More people hit the pools during the summer, which means you have to take extra measures in protecting your eyes.
Eye Problems Caused by Pool Water
Anyone who’s ever been in a swimming pool has had “swimmer’s eye,” the stinging, burning sensation caused primarily by chlorine in the water. Continued exposure to pool water increases the likelihood of developing eye infections. Chlorinated water washes away the tear film, the outer layer of the eye that helps protect against infection.
Sometimes, chlorinated water isn’t enough to fight bacteria, especially if the pool happens to be a crowded one. Swimming in these waters can lead to eye infections, such as conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. Chlorine can also cause irritations and dryness, which can lead to blurry vision.
How to Protect Your Eyes
The following are some tips on protecting your eyes from pool water:
Wear Watertight Goggles — When buying goggles, take the time to make sure you’re buying one that is watertight, yet comfortable. Also, avoid sharing eyewear, including goggles, with anyone.
Remove Contact Lenses — You’re more likely to lose one or both contact lenses when underwater. Pool water may also get between the eye and the contact lens, which can lead to irritation and even infection.
Bring Lubricating Eye Drops — If you have symptoms of dry eyes, such as itching and visible blood vessels in the eye, lubricating eye drops can be handy. Your ophthalmologist can recommend specific types of eye drops if you’re not already using one.
Flush Irritated Eyes With Running Water — If you don’t have eye drops, flush your eyes under running tap water for 15 minutes. Do not rub or scratch at your eyes.
Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry is your leading provider of eye care services. Give us a call at (703) 573-1200, or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Falls Church, VA, and surrounding areas.