Quick Guide to Eye Protection at Swimming Pools
- Posted on: Jun 30 2015
The warm, long days of summer are here! From the shore to lakes to swimming pools, everyone is heading to the water to cool off. Aside from regular use of sunscreen, the Mountain View Medical Center team reminds everyone to keep their eyes protected while enjoying the cooling and relaxing benefits of being in the water.
Swimming pools and your vision
Transmission of eye infections such as pink eye (bacterial or viral conjunctivitis) is commonplace in swimming pools because there are certain bacterial or viral strains that are resistant to chemical treatment. Plus, chemically treated water can strip the eyes of their natural tear films that function as the eye’s first line of defense, making it vulnerable to bacteria or viruses in the swimming pool.
Also, when chlorine in swimming pools interacts with organic compounds in the pool such as sweat and urine, chloramines are produced. Chloramines can irritate the cornea and result in temporary blurriness after spending hours in the pool. Indoor saline or saltwater pools are no exception because they also contain chlorine, albeit at lower levels.
Eye protection while having fun at the pool
Wearing goggles is the most convenient way to protect your eyes from chlorine and other irritants while swimming indoors or outdoors. If you’re wearing contact lenses, they should not be worn while swimming in any body of water. Cases of acanthamoebic keratitis, an eye infection caused by a certain species of amoeba, have been reported in individuals who swim with their contact lenses.
Finally, if signs of irritation are present after swimming, it is best to gently flush the eyes with tap water. Get in touch with us if the irritation persists.
Call (907) 328-2920 today to learn more about ways to protect your eyes while swimming!
Posted in: Eye Health Guide