Why Swimming and Contacts Do Not Mix

18 Aug 2016

You rely on contact lenses to enhance your vision. As a swimmer, whether recreational or professional, you may wonder if you can wear your lenses while swimming to improve vision underwater. Unfortunately, contact lenses have no place in chlorine-ridden waters – or any water for that matter.

Why is Water Bad for Contact Lenses?

Your contact lenses work as tiny sponges inside the eye and they will absorb anything they are exposed to. When a lens comes into contact with pool water, the water (and chlorine) are instantly absorbed into the lens and then trapped against your eye. This allows the microbes in the water to attack the surface of your eye. While your eye’s normal response is to blink away such irritants, the contact lens prevents the eye from doing so.

Here are a few more reasons to avoid contact lenses while swimming:

1. Acanthamoeba keratitis – This is a condition that occurs when you swim with contact lenses in lakes, ponds and rivers. This naturally occurring microorganism can cause dangerous eye infections.

2. Irritation – The chlorine and other chemicals used to sanitise pool water can lead to irritation and even allow microbes to infect your already sensitive eyes.

3. Infections – Most eye infections, especially caused by microbes, can lead to a painful and vision-threatening infection.

4. Contact Lens Issues – In addition to infections, the lens will swell; making it less comfortable inside your eye. The water can also wash away the natural lubricating properties of your eyes, which can give you dry eye problems and irritation.

What About Prescription Goggles?

Prescription goggles are a good solution in order to see clearly while swimming. There are many forms of prescription goggles out there, but they are costly. If you were to accidentally break them or lose them, they are not easily replaced. If you are an athlete, you cannot wait for a new order of prescription goggles to come in before you go back into the swimming pool.

Avoid the Hassles of Contacts – Get Laser Eye Surgery Instead

You could enjoy your next family outing to the lake or get a few laps for exercise in the morning all without the hassles of contact lenses. Laser eye surgery will reduce or eliminate your need for corrective lenses. The eyecare professionals at Optilase can help you find the right laser corrective procedure based on your current eye problem.

Meet with a laser eye surgeon at Optilase today to see if you are a candidate for laser eye surgery. You can book your consultation online today or call us on 0489 043 8397 in Northern Ireland and 0800 511 8005 in the UK.

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