Are you someone who loves to swim? If so, you should be especially careful about how you spend your time in the water, whether you’re in a lake, ocean, pool, or hot tub. Your eyes are particularly vulnerable to damage from chemicals and other elements of different pools. Here, we’ll provide a few tips for keeping your eyes healthy while swimming and protecting them from dangers with chlorinated pools, hot tubs, or even harsh sunlight.
How to Protect Your Eyes in the Water
1. Use UV-Protective Goggles
Your eyes should always be shielded from UV rays when swimming in pools or the ocean. The surface of the water reflects harmful UV rays, making it a potentially damaging influence on your vision if you’re not well-protected with goggles that function like sunglasses
Although they may be more expensive, finding UV-blocking goggles is beneficial because they are specifically made to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays and protect your corneas by blocking harmful light that can cause cataracts. If you don’t need or want to wear goggles in every scenario, a good pair of sunglasses works in a pinch.
2. Don’t Open Your Eyes Underwater
It might sound like common sense, but it’s important to remember that even a tiny amount of water can have a negative impact on the health of your eyes. If you do not close your eyes completely, it is possible that debris or even harmful chemicals can enter your eyes and cause harmful effects such as irritation, infection, or more serious damage.
3. Know the Chemicals in Your Pool
If you are swimming in a public pool or hot tub, you should know the chemicals present in your pool and what those chemicals could mean for your eye health if they make their way to them. Two chemicals are commonly present in public pools: chlorine, and bromine. These chemicals can damage your eyes if they come into contact with them and should not be handled without appropriate safety equipment.
4. Take Out Your Contact Lenses
It might not be ideal for your vision, but if you’re using a public pool or hot tub, your contact lenses should come out before you go into the water. If you don’t remove your contacts before getting into the water and accidentally get any of the chemicals in your eyes, you could permanently damage your eyes. This is distinct from simply opening your eyes underwater because harmful chemicals can get trapped beneath contacts, preventing the natural eye cleansing process of blinking and tearing from removing them from your eyes quickly.
5. Use Eye Drops
As previously stated, chlorine and other chemicals can cause damage to your eyes when they come into contact with them. One way to ensure your eyes stay healthy whether you’ve opened them underwater or not is to keep eye drops on hand to help rinse out any unwanted chemicals from your eyes without worrying about damaging them further.
Eye Care in Boca Raton, FL
As fun as swimming and soaking can be, chemicals and pathogens commonly found in the water can damage your eyes and lead to complications that affect your vision. If you’re concerned about any changes that have occurred suddenly in your vision, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Archana Gupta at Advanced Eye Surgeons. She is an experienced ophthalmologist and has extensive experience with eye injuries and the necessary treatments used to correct them. Call or contact us online to schedule your appointment.