For swimmers, eye irritation from pool chemicals is a concern. Pool chemicals such as saline and chlorine are inherently eye irritants. Pool chlorine can lead to symptoms similar to those of conjunctivitis — redness, itching, irritation, and excessive tearing.
Dry eye syndrome
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome are quite common among swimmers. These symptoms may be exacerbated by exposure to extreme dry heat or cold air during practice. Apart from wearing protective goggles and the regular use of lubricating drops, staying well hydrated during practice can also help prevent dry eye syndrome. In severe cases, an ophthalmologist should be seen right away because prescription eye drops may be necessary.
Contact lens use
Wearing contact lenses while swimming is not recommended. First, the lenses can harbor harmful bacteria and chemicals, which trigger irritation. Second, they tend to become brittle and dry when used underwater. The use of prescription swimming goggles is an excellent alternative to contact lenses while swimming.
The best way to prevent irritation from pool chemicals is to minimize exposure by wearing high-quality goggles, using lubricating eye drops, and rinsing the eyes with fresh water immediately after getting out of the pool.
Learn more about ways to take care of your eyes as a swimmer. Call 352.237.8400 or fill out this contact form to schedule a personal consultation at the Central Florida Eye Institute today!