheres would flatten the mask against your face.

If you swap out the lens, the only way to test it would be to take it on a dive.

If you live near a place where you can make a test dive, then fine.

But if you mean to take it along on your next out-of-town dive vacation, then no, because if it leaks your trip will be ruined unless you have a spare. If you already have a spare, then there is no reason to repair the old one.

I would not deal with the potential problems and hassle, but would discard it and buy a new one.

You are probably absolutely right. I just don’t like to mess with probabilities when diving. I’d rather know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my gear is sound.
Recently I took two BC’s to be serviced…The only reason I did it before taking them on a dive was because the weekend we were going to dive the weather was crappy. The dive guy called me up and said one of your BC’s has a defect…may have been bad news had you gone diving. It was the Large BC - which is mine. I’ve heard of too many diving mishaps when people think everything is ok and in reality there could be big problems.