Last Updated: April 14, 2023
How can you enjoy the underwater beauty of an ocean without opening your eyes? This question is surely a commonly asked one among divers and swimmers.
Often there is this dilemma if you can open your eyes in the ocean. The answer to this question is yes.
Salt water can cause slight irritation in your eyes, but that does not mean that you cannot open them at all. The slight sting is in no way harmful for your eyes.
Can Salt Water Damage Your Eyes?
Clean salt water does not affect your eyes. You will experience no damage when you open your eyes in clean saltwater. You can experience slight irritation or stinging.
However, after a short period of time, your eyes will adjust, and the irritation subsides. Some people do not feel any sort of irritation at all. Hence it depends from person to person.
If you are prone to eye infections, then you must not take any risk. All in all, there are no lasting side effects of opening your eyes in clean saltwater. However, the same cannot be said for dirty water bodies.
How to Stop Salt Water from Burning Your Eyes
Within few moments, you might not even feel any irritation. However, you should follow these remedies as an added security.
1. Coldwater Rinsing
The reason why your eyes turn red or sting is due to foreign particles like salt found in large water bodies. The fastest and the most prominent relief solution is cold water. You can use cold water to rinse out all the foreign particles from your eyes.
The water should be clean and at room temperature. Just bend over a sink and splash water in your eyes. Then wipe your face and area around your eyes with a clean towel. Make sure that the water gets inside your eyes for instant relief.
Finding fresh milk might not be possible; however, this remedy is highly reliable. Milk has a soothing effect on your eyes. You do not have to splash milk into your eyes, rather pour it in the form of drops.
Milk neutralizes all the chemical particles that have entered your eyes. Make sure to roll your eyes so that the milk spreads throughout your eye for better results. If the irritation persists, resort back to cold water rinsing.
You will surely feel much better after this.
3. Wet Tea Bags
Tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can help you in soothing irritated eyes. You will have to dip two tea bags in cold water. Next, place them over your closed eyes.
Keep them over your eyelids until they have warmed up to room temperature. If you feel no change, then try doing the process again. You can carry out this process after you have tried other alternatives. Surely by then, you will feel much better.
This process helps immensely and can be repeated at your convenience. This remedy is good for your skin as well.
4. Saline Solution
The tears produced by the eyes are a natural saline solution that keeps our eyes moist and free from dust. In case of irritation due to saltwater or chlorine, saline solution can be a savior.
Tears are produced automatically by our eyes to make them clean and free from salt. However, if you still do not find any relief, you get a vial of saline solution eye drops. Put few drops of saline in your eyes. Blink your eyes and roll them so that the solution spreads throughout your eyes.
There is this misconception that saline solution is water and salt. Hence, do not try to make a saline solution at home using water and salt. You will worsen your eye condition.
You should purchase a good-quality saline solution from a medicine retail shop.
Can You Open Your Eyes in the Ocean With Contacts?
The answer to this question is a clear no. No doubt people with poor vision want to enjoy swimming and beach time with the comfort of contacts. Swimming or snorkeling in the ocean with contact lenses should be avoided though.
Water consists of all sorts of bacteria and viruses. Acanthamoeba attaches to your contacts and causes cornea infection. This cornea inflammation is very harsh for your eyes. You can even lose your sight.
You can even suffer from a corneal ulcer under which bacterial infection invades your cornea. You become more prone to eye irritation with contacts since they rub against your eyes.
Hence, if you do wish to wear your contacts underwater, you must wear swimming goggles. Your swimming goggles must be waterproof.
However, the safest solution would be to not use contact lenses at all. You can always use powered swimming glasses to enjoy your underwater experience.
In case you do wear contacts to saltwater and experience irritation or sensitivity to light, you must call your eye specialist as soon as possible. Do not take this lightly since your eyesight will be at stake here.
The only way you can enjoy nature is through your eyes. Underwater adventures can only be enjoyed if your eyes are healthy and in optimum condition. Eye-care must be taken seriously at all costs.
Saltwater may not be dangerous for your eyes, but it depends on the person and water quality. In case you do suffer any sort of eye irritation post your swim, make sure to follow through with the remedies vigilantly.
You must always make it a habit to use goggles during all your swims. They are a thoroughly reliable and safe option. Having an eye infection is not an attractive aftermath after a relaxing swim in the ocean.
Take care of your eyes and enjoy the ocean water.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.