Summertime means spending more time swimming, whether it’s at the beach, lake or even the backyard pool. As enjoyable as swimming is, there are certain precautions to take to protect the eyes from danger. Armed with the right information, you can keep your and your family’s eyes safe from possible hazards.
Below, the team at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons shares what you should know about swimming and eye safety.
Avoiding Eye Infection While Swimming
Opening your eyes underwater can expose you to a variety of risks. For example, opening your eyes underwater in the ocean can cause them to become red and irritated because of the water’s high salt content, which leads to dry eye.
Opening your eyes underwater in a public pool can also lead to irritation (and possibly worse). The chlorine and chemicals used to treat the pool water can irritate your eyes. And although these chemicals are used to clean the pool, they cannot kill all of the microorganisms that live underwater. Opening your eyes in a pool for prolonged periods of time can expose them to bacteria that may lead to an infection. The worst infections can be very painful and threaten your eyesight.
If you occasionally open your eyes underwater, perhaps to retrieve something from the bottom of the pool, you probably don’t need to worry. But if you enjoy swimming or other water sports on a regular basis, it’s best to wear well-fitting swim goggles to protect your eyes.
Contact Lens Safety
Most eye doctors recommend removing contacts before swimming in a pool, lake or ocean. First, because the lenses can fall out in the water and get lost. But more importantly, microorganisms can get trapped in the lenses and raise the risk of a sight-threatening eye infection and possible pain.
If you must wear your contact lenses in the water, you should invest in a pair of tight-fitting goggles to protect them from water exposure. If your contacts become exposed to water, it’s best to dispose of them. Another option is to look into prescription goggles to wear while swimming.
For more information about protecting your eyes from water and water sports, please don’t hesitate to call or email Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons today.