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Whether you’re swimming in a hot tub, pool, lake, or ocean, you need to know you can keep your eyes safe and protected from bacterial infection. Not taking the right precautions before, during, and after swimming will only increase the risk of getting a corneal infection, so it helps to take time to prepare yourself. As a leader in prescriptive eyeglass frames, Excel Eyecare OD PA shares some insight and tips to help you out.

Swimming in Pools Vs. in Saltwater 

Your eyes are usually protected with a thin layer of tears (tear film) that keeps them smooth, clear, and hydrated. However, your eyes can still react to the chlorine and other chemicals that keep your swimming pools clean. The tear film is washed away faster than it can reproduce itself, and after some time in the pool, you’ll notice your eyes looking red and itchy.

Your eyes won’t feel too irritated when you swim in saltwater, as this is what they’re normally used to. This is because most eye drops and contact solutions are made with salt and water, though not as concentrated. You’ll still feel a bit of irritation and your eyes will get red after some time.

Safety Tips to Remember

  • Remove Your Contacts – The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) warns that swimming with your contacts on isn’t recommended, especially after you had recent eye health exams. This is because of the chemicals and bacteria that become embedded in the contact lens while swimming, which can slip between the lens and the surface of your eye. This increases your risk of corneal infection, which can lead to possible eye damage or even vision loss. 
  • Use Goggles and Eye Drops – To keep your eyes protected and your tear film intact, consider using goggles while swimming! You should also use eye drops before and after swimming to keep your eyes hydrated. 
  • Wash Your Eyes Afterwards – It’s also important to wash your eyes with water after swimming.  This will get chlorine, bacteria, sand, and pollution out of your eyes, as well as your eyelids and lashes.

As a local eye care expert that offers excellent lipiflow services, Excel Eyecare OD PA knows what’s best for your eyes! To schedule an appointment, call us today at (980) 399-6071 or fill out our online contact form.