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Why You Shouldn’t Swim With Contact Lenses

Pool weather is here, and it’s tempting to jump right in! But hold on a sec for all you contact lens wearers out there. Taking a dip with your lenses in can mess with your eyes. Swimming in pools with contacts increases your chances of getting an eye infection, and that can be no joke. Here’s the deal on why it’s best to ditch the contacts for some goggles before hitting the pool.

The Risks of Swimming With Contact Lenses

  1. Exposure to Microbes: Pools are treated with chlorine to kill bacteria, but it’s not foolproof. Parasites and other microbes can still lurk in the water. These organisms can get trapped behind your contact lens, creating a breeding ground for infection.
  2. Porous Lenses: Contact lenses are slightly porous, allowing microscopic waterborne critters to cling to your eye. This can lead to serious infections, such as Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is challenging to treat and can result in permanent vision loss.
  3. Chlorine Irritation: Chlorine, a shared pool disinfectant, irritates the eyes. This discomfort is exacerbated when combined with contact lenses, making it a serious concern for swimmers. The irritation can lead to redness, itchiness, and increased sensitivity to light.
  4. Lens Dislodgement: Rough play in the pool can easily dislodge a contact lens. Losing a lens disrupts your vision and poses a hygiene risk if you attempt to retrieve it from the chlorinated water.

Also Read: At What Age Can Kids Start Wearing Contact Lenses?

How to Enjoy the Pool Without Compromising Your Vision

Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy your time in the pool without risking your eye health:

  1. Switch to Glasses: Consider temporarily wearing glasses or goggles at the pool. This protects your eyes from microbes, chlorine, and unseen germs. Prescription goggles are an excellent option if you need vision correction while swimming.
  2. Use Disposable Contacts: If you must use contacts, opt for daily disposable lenses that you can discard immediately after your swim. This prevents contamination and reduces the risk of infection from reusing lenses exposed to pool water.
  3. Invest in Quality Goggles: Look for well-fitting goggles for contact lens wearers. These goggles create a tight seal around your eyes, preventing water from getting in and protecting your lenses.
  4. Post-Swim Care: After swimming, thoroughly rinse your contact lenses with a fresh contact lens solution. Follow the cleaning instructions provided by your optician to ensure your lenses are free from contaminants.

These precautions allow you to enjoy your summer swims without compromising your eye health. Always prioritise safety and consult with your optician if you have concerns about wearing contact lenses in the pool.

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