Scuba diving is a great way to explore the ocean, whether you’re an expert or someone who’s just starting out. Whether you’re a diver yourself or simply have friends and family who love the sport, there are some questions that often come up when people think about scuba diving. For example: can you open your eyes in the ocean? And why would it matter if you could? Here’s what I know about this topic and how it might impact your next dive trip!
Opening your eyes in ocean water
You can open your eyes in ocean water.
This may not be a surprise to most people, but it’s important to note that you can open your eyes in any body of water with salt content, including swimming pools and bathtubs. You can also open your eyes in lakes and rivers, provided they have enough salt content as well.
In freshwater, your eyes will sting.
In freshwater, your eyes will sting. They’ll burn, and they’ll swell up. You might just close them because you don’t want to deal with the discomfort anymore. But if you can bear it for long enough, your eyes will water like crazy. Your vision will blur and be red and bloodshot for days afterward. You’ll have puffy eyelids that make you look like a wild animal on the run from danger (which is actually kind of accurate). And if the saltwater builds up in there long enough, your eyes may get irritated or even develop an infection, so definitely watch out for that!
In salt water, your eyes won’t sting
The answer to this question is yes, you can open your eyes while swimming in ocean water. The salt in the ocean has a natural antiseptic and healing property which prevents stinging or irritation of your eyes. Ocean water is denser than tears so it sinks below the surface, where it mixes with the tears secreted by your body. The salt then travels into your eyes along with these fluids, preventing them from becoming inflamed or irritated as they would if they were exposed directly to fresh water.
You should still open
But don’t do it. Opening your eyes in the ocean is a bad idea for a number of reasons:
- Water can get in your eyes, which will sting and burn. Saltwater can cause irritation or even painful inflammation. Sand can scratch the cornea, causing pain and potentially long-term damage to vision. Jellyfish stings are particularly dangerous, they have tentacles that sting over large areas of skin at once, which means there are many points where venom from one jellyfish could enter your bloodstream at once if you happen to be unlucky enough to encounter an entire swarm of them at once (which is not unlikely).
- You need protection for your face when swimming in the ocean anyway!
Open your eyes in the ocean at your own risk
- You can open your eyes in the ocean.
- But you shouldn’t.
First of all, there’s a good chance that something will get in your eye: sand, water or a parasite. If you have to go under for any reason, to retrieve something from the bottom of the ocean floor, for instance, make sure to close your eyes and keep them closed until you’re back above water again. It’s better not to risk it at all than risk getting an infection from some nasty little sea creature
How do I make my eyes feel better after scuba diving?
If you’re used to wearing contacts and diving, it’s important to take care of your eyes after getting back from the ocean. Here are some tips for doing so:
- Wash your mask with fresh water before taking it off. This will help get rid of dirt and salt that may have collected on your mask while deep-sea diving.
- Use a solution of one part vinegar to one part water (or one part rubbing alcohol), then rinse your mask with fresh water until all traces of this cleaning solution have been removed from the inside of the glass lens.
You can open your eyes in the ocean.
- Open your eyes underwater.
- Look for fish, coral and the ocean floor.
- Look for the surface, your dive buddy and dive master.
- Look for the boat if you are on an offshore trip with a liveaboard or when getting picked up by another boat or helicopter at the end of your trip, depending on where you’re diving.
Conclusion: Can You Open Your Eyes In Ocean
It’s safe to say that you can open your eyes in the ocean. If you’re looking for more information about scuba diving, check out our blog post on how to prepare for scuba diving or our reviews of the best scuba gear.