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Swimming and Your Eyes

Tips to Avoid "Swimmer's Eye"
By DuPage Medical Group Ophthalmology

Swimming is one of the most common summertime activities. It provides a great way for people of all ages to cool off on a hot day and enjoy some low-impact exercise. Although it’s usually refreshing, swimming may not always feel that way to your eyes. Swimmers may develop redness and a burning sensation in the eye commonly referred to as “swimmer’s eye”.  This reaction is caused by various chemicals found in most pools. Chlorine is most common and is used to keep pools clean. These chemicals are harsh on the surface of the eye, leaving eyes feeling dry, itchy and irritated. Frequent trips to the pool may cause increased dryness in the eyes and may feel as if there is debris in the eye or cause temporarily blurred vision. 

Remembering these simple steps can make a HUGE impact on the comfort and health of your eyes this summer:

Hydrate, drinking water will help keep eyes moist and comfortable.

Use artificial tears to treat dry eye symptoms. Try to avoid drops that promote “getting the red out”; they are not helpful with swimming issues.

Goggles help keep chemicals out of your eyes.

Eye washing; splash cool, clean water on your face and in your eyes if they become irritated by the chemicals

If you wear contact lenses, you should not swim with your contacts in. Wearing contact lenses while swimming increases the risk of developing bacterial, fungal and parasitic eye infections, which can be difficult to treat.

Topics and Subtopics: Eye Care

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