Swimming and your eyes

Lake swimmer

With summer fully here and everyone itching for a break outdoors, swimming and other water related activities are popular choices.

The chlorine in pools can make eyes red and irritated, but swimming in lakes with bacteria can also present problems for some of us.

Contact lens wearers are particularly susceptible to eye infection due to scratches that can occur on the eye’s surface from overuse or misuse.

Watertight eye goggles are obviously a great first line of defense if you’re prone to eye irritation from swimming.

Lubricating eye drops or gel before a swim in a chlorinated pool can help if you’re prone to eye irritation but don’t like or have goggles. After a swim, eyes can be flushed with cool water or a saline solution for relief.

If you have eye irritation that won’t go away, watch out for signs of infection, including:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • light sensitivity
  • yellowish or thick discharge
  • vision problems
  • discomfort or pain

If your symptoms do not improve within 48 hours, it’s time to call your Optometrist!