Man swimming with eyes open in the water. Salt water may affect eyes

It’s time to hit the beach and take a dive into the ocean. But should you open your eyes when you’re underwater, or will the water hurt you?

Will salt water injure my eyes?

When you open your eyes in the ocean, you may feel a sting. However, it’s not because you’re being injured. The salt in the water is drying your eyes out.

Why does salt water dry my eyes?

The water in the ocean has a higher salt content than your eyes, saline drops, or even your tears. As a result, they draw the water from your eyes, drying them out and creating that stinging sensation.

Can anything else in the ocean harm my eyes?

Just because the salt is safe doesn’t mean the ocean is completely harmless. The water could still contain bacteria that could cause an infection, and sand or other irritants could cause a pterygium to develop.

How can I keep my eyes safe in the ocean?

Your eyes should be fine if you spend a small amount of time in the water. If you’ll be in the ocean for a while, though, a set of goggles should keep you safe.

Eye care at CEENTA

If you need an eye exam, come to CEENTA. Our eye doctors will make sure your eyes are as healthy as possible so you can enjoy your day out at the beach.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our eye doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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