What To Do When Eyes Meet Sand, Salt, & Chlorine

The ocean and swimming pools are great places to cool off in the summer, but problems arise when irritants like sand, salt, and chlorine make contact with and bother the eyes. If you know in advance how to handle these problems, you can ensure that fun days out stay pain-free.

What To Do When Eyes Meet Sand, Salt, & Chlorine

If sand or salt irritate your kids’ eyes, try these tips. Source: Shutterstock

Removing Irritants from Eyes


On a windy day at the beach, sand may blow into your eyes. It is important to remove grit safely to avoid scratching the eye and causing further damage. Livestrong recommends the following course of action:

  • If you wear contact lenses, remove them.
  • Try to flush out the sand using clean water, without rubbing or pressing the eye.
  • Even if you feel better after washing your eye, see a doctor. Some sand may remain without producing symptoms.
  • Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eyedrops. Take the full course of medication and then return for a follow-up to allow your doctor to check for complications.


You may be surprised to hear it, but the cure for that burning sensation of salty ocean water in the eyes is a soothing saline solution, says Essilor. There is a simple reason behind this: medical saline contains just 0.9 percent sodium chloride whereas the content of salt in the ocean averages 3.5 percent. Plus, ocean water is made up of many other substances, including sand, pollutants, bacteria, and microorganisms, all of which can irritate eyes. A saline solution will flush these out and prevent surfer’s eye.


Chlorine strips away the tear film over your cornea, leaving your eyes unprotected from bacteria, explains Eye Care Fun. To hydrate your eyes, restore the film, and eliminate unpleasant symptoms, simply use lubricating eye drops after you leave the pool, says The Eye Doctors.

Exposure to strong sunlight combined with any of the above irritants will inflame your eyes even more. Protect your kids’ eyes from discomfort now and serious eye conditions in the future by ensuring that your children always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection. Find a range of styles to suit any tastes in the Real Kids collection.