How to See Underwater Without Goggles


Chlorine in swimming pools and salt in the sea makes it diffcult to see underwater without goggles. Light also refracts when it goes through water so objects are displaced and blur. Goggles create a barrier between the eyeball and water to enable a swimmer to see. However, if you don't have any or find it uncomfortable to wear them, then you'll need to practice opening your eyes in the water to see.

  • Fill a bath or bucket with fresh water. Submerge your head in the water for 5 seconds and practice opening your eyes, without the presence of salt or chlorine.

  • Keep your eyes open for two or three seconds and close them again. Repeat this exercise as frequently as you can to become more familiar with the sensation of water against your eye.

  • Put an object at the bottom of the bucket, or in the bath. Open your eyes and focus on staring at the object. Get a friend to choose what to put there, then try working out what the object is each time.

  • Build up your ability to open your eyes, and resist the temptation to shut them again. When you can open your eyes comfortably in fresh water, go to the local swimming pool.

  • Start the eye-opening exercises again in the swimming pool, or sea. At first open your eyes for just two or three seconds. Then, practice keeping them open for longer.

  • Watch swimmers in the water. Duck your head under and as they swim towards you look at what color thier bathing suit is, or assess their swimming technique. Take small steps towards improving your sight underwater.

  • Perform lengths of the swimming pool with your eyes open to practice seeing underwater. As you finish each length, look at the bricks as a means of concentrating at looking at things.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not force yourself to open your eyes if it feels uncomfortable as you could damage your eyes. Practice gradually.

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