Full-face snorkel masks can provide some special advantages for particular groups of people in addition to these general advantages. For instance, full-face snorkel masks may be more relaxing to wear for persons who are claustrophobic or anxious. Full face snorkel masks may be preferred by those who have facial hair as they do not require a tight seal around the mouth.
Full face snorkel masks offer a number of benefits over traditional snorkel masks, including:
- Natural breathing: Breathing naturally through your nose and mouth is made possible by full-face snorkel masks, which can be more relaxing and less taxing than using a snorkel mouthpiece.
- Broader field of vision: Compared to typical snorkel masks, full-face snorkel masks have a greater viewing area, which improves your ability to see the underwater environment.
- Less fogging: To keep the lens clean, full-face snorkel masks are frequently built with anti-fogging capabilities.
- Enhanced comfort: Because full face snorkel masks evenly distribute the weight across your face, they are often more pleasant to wear than regular snorkel masks.
Overall, full face snorkel masks can be more advantageous than regular snorkel masks in a number of ways, making them a popular option for snorkelers of all skill levels. Full face snorkel masks do, however, carry certain potential hazards, including CO2 buildup and trouble balancing the pressure in your ears and sinuses. By selecting a certified mask that fits properly and using the mask safely, you can reduce these hazards by being aware of them and taking the appropriate precautions.
Are full face snorkel masks safe?
In recent years, full face snorkel masks have grown in popularity as they have a variety of benefits over conventional snorkel masks. They give you a wider field of vision and enable you to breathe normally through your mouth and nose. Full-face snorkel mask safety has, however, also been a subject of some discussion.
Potential risks of full face snorkel masks
Full face snorkel masks can trap carbon dioxide (CO2) inside the mask, which is one of the major worries. This is due to the fact that the masks hold more air than conventional snorkel masks, making it challenging for the snorkel to effectively circulate the air. If CO2 levels in the mask rise, it may cause headaches, dizziness, and even unconsciousness.
Full face snorkel masks may make it harder to balance the pressure in your ears and sinuses, which is another issue. This is due to the fact that the masks seal up your entire face, making it difficult for you to breathe through your nose to equalize the pressure. Lack of pressure equalization can cause discomfort, suffering, and even barotrauma, which harms the ears and sinuses.
Finally, swimming might be challenging when wearing a full-face snorkel mask. This is due to the fact that the masks are heavy and may limit your range of motion. The fact that full-face snorkel masks are not intended for use when diving should also be noted. It can be challenging to remove water from a full-face snorkel mask when diving, and CO2 buildup is a possibility.
How to use a full-face snorkel mask safely
If you do choose to use a full-face snorkel mask, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risks:
- Select a mask that has received certification from a trustworthy agency
- Make sure that the mask is comfortable to wear and that it fits correctly.
- Before swimming in deeper water, practice breathing through the mask in shallow water.
- Be alert for the symptoms of CO2 accumulation, which include headaches, dizziness, and breathing difficulties.
- Remove the mask as soon as you encounter any of these symptoms and come to the surface.
- Regularly balance the pressure in your sinuses and ears.
- When swimming in rough currents or waves, avoid using a full-face snorkel mask.
- With a full-face snorkel mask on, avoid diving.
Full Face Snorkel Mask Deaths
Numerous deaths, including those of adults and kids, have been connected to full-face snorkel masks. A 2019 study in the journal “Wilderness & Environmental Medicine” found that between 2010 and 2018, full-face snorkel masks were responsible for at least 22 fatalities.
According to the study, CO2 accumulation was the leading cause of fatalities. This is due to the fact that full-face snorkel masks can have a harder time adequately circulating the air due to their larger air capacity than conventional snorkel masks. If CO2 levels in the mask rise, it may cause headaches, dizziness, and even unconsciousness.
Drowning was another frequent cause of death. This may occur if someone wearing a full-face snorkel mask becomes alarmed and takes it off while submerged. It’s vital to remember that full-face snorkel masks shouldn’t be taken off while submerged because doing so could result in water getting inside the mask and making breathing difficult.
The research also discovered that several of the fatalities involved youngsters. This is probably because children are more inclined to panic and take off their masks while submerged. Children are also more vulnerable to the consequences of CO2 buildup due to their smaller lungs than adults.
Why Aren’t Full Face Snorkel Masks Allowed In Hawaii
Hawaii prohibits the use of full-face snorkel masks due to safety reasons. These masks completely enclose the face, including the lips and nose, which can restrict airflow and balance sinus and ear pressure. Full-face snorkel masks can also be trickier to take off underwater than conventional snorkel masks, which can be dangerous in an emergency.
Here are some specific safety concerns associated with full-face snorkel masks:
Carbon dioxide buildup: Compared to conventional snorkel masks, full-face snorkel masks have more air capacity, which can make it more challenging for the snorkel to effectively circulate the air. This may result in a buildup of carbon dioxide in the mask, which may result in headaches, dizziness, or even coma.
Drowning: If the wearer panics or the mask becomes flooded, full-face snorkel masks can make it difficult to breathe. The masks may also be challenging to take off underwater, raising the possibility of drowning.
Pressure: It can be challenging to equalize pressure in the ears and sinuses when wearing a full-face snorkel mask since they form a seal over the entire face. Pain and suffering may result from this, as well as barotrauma, which is tissue damage to ears and sinuses.
Full-face snorkel masks have also been connected to a number of deaths, including those of both adults and children, in addition to these safety issues. These factors led to Hawaii’s state parks and waters outlawing the use of full-face snorkel masks.
Snorkeling with full face snorkel masks can be a lot of fun, but it’s vital to be aware of the risks and take precautions to reduce them. You can lower your risk of injury or sickness by selecting a certified mask that fits properly and by using the mask in a safe manner.