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Can Contact Lenses be worn in a pool?

July 14, 2021

One of the most common concerns of people who wear contact lenses or who are considering wearing them is whether they can wear contact lenses in the pool. Like many other contact lens myths, this one is one of the most prevalent, so you’ve probably heard both situations: that you can swim with your lenses in, and that you shouldn’t.

Well, in this article we will try to answer why you should avoid, whenever possible, wearing contact lenses in the pool to maintain good visual health.

Why is it not advisable to wear contact lenses in the pool?

As you’ve probably heard, wearing contact lenses in the pool is totally discouraged, as well as on the beach or in any other aquatic environment. Why? Well, because water contains bacteria and germs that can get stuck on your lenses and later in your eyes.

The Acanthamoeba, for example, is a parasite in the water that can stick to your contact lenses and which is able to penetrate the eyeball. In fact, it can cause a serious conjunctivitis infection that you should be very aware of (this is one of the biggest doubts about conjunctivitis and contact lenses ). In addition, this parasite is the cause of other conditions, such as keratitis, and can even lead to more serious eye problems.

It must also be kept in mind that, in the specific case of swimming pool water, chemicals such as chlorine are added to them that can cause irritation and inflammation in the eye. It is likely that if you wear contact lenses in the pool they will be damaged or spoiled since contact lenses tend to absorb water and when this happens they deform. Therefore, whenever possible, choose to remove your contact lenses before going to the water.

What alternatives do I have to use contact lenses in the pool?

It is true that we have always insisted that contact lenses are an excellent alternative to prescription glasses when practicing high-intensity sports, but in the case of water sports, certain conditions must be taken into account that can be harmful to the eyes. . But do not worry because there are other options to be able to bathe that are just as effective and with the same advantages of wearing contact lenses and, most importantly, they keep the health of your eyes intact.

These are prescription swimming goggles, an alternative that perhaps you did not know existed but that will facilitate your vision in the water with the same guarantees as contact lenses since they work in the same way as any prescription goggle and correct ocular refractive errors, Like eyestrain, myopia, or hyperopia. You can be sure that the water will not get into your eyes, since most of them are made with a hermetic silicone seal on the sides that prevents the passage of water.

In addition, they do not fog up either because they do not allow the mist to adhere to the lens, so prescription swim goggles are a good investment that you should consider if you are used to spending many hours in the water and want to take care of your eye health.

What if I have to wear contact lenses in the pool anyway?

It is possible that, due to your ocular needs, you are forced to wear contact lenses in the pool yes or yes. It could also be that you feel very uncomfortable without your contact lenses and finally decide to wear them and not think about removing and putting the lenses in several times a day.

Although this practice is not the most appropriate option, if it is your case, take note because these recommendations will be useful to minimize the risks of wearing contact lenses in the pool:

  • Wear disposable lenses. Always preferable to use lenses daily versus monthly lenses when you go swimming with contact lenses in the pool. The reason is that the former is manufactured to be thrown away after use and does not require extensive cleaning and disinfection. In this way, you will reduce the risk of bacteria contamination in your eyes.
  • Put on some good swimming goggles. If you are going to wear contact lenses in the pool, it is important that you consider the option of wearing swimming goggles that ensure insulation so that water does not come into contact with the lenses. Even so, this is an option that you can use in a timely manner since if you practice water sports, the ideal would be prescription swimming goggles.
  • Intensify hygiene measures. Wash your hands when leaving the pool to be able to handle the lenses and clean them with the contact lens liquid that you use to disinfect them daily. This will prevent your eyes from coming into contact with possible germs that are on your hands.
  • Use artificial tears. If you notice that your lenses have dried out, apply moisturizing drops so that your eyes do not suffer. When you are not wearing the lenses, it is also important that you apply them in case you notice dry eyes.
  • Do not extend the recommended wear time of the lenses. After being exposed to pool water, your eyes need a break, so it is recommended that you do not exceed the use of time recommended by your specialist.
  • Don’t rub your eyes. If you wear the lenses in the pool and you notice that your eyes sting, do not touch them, as you could infect your lenses with these microorganisms. And if you’re out of the pool and you get sunscreen in your eye, for example, don’t rub your eyes without first washing your hands.

So, if you cannot do without contact lenses in the pool and you are forced to wear them, you can follow the recommendations that we have discussed so that you can use them without seriously damaging your eyes.

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