The basic answer to this is No avoid swimming when wearing contacts. That holds true whether you’re taking a shower or swimming in the ocean, a freshwater lake, chlorine- or non-chlorinated pool, etc. Simply put, you should never let any kind of water contact your contact lenses. Because they are so readily infected, losing sight is a possibility as result. We’ve chosen some easy steps to assist you to swim safely and significant infection indications to watch out for to preserve your eye health and general vision.
Can you swim while using contact lenses and goggles?
Wearing waterproof swim goggles is the greatest approach to lowering your risk of eye discomfort and infection if you plan to swim while wearing contact lenses.
Swim goggles lessen the chance that your contacts will fall out of your eyes while also shielding them from aquatic toxins.
An additional excellent choice is prescription swimming goggles. Similar to eyeglasses or contact lenses, prescription goggles are designed just for you to correct your refractive defect, giving you a great underwater vision without any of the hazards of swimming with contacts.
Swim goggles from several brands are also available in ready-made prescription versions. They do have disadvantages, despite the fact that you or your kids may want to use them. They only exist in the most popular prescription strengths, they don’t cure astigmatism, and both lenses have the same prescription—unlike many people’s eyes—all of which are disadvantages.
You can choose UV-protective swim goggles to prevent sun damage to your eyes, which is an additional benefit of wearing swim goggles.
Use Swimming Goggles While Wearing Contact Lenses
Why wearing contacts while swimming is a bad idea?
One of the most sensitive types of eyewear is contact lenses. They have poor structural integrity, and they are also quite susceptible to infections. In fact, while the same water won’t harm your eyes when you don’t have your contacts on, it can infect your contact lenses, which can then infect your eyes. Your eyes are only likely to be harmed by the chlorine in swimming pool water and the salts in seawater, whether you have contacts or not. You have red eyes as a result of swimming without eye protection. It gets worse when wearing contacts. Your eyes must always be moist if you’re using contact lenses. The tears’ natural lubrication will be removed by pool chlorine and seawater salts. Your eyes will dry up without lubricant, which could make wearing contacts uncomfortable. Your contact lenses are not supposed to come into contact with any kind of external fluid, according to FDA regulations. This list contains water from several sources, such as the shower, faucet, lake, ocean, and swimming pool. Other substances are prohibited unless you’re adding saline solutions to lubricate your eyes. Even while the water in a lake, ocean, or swimming pool may appear pure, it may be hiding a plethora of dangerous bacteria and other microbes. These are easily able to attach to contact lenses, which can cause serious infections. In fact, some germs that are frequently found in contact lenses can cause complete blindness.
Why should I refrain from swimming when wearing contacts?
Numerous bacteria, viruses, and other microbes that can injure your eyes are present in swimming pools, rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water, including tap water. The porous material of soft contact lenses readily absorbs chemicals and bacteria, raising the possibility of eye irritation and infection. Acanthamoeba is one of the more dangerous organisms frequently seen in water sources, and when it comes into touch with your contact lenses, it may cause eye infections. If not treated in a timely manner, this condition, known as Acanthamoeba Keratitis, may result in irreversible eyesight loss and possibly necessitate a corneal transplant to restore lost vision. Additionally, contact lenses absorb water, which alters their shape. This causes discomfort with contact lenses as well as hazy and distorted vision.
Resulting in Infections
If you swim while using contact lenses, your eyes will most certainly become infected. While some can be treated with straightforward eye drops, others call for a rigorous regimen of medication. The full list of ailments that contact lens wearers are most prone to contract is provided below.
The following are some of the signs that your eyes are infected:
• Cloudy vision: Light sensitivity; and red, sore eyes
• Excessive crying: prolonged bouts of rosy eyes
Contact lenses could disappear in the water. If you swim while wearing contact lenses, the water in the ocean or sea can easily yank the lenses from your eyes. If there is a strong current in the water, this gets worse. If you wear stiff gas permeable contact lenses, your chance of losing them while swimming is even higher. Soft contacts will serve you better. The drawback of soft lenses is that due to their high degree of permeability, they greatly increase the risk of letting bacteria and other diseases into your eyes. They Might Damage Your Eyes.
Sometimes the water can cause the contact lenses to tighten even more in your eyes, causing discomfort. The lenses are sucked onto the surface of the eyes when the lubricant between the eye and the lens thins down.
Swimming while wearing lenses can happen at any moment, it is common with soft lenses and in freshwater. You run the danger of this problem if water is permitted to touch your contact lenses. When your tears are wiped away while swimming with contact lenses, your eyes become dry, which is another excruciating problem. As you touch your eyes in an attempt to relieve the pain, the dry eye condition might cause infections.
The fact remains that you will need to clean your contact lenses before using them again if you swam or had a shower while wearing them. Swimming with disposable ones will cause you to use them up more quickly than you expected if you use them every day.
You’ll do it more frequently when it comes to cleaning the lenses after the swim. In addition to being laborious, it uses more cleaning chemicals, costs more money, and raises the possibility that repeated handling will harm and contaminate the lenses. These are just a few of the problems that could arise if you wear your contacts while swimming. By adhering to the instructions in the sections below, you can prevent them.
What if swimming requires me to use contact lenses?
If you must swim while wearing contact lenses for any reason, think about donning daily disposables and a pair of waterproof swimming goggles. In addition to preserving your vision, goggles lessen the possibility that your contacts will fall out of your eyes. You can swim while wearing daily contact lenses because water is a breeding ground for numerous potentially dangerous germs. Simply insert them before entering the water, and discard them right after. Remove the lenses right away if you have any eye irritation while swimming.
Speak with one of our doctors at one of our five locations right away for more information about swimming while wearing contacts. It’s Costly. The fact remains that, if you swam or showered in your contact lenses, you’ll either have to throw them away and get new ones, or clean them up before using them again.
If you use the disposable ones on a daily basis, swimming with them will result in using them up faster than you had intended.
When it comes to cleaning the lenses after the swim, you’ll do so on a more frequent basis. Besides being cumbersome, it costs more cleaning agents and increases the risk of damaging and contaminating the lenses through frequent handling.
These are just some of the issues likely to happen when you swim with your contact lenses. You can avoid them by following the directives in the sections below.
What if I must wear contact lenses to swim?
If, for whatever reason, you must wear contact lenses to swim, consider wearing daily disposables together with waterproof swimming goggles. Aside from protecting your vision, goggles reduce the risk of your contacts dislodging from your eyes.
Because water hosts many potentially harmful microorganisms, daily contact lenses allow you to swim in lenses without needing to sterilize them afterward. Just insert them prior to heading into the water and dispose of them immediately after.
If at any point during your swim, you feel eye discomfort, immediately remove the lenses.
For more advice on swimming with contact lenses, speak with one of our doctors in one of our 5 locations today.