It's the summer season, and much of your free time is likely spent in the water. What you do not want is a painful or irritated eye on your fun summer water outing. Unfortunately, water can cause eye damage, especially if there are irritants in the water such as chlorine, dirt, and other contaminants. The following are some simple steps you can take to avoid any eye injuries or irritations during your summer fun:
To avoid getting anything in your eyes while you swim, it is best to wear goggles if possible. Goggles not only keep water irritants out of your eyes, but they also allow you to have better vision as you are underwater. Choose goggles that are the right size for your head and eyes. Goggles should fully seal over your eyes and essentially suction to your face to keep the water out. If you need to, you can opt to purchase prescription-strength goggles if you normally wear glasses.
Do Not Let Your Contacts Touch the Water
If you wear contact lenses, you have to take extra precautions to not get water in your eyes. Many of the contaminants in the water cannot live in chlorine, but they can collect on your contact lenses. Contacts are warm and moist environments where germs and bacteria can quickly grow. Wearing your contacts while you swim can lead to harmful and painful eye infections, some so bad it can impact your vision.
Another issue with wearing your contacts while you swim is potentially losing your lenses. Contact lenses do not react well to water. They can easily pop out of your eyes and fall into the water, never to be seen again. Your contacts may also swell and become difficult to get out of your eye. When in doubt, take your contacts out before you swim.
Wash Your Eyes After Swimming
Once you are finished swimming, clean your eyes well to remove anything that may have gotten in them. You can flush your eyes out with clean water at home. You can also clean them with some saline solution or eye drops if that is more comfortable for you.
Taking care of your eyes when swimming is critical for your eye health. If you end up with an eye infection after swimming, schedule an appointment with a local optometrist to clear it up and ensure your vision is still in good shape.