How Swimming Affects Your Eyes

With Spring Break around the corner, it is important to discuss eye safety with your Eye Doctor. One of the most popular spring and summer activities is swimming, due to is all around exercise for your body. It is a very good low impact sport for adults and children alike. Kids may not aways jump into the pool with laps in mind, but safety is just as important. However, many of us do not know the risks of swimming on our eye, with no goggles.

Importance of Goggles

The highlight for many children, in the summers is being able to take a running leap into the swimming pool each day. Our children spending hours diving, jumping, treading water, and swimming freely in the water. Many of these children are not required to, or just do not want to wear goggles. This is just like riding a bicycle with a helmet. It is super practical, but too “dorky”.  Therefore, how do you get your children to want to wear them? Read through some of these dangers and see what may be the best method for your children!

Dry Eyes From Swimming

I am sure we all remember, as kids and even adults, getting to the pool and taking a running jump and swimming the length of the swimming pool. Many time this is eyes open and without goggles. We come out of the water rubbing our eyes to get the foggy blurry vision to disappear. Our eyes become blurry due to the corneas becoming swollen with chlorine water or salt water. These irritants can also cause your eyes to become red and dry after swimming.

One way to ease this irritation is to use lubricating eye drops, that can be bought at your Eye Exam Centre. These eye drops are artificial tears that will rehydrate your dry eye. Even though eye drops can be a good cure, the best ways to prevent your eye from drying out is using well-fitted goggles or prescription masks!

Bacteria in the Water

The worst bacteria that can be found in your water are Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acanthamoeba. These bacteria can cause painful infections that can cause sight loss or eye loss, if treatment is unsuccessful. Swimming related eye infections can affect all people, however, individuals who wear contacts are at a greater risk. This is due to the bacteria getting trapped against your eye under the contact lens. These types of bacterial are rare; however, wearing goggles can help prevent the possibility of infection.

Many may believe that the chlorine in the water can kill the bugs that may infest the water. This is not completely true. There is one bacteria that can exists in two life cycles, Acanthamoeba. This bacteria can is dormant and can resist chlorine, chemical disinfection, medical treatments, and eye drops. In its cyst form, this bacteria can multiply in your pool’s filter. To prevent this bacteria it is important to clean your filter regularly by changing the direction of water flow.

Swimming without Contacts or Glasses

When you are swimming, it is important to be able to see what is in front of you, even if you do not have eye glasses or contacts. You do not want to run into a wall or loose your children. It is recommended to steer clear of contact lenses; however, if you absolutely have to, you will want to use daily disposable lenses with a pair of well sealed goggles. These contacts need to be discarded immediately after use in the pool. The best options for swimming is to have your Eye Doctor advise you on prescription dive masks and goggles. These goggles can come in multiple shapes and sizes.

Contact Your Eye Doctor

Do you envision that you will be spending most of your spring and summer in the pool with your friends and family? We want to keep you and your family safe through the summer.  Reach out to our Eye Doctor to learn about more ways to protect your eyes against irritation and bacteria. Our eye doctor can help provide you with your prescription for your prescription dive masks and goggles. Let your children enjoy the summer without having to worry about dry eye or eye infections. Schedule your appointment today to talk with your local eye doctor.

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