Does salt water pools hurt your eyes

Does salt water pool burn your eyes

The idea of electrifying salt and transforming it to chlorine for the purpose of sterilizing swimming pools was first proposed by Cascade, a New Zealand business, in 1972. Salt water pools were popular in North America in the 1980s, and salt water chlorination systems supplied by numerous well-known manufacturers are now readily accessible worldwide.

To function effectively, a salt water pool only requires a small amount of salt at any given moment. Salt chlorinator manufacturers normally recommend a salt content in the pool of 2,700–3,400 parts per million (ppm). A human tear contains roughly 9,000 ppm salt, while ocean water has about 35,000 ppm. As a result, the salt concentration of a salt water pool is substantially lower.

Does salt water pools hurt your eyes

In this aspect, unlike chlorinated pools, salt water pools will not irritate most people’s eyes or skin.
In a salt water pool, can you open your eyes?

In a salt water pool, you can open your eyes without worry of eye reddening and discomfort, which is common in the ocean or in a chlorinated pool. When in the correct range, the salt content in a salt water pool is around 3,000 ppm, but the salt level in the ocean is around 35,000 ppm.

Do Salt Water Pools Cause Eye Burn?

One of the advantages of a salt water pool is that it is gentler on your eyes, skin, hair, and clothing than ordinary chlorine pools. A salt water chlorination system generates chlorine by turning dissolved salt into a liquid form of chlorine that does not emit the odor that we ordinarily associate with this chemical. Below, we’ll go through this issue in further depth.

So, if you want to swim in a pool where you can open your eyes and not have to worry about a strong odor on your body and clothes later, a salt water pool is the way to go.

With contact lenses, can you open your eyes in salt water? Salt water pool eyes..

It’s not a good idea to open your eyes under water with contact lenses, regardless of where you’re swimming, unless you’re using goggles or an underwater mask, as I am a contact lens wearer.

To begin with, the contact lenses may be washed away or shift far enough away from the front of your eyeball that you are unable to see clearly or remove the lens.

Second, if you wear extended wear lenses, there’s a potential that some bacteria or other debris enters behind the lens and stays there, irritating your eye or, worse, creating an infection.

Always wear airtight goggles or a mask if you wear contact lenses and want to open your eyes under water when swimming.

The salt content of salt water pools is extremely low.

As a result, salt water in a pool has only a small amount of salt, just enough to make the pool water sanitary. It won’t irritate or burn your eyes. Another excellent health benefit is that the chlorine created in a salt water pool is sodium hypochlorite, which does not have the strong odor that a chlorinated pool typically leaves on your skin and clothes.
In a salt water pool, chlorine is still used.

It’s a common misconception that having a salt water pool means you’ll never need to use artificial chlorine, but this isn’t the case. When opening salt water pools in the spring when existing chlorine levels are very low, and when closing the pool in the autumn to assist prevent the growth of algae during the winter, chemical chlorine is still utilized.

During the summer pool season, chemical chlorine can be used sparingly to shock the pool, quickly boosting the chlorine level during periods of heavy pool use, hot summer weather, and heavy rain, all of which contribute to chlorine death and probable de-sanitization.

Is it true that the water in a saltwater pool dries the skin?

Chlorine pools are notorious for irritating not only the eyes (who hasn’t had bloodshot eyes after a day at the pool as a kid? ), but also the skin. With prolonged exposure to chlorine, the skin might become dry. It’s no surprise that our parents constantly urged us to shower after swimming because of the stench of pool chlorine paired with its potential to dry us out.

However, this is not the case in salt water pools. In pool water, most people will have no issue opening their eyes and will not have dry skin. Again, the pool’s salt level is quite minimal; it’s just enough to keep the pool clean and doesn’t have the skin-drying side effects that chemical chlorine does.

Chlorination System for Salt Water

There are various parts to a salt water chlorination system.

The chlorination system itself, which controls the operations and includes a pump timer, salt level monitoring, water flow sensor, and other automated features to reduce the amount of manual labor required to maintain the pool functioning.

The salt cell, on the other hand, is the part of the chlorination system that really produces chlorine. It’s a plastic tube with inside electrified titanium plates that fits right into your pool system’s existing pipework. The water flows via the filter, the pump, and the salt cell, where the salt is turned to chlorine. The chlorinated, clean water then returns to the pool via the return jets. It’s a never-ending cycle of old water being filtered, rechlorinated, and then returned to the pool.

Use of Salt Water in Your Pool

Every year, the amount of salt utilized in a salt water pool is negligible. A chlorine pool may require $300–$800 in liquid chlorine every year, whereas a salt water pool may only require $50 in salt per year. While a 20-pound package of pool salt costs around $35, you can alternatively use white salt pellets from a water softener. For $10 or less, you can get a 40-pound bag of water softener salt. To keep your salt water pool running for one pool season, you may only need 2-4 bags of that size.

If you have a water softener, you may simply purchase an extra bag or two of white salt pellets and keep them on hand for the softener as well as the pool. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the type of salt to use in your chlorination system, and avoid clear crystal salt because it is harder to dissolve. For years, I’ve had no problems using standard white salt pellets in our Hayward AquaRite chlorinator system.

Salinity Levels at Other Times

Here are some examples of salt concentrations in different liquids:

  • Less than 1,000 parts per million (ppm) in fresh water
  • Water with a slight salty content ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 parts per million
  • Salt water pool water — between 2,700 and 3,400 parts per million
  • Water that is somewhat saline – 3,000 ppm to 10,000 ppm
  • 9,000 parts per million (ppm) of human tears
  • 35,000 parts per million of ocean water

Do Salt Water Pools Cause Eye Damage?

Have you ever gone swimming for a couple of hours only to wake up with your eyes red and possibly burning? Even if you aren’t aware of the discomfort while swimming, it is typical to have burning and irritated eyes after exiting the water.

I was nervous about what would happen to my eyes if I swam in a saltwater pool for the first time. I discovered it wasn’t what I expected after swimming for a couple of hours in my friend’s saltwater pool. Here’s what I discovered:

Saltwater pools, in general, are far gentler on the eyes than chlorine pools. As a result, compared to swimming in a chlorine pool, your chances of getting eye discomfort are considerably reduced in a saltwater pool. This is owing to the fact that salt-treated pools have lower chlorine levels.

Continue reading if you’re still curious about how this is feasible. Today, we’ll discuss why saltwater pools are healthier for your eyes, skin, and hair. We’ll also go through how to deal with eyeburn after swimming in a chlorine pool.

Will Swimming in Salt Water Hurt My Eyes?

You might be apprehensive to swim in a saltwater pool if you’ve ever had a burning sensation in your eyes after swimming in a chlorine pool. When you first start swimming, saltwater, especially in the ocean, is known to harm your eyes.

Swimming in a saltwater pool, on the other hand, is not known to cause eye burns. In fact, saltwater pools are widely regarded as a more mild alternative to chlorinated pools. In comparison to chlorine pools, saltwater pools are less prone to burn your eyes because they contain less chlorine.

Salt water pools are safer for those with skin sensitivity, in addition to being gentler on the eyes. Swimming in salt water pools is also less damaging to your hair. This is related to the low chlorine level in salt water pools once again.

In a nutshell, salt water pools are far safer and friendlier on the body than pools with high chlorine levels. Let’s take a closer look at why this is the case.

Why Don’t Salt Water Pools Cause Eye Burn?

The water in our bodies, which contains salt ions, is used to make our tears. These salt ions are expected to have a salt concentration similar to that found in saltwater pools. Saltwater pools are less prone to irritate eyes than chlorine pools since they are more natural.

The way saltwater pools are sanitized is another reason why they don’t irritate eyes. As you may be aware, chlorine produces compounds that contain harsh chemicals that irritate the eyes and skin. On the other hand, saltwater does not break down into chlorine, which is a salt byproduct. Saltwater does not burn or irritate the eyes as a result.

Saltwater is believed to be kinder on the hair and skin, in addition to being safer for swimmers’ eyes. Saltwater, unlike chlorine, does not dry out the skin. As a result, many people who suffer from skin irritation choose to swim in saltwater pools rather than chlorinated pools. Similarly, unlike chlorine, which can cause hair to become brittle and discolored, saltwater causes very little damage to hair.

In other words, if you open your eyes while swimming in a saltwater pool, you shouldn’t experience any stinging or burning. While eye discomfort is likely, the effect of saltwater should be less severe than that of chlorine.

How to Prevent Eye Burn When Swimming

What happens if you choose to swim in chlorine pools instead of saltwater pools, even if you make an attempt to swim only in saltwater pools? Because eyeburn is never a pleasant sensation, knowing how to stop eyes from becoming irritated after swimming is essential.

Rinsing your eyes with cool, clean water is the best technique to stop eyeburn. You can also use a cold compress or a saline solution to soothe your eyes. If the chlorine continues to irritate your eyes, try putting 1 to 2 drops of artificial tears in your eyes. After swimming, resume this process every hour for 4 to 6 hours.

If you swim with contact lenses on, make sure to remove them as soon as possible afterward. Contact lenses cannot be cleaned or removed from chlorine, chloramines, or other liquid toxins. After all indications of eye discomfort have subsided, you can resume wearing contact lenses.

How Can I Keep My Eyes From Burning After Swimming?

There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to avoid becoming eyeburned in the first place. Swimming with goggles is one of the best ways to avoid eye irritation. Goggles will protect your eyes from debris as well as prevent chlorine from entering your eyes. Before diving into the water, make sure the goggles are snug on your face.

When swimming, even if you wear contact lenses, you should wear goggles. Don’t expect contact lenses to protect your eyes on their own. Contact lenses are known to be damaged by chlorine because it changes their form. Additionally, while swimming, your contact lenses may be washed out of your eyes. As a result, goggles should be worn at all times.

Showering before swimming in the pool is another protective measure. Because dirt can irritate the eyes, bathing before swimming reduces the risk of eye burn. Showering also removes any lotion or skin creams from your body, which might irritate your eyes when swimming.

It’s critical to check pH levels in a chlorinated pool on a frequent basis. Though chlorine is known to irritate the eyes, it is typically an inappropriate pH balance that causes the greatest damage. Make sure your pH level is right, which is usually 7.4. Make adjustments to your pH level if it is lower or higher than this before swimming in the pool.


If you haven’t done so previously, think about getting a saltwater pool. There is no need to be concerned about eye irritation because saltwater is much more natural and safer than chlorine. Saltwater should have little effect on your eyes even if you swim underwater. You won’t have to worry about your skin drying out or your hair becoming brittle and discolored either.

Because the salt content in a salt water pool is quite low, roughly a tenth of what you’d find in the ocean, most people are unlikely to get eye or skin irritation. Furthermore, the chlorine produced in a salt water pool does not have the same strong odor as chlorine created in chemically chlorinated pools. In terms of water chemistry, a salt water pool has the advantage of being easier to maintain than a chlorine pool.

related post: Why is a salt water pool better?

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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