How to Open your Eyes Underwater as a Mermaid (WITHOUT WRECKING THEM!!!)
Alright, so you want to learn how to open your eyes underwater like a real mermaid, right? However, opening your eyes in a chlorine swimming pool burns your eyes and dries them out. So does the salt water in the ocean. Yikes!!! What to do?!?! Let me give you a few tips that will make opening your eyes underwater a lot less painful and a bit healthier for your eyes.
But...I'm a Professional Mermaid from Traverse City, Michigan. I almost exclusively swim in the freshwater lakes in my area. So.... what do I know about burning, bloodshot, peeling eyes? Quite a bit, actually.
The Blind Little Mermaid
All of my life, I have struggled with low vision and a bad case of astigmatism. As of right now, I can see approximately 3 inches in front of my face without visual aide. With my as-good-as-it-gets prescription glasses, I can see about 3 feet; even that is blurry. To my horror, I recently discovered that my vision issues cannot be corrected by surgery due to my age and the extreme cone shape of my eyes. Prescription Contact Lenses are the ONLY option available to me to obtain normal vision.
HOWEVER... years of contact wearing has caused my to develop Dry Eye Syndrome. It literally hurts to just keep my eyes open sometimes, which is why I avoid chlorine like the plague (well... unless I'm swimming in a tank...like I did here!)! My dry eye issues get so bad at times that I can't wear my contacts at all. But luckily, I can wear them much more frequently than before because of a few simple tricks that my Ophthalmologist taught me. These tips and tricks will help you recover from post-swimming dry eyes AND will help protect them from future exposure to chlorine, salt water, and other irritants. Your eyes will likely still hurt when you open them underwater, but this will help reduce the pain and the damage done to them.
How to Prevent Eye Irritation when Opening your Eyes Underwater
Below I will list a few different products and techniques that I use personally to prevent Dry Eye Syndrome from wrecking my vision. Feel free to use any combination of these techniques to help you out. Personally, I use them all to simply function. Hahaha!
You should consult your Optometrist/Ophthalmologist/Eye Doctor before following any of my advice, as I am not a medical professional and do not claim to be. I am a Professional Mermaid, and I am only offering you advice based on my experience and what has worked for me. Play it safe and talk to an eyeball professional before drastically changing your eye health routine. 😘
The Best Drops, Gels and Ointments for Dry Eyes
I use a cocktail of eye drops, eye gels, and eye ointments to help keep my eyes lubricated. I was told to aim for eye-care products that use the least amount of preservatives as possible (preservatives can cause eye irritation) so low to no preservative products are the types of products I will recommend. 🙂
DAILY DISPOSABLE EYE DROPS FOR DRY EYES
I like to use preservative-free eye drops to keep my eyes hydrated on the go. For this, I use the brand "Refresh Optive," and I use their sterile, single-use "Lubricating Eye Drops." They are easy to tote around with you (I always carry a vial in my pocket of my bra! 😝).
LUBRICATING EYE GEL FOR DRY EYES
A container of "Lubricating Eye Gel" goes a long way! I like to put a drop of this stuff in my eyes before putting in my contacts. They also work wonders for soothing chlorine burned eyes too. This eye gel is a thick liquid that provides better relief than eye drops. The only drawback to it is that it can make your eyelashes crusty if any gets on them and dries. Crustiness is avoidable by washing around your eyes with water. Here's the gel I use on the regular.
LUBRICATING EYE OINTMENT FOR NIGHTTIME EYE RELIEF
Just how dry and in irritated are your eyes? Are they in pain enough to goop them up with some goopy goop? If you're all done swimming for the day and don't need to do any driving, I suggest that you try using an "Eye Ointment." This stuff is best to use at night, since it makes your vision foggy and will mess up your eye makeup if it leaks out of the corners of your eyes. BUT IT WORKS!!! As gross as sticking a gel with the consistency of toothpaste in your eyes sounds, it is super helpful for re-hydrating your eyes and easing the pain caused from opening your eyes under water.
Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Dry Eye Relief and Prevention
If you aren't a fan of gels, drops and ointments and would like to try a more holistic approach to post-swimming eye care, I don't blame you! I don't like sticking things in my eye either (but I do it daily regardless!) Although I recommend using the gels, drops and ointments on top of using the prevention tips below, you can feel free to do what gets you the results you're after. ♥
DRINK MORE WATER
There has always been debate as to how much water humans should actually take in. While I'm not going to tell you how much you should drink, I will say that properly hydrating yourself helps EVERYTHING in your body function better... including your eyes! Pop, coffee, energy drinks and alcohol do not count. Sorry! 😘
TAKE HIGH QUALITY OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENTS FOR DRY EYES
VEGANS PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!!! I've had many different Ophthalmologists throughout the years and nearly every one of them has suggested that I take a high quality Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement. Notice that "high quality" is italicized and in bold font in that sentence. Fish oil helps lubricate all sorts of things in your body and does lots of good stuff! Hehehe! I've noticed that taking a high-quality fish oil supplement has also boosted my ability to think clearly. Aim to buy a high-quality fish oil (or vegan alternative) with higher levels of EPA and DHA per pill thingy. As a general guideline... the higher the price, the more potent your fish oil. Here is one that I like to use.
GET 7-8 HOURS OF SLEEP
Yes. You may feel fine and may be able to function with only 4 hours of sleep. You can also get coffee at gas stations. Will it taste like coffee? Maybe. Is it the best coffee around? Only if you like lukewarm stale coffee. Point is, you can function without sleep, but you can and WILL function better with at least 7 hours of sleep. Your eyes will feel better after resting too. I don't have an explanation for it aside from that sleep is magical! Get some shuteye!!
USE AN EYE HYDRATION MASK
What is an "eye hydration mask?" It is a strange creation that helps heat up the natural oils produced by the glands near (or maybe in?) your eyes so that they can more easily release a protective oil into your eyes. My oil gland thingies are apparently clogged up on the regular, so I have to use an eye hydration mask regularly to promote the flow of oil into my eyes. Eye masks are typically heated up in the microwave for a few seconds and then can be put on your eyes for 7-ish minutes... eye masks also double as eyelash straighteners! Bwahaha! 😝 You can get one of these at your Optometrist's Office or at your local superstore.
If you don't want to get an eye mask, you can put hot water on a dishtowel and put it over your eyes once the towels has cooled to a comfortable temperature for you. DO NOT BURN YOUR EYES!!!
Will my Eyes still Burn after Swimming if I do this stuff?
I should add that even if you still do all of the things that I have suggested in this blog post, you will likely still experience burning and irritated eyes. The PH of our body and the PH of the water we swim in are not the same. Additionally, we are not actually mermaids and mermen by blood. We are made to live on land and it is 100% normal to have red and burning eyes (and foggy vision) after swimming with your eyes open for extended periods of time in the water. While the products at tips that I have suggested will help soothe your optic balls (hehehe) you will probably still have pain. I do, at least. But I know how to make it all feel better now! ♥
I hope this has helped you. Please share this with your friends if you feel that they could find it helpful!
DISCLAIMER! I am NOT an eye care professional and do not pretend to be one! Consult your Ophthalmologist before putting any of these things into action. Eye infections can occur from opening your eyes underwater... BE CAREFUL!
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