Importance of Protecting Your Eyes in the Pool – Specially in Summer
Nothing sounds more inviting and relaxing in the heart of summer than a cool dip in the pool or ocean. Although many of us enjoy spending time outdoors with the fresh briny ocean air or sitting poolside soaking up the sun, these relaxing staycations/vacations may leave your eyes feeling itchy, dry, and irritated. Strong pool chemicals such as chlorine or dense salt water can often make your eyes dry, scratchy and irritated, or even impair your vision with blurriness.
Why does the pool affect your eyes?
There are countless reasons pool water and or salt water can negatively impact the health of your eyes. Water, untreated, can strip away the natural protective film that protects our eyes from germs so imagine the kind of damage that heavily chlorinated or dense salt water can do to your eyes. When this protective film disappears, germs see this as an open invitation and can wreak havoc in the way of uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous infections. Infections like red eye, eye irritation or chronic itchy eyes are just a few of the most common. Although chlorine kills germs, it does not kill them all and bacteria can spread quite quickly in pool water. Chloramine is also a known eye irritant. This along with the combination of disinfectants, insect repellents, oils, perfumes, sweat, and urine that enter the pool off of swimmers. All of these things are what cause the infamous “pool” smell that we so often find synonymous with summer. When these come in contact with your eyes, they may cause irritation, red eyes, blurry vision and or stingy pain.
Here are tips that can help:
- Rinse off before you enter the pool to rid you of any perfume, oils, lotions, etc.. that may be on your skin to eliminate the additional risk of eye irritation.
- Purchase a good pair of goggles. Do not share goggles with others to reduce the risk of exchanging germs.
- If you can see well enough without contacts, take out contact lenses while you swim. Contact lenses can hold onto harmful bacteria so best practice is to take them out.
- Another great purchase is to pick up some stylish prescription sunglasses. Any of our experts can help you find the right fit. Not only will sunglasses aid your vision if you’ve removed your contacts, but it’s always a great idea to protect your eyes from the strength of UV rays.
- Use good lubricating eye drops. Not only will lubricating eye drops assist with dry eyes, but they can also soothe irritation.
While you enjoy a refreshing dip this summer with family and friends, please remember to follow these easy tips to keep eyes healthy and feeling great! If you have any symptoms that last longer than a few hours or more, please consult our doctors immediately. Preventative eyecare is the best approach to keeping eyes healthy.