Summer’s here, which means it’s time to hit the pool. Although fun and enjoyable, swimming in the pool can be harmful to your eyes. Whether you’re just enjoying a leisure dip or training for a competition, you may have experienced having red, irritated “swimmer’s eyes” after a few minutes in the pool water.
Here are four tips your eye doctor suggests to protect your eyes in the pool:
1. Understand Why Pool Water Is Harmful to Your Eyes
While chlorine is needed to keep the pool water clean, it can be harsh on the eyes. The chlorinated water washes away your eyes’ tear film, compromising the natural lubrication of your eyes. As a result, your eyes become dry, irritated and even inflamed. In addition, this tear layer protects your eyes from microorganism entry or attachment. Without it, you’re more likely to develop eye infections, like conjunctivitis.
2. Do Not Wear Contact Lenses When Swimming
Contact lenses may be an ideal corrective eyewear option for various activities, but not for swimming. The space between the lenses and your eyes can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and other microbes. Rigid, gas-permeable contact lenses also shrink easily in water, which can cause them to become dislodged while you’re underwater. Soft contact lenses, on the other hand, are often porous, which makes it easier for microbes to enter your eyes.
3. Wear Water-Tight Goggles When Swimming
One of the most effective ways to keep your eyes protected when swimming is to wear water-tight goggles. Doing so can prevent water from coming in contact with your eyes, keeping your tear film intact. This can also prevent infection.
4. Wash Your Eyes
After swimming, splash your eyes with water to flush away any microbes. Your optometrist also recommends applying lubricating eye drops to moisturize your eyes. You should drink plenty of water as well to keep your eyes hydrated.
For more tips on protecting your eyes in the pool, call us at (703) 291-0080 or complete our form. We serve Alexandria, Arlington and nearby VA areas.