The Importance of Wearing Swim Goggles this Summer

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 24-Jul-2015

It has been unseasonably cool (and wet) so far this year, but the hot and sticky summer temps will be here before you know it. When you can’t get away from the Texas heat in the summer, there’s just one thing to do: go for a swim!

Swimming is a generally safe activity, but when you do consider the dangers of swimming, you probably immediately think about drowning. Chances are, you don’t even know that swimming could put your vision at risk.

If you go swimming without proper eye protection (goggles), you risk damaging your eyes from chemicals or contracting an infection from bacteria in the water. It doesn’t matter if you are swimming in a pool or in a natural body of water—wearing goggles will protect your eyes and your vision.

Swimming pool water and salt water in the ocean both pose certain risks to your eyes. The chemicals in a swimming pool can cause chemical or allergic conjunctivitis. Although saltwater is actually safer and gentler on your eyes than pool water, natural bodies of water contain bacteria and can be contaminated with man-made pollutants and animal waste, which could lead to an infection in your eyes.

Wearing proper eye protection while swimming can help prevent eye infection or irritation from the water. Here are some tips to protect your eyes while swimming:

  • Always wear goggles. Never swim with your eyes open under water (whether in the pool or a natural body of water) without wearing goggles. Swimming with your eyes open can cause redness as well as burning or dry eyes. Wearing goggles not only protects your eyes from chemicals and contaminants in the water, but will also allow you to see more clearly under water.
  • Do not wear contact lenses while swimming. If you wear your contact lenses in the pool and swim with your eyes open, you could lose your contact lenses in the pool. If you lose a contact lens in the swimming pool, you’ll never find it!

Wearing contact lenses while swimming also increase your risk of eye infection from microorganisms in the water. Any microorganisms in the swimming pool can get stuck on your contact lenses, irritating your eye or causing an infection.

Do you own a pair of goggles? If not, now is the time to go out and purchase some!

Categories: Eye Care Tips, Eye Health
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