Dive Deep into Eye Safety: Why Ditch the Contacts When You Hit the Pool

Summer is here, and the urge to cool off with a refreshing dip is strong. But for contact lens wearers, a quick poolside getaway comes with a hidden risk: swimming with your contacts in. While it might seem convenient to avoid switching to glasses for a swim, the potential consequences for your eye health are simply not worth the risk.

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Photo by TheCatEmpire Studio

Trouble in Paradise: How Swimming Endangers Your Eyes with Contacts

Contact lenses are porous, meaning they absorb liquids. This includes the water you swim in, along with any bacteria, parasites, or other microorganisms present. These unwelcome guests can get trapped under your lenses, creating a breeding ground for infections.

Here’s a deeper dive into the dangers of swimming with contacts:

  • Microbial Mayhem: Pool chemicals like chlorine do kill some bacteria, but they don’t eliminate everything.  Lakes, rivers, and oceans are even worse culprits, harboring a wider range of harmful microbes. When these hitch a ride on your contacts, they can easily infect your eyes.
  • Acanthamoeba Nightmare: This nasty parasite thrives in water and can cause a sight-threatening infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis.  Symptoms include extreme pain, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. Treatment is lengthy and complex, so prevention is key.
  • Corneal Calamity: Swimming with contacts can irritate your corneas, the clear domes at the front of your eyes.  Friction from the lenses or trapped water particles can cause scratches or abrasions, increasing your risk of infection.

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Keeping Your Eyes Safe

While glasses may seem cumbersome to some, they provide a safe and effective way to enjoy water activities. For a stylish and practical alternative, consider opting for sporty prescription sunglasses, offering both eye protection and clear vision in aquatic environments. If contact lenses do get wet, it’s important to dispose of them promptly to prevent potential eye infections.

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Don’t Let Contact Concerns Clip Your Poolside Fun

Swimming is a fantastic way to stay cool and active during the summer. By taking these precautions, you can ensure your eyes stay healthy and you can enjoy the water worry-free. Here at Zenni, we care about your complete eye health. So, ditch the contact worries while you are swimming and focus on making a splash this summer! Explore our wide range of stylish and affordable glasses to find the perfect pair for your next poolside adventure.

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Alyssa Buchanan

Dr. Alyssa Buchanan is an optometrist based in Lubbock, Texas. She received her doctorate from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, and has practiced in various settings including Fort Cavazos where she provided eye care for deploying soldiers. Dr. Buchanan has since received her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and continues to strive to provide top-notch eyecare and make a meaningful impact in the eyecare industry.