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Can You Open Your Eyes in The Ocean? Here’s What You Should Know


If you’re an avid scuba diver or live anywhere near the ocean, you’ve probably noticed how harsh the saltwater can be. This is true on many levels! When playing in the ocean, have you ever asked the question, “can you open your eyes in the ocean”? 

Most of us have more experience swimming in a regular chlorinated swimming pool where you have probably opened your eyes and been able to see at least a little bit. 

What about the ocean? Is it possible to see underwater in seawater as well? Have you ever tried it? Maybe you’ve been afraid to try in fear that it could damage your eyes. So let’s look at the facts.

Can Saltwater Harm Your Eyes?


Saltwater from the ocean itself is not going to harm your eyes. Other things exist in the sea that can cause eye infections or irritation. Just think about the things that could be floating around in there!

Saltwater is good for your eyes, right? It’s how we treat eye infections and even rehydrate our eyes. So how could the ocean water be any different? 

Saline (used to treat our eyes) is made from water and sodium chloride (salt), but that’s it. The ocean contains all kinds of bacteria and more that can be potentially very harmful to your eyes.

All in all, you’ll likely be just fine opening your eyes in the ocean. However, remember to rinse out your eyes with clean water when you’re done being in the ocean for the day to wash out any “bugs’ and bacteria that could be lingering around your eyes and face. 

Why It Hurts to Open Your Eyes in the Ocean


Opening your eyes in the ocean does hurt temporarily because the ocean has a higher amount of salt in it than your eyes do. Your eyes dry out because the water is pulled out of your eyes, creating that stinging uncomfortableness.

How to Create Tolerance to Saltwater Irritation


When you first open your eyes in the ocean, your eyes might sting, but it’s possible to become tolerant to the ocean water if you start slow. Try opening just one eye at a time or squint and then open your eyes a little more as it gets more comfortable. 

Now You Know!


Next time you splash into the cool ocean water and find yourself asking, “can you open your eyes in the ocean” you know that you will likely be just fine. It is worth noting that even though you can open your eyes in the ocean, it doesn’t mean that your view will be clear and crisp. You’ll find that you get a blurry picture that might not be worth it. Overall, a mask will be your best option. 

For more answers to questions like “can you open your eyes in the ocean” call us to schedule a visit and an eye exam. We look forward to helping you learn more about healthy vision habits throughout your life.

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