With summertime in full swing, lots of people are looking forward to the swimming they’ll get to do, whether at the beach, pool, or lake. As much fun as it is, swimming can be harmful to your eyes if you aren’t too careful. It’s crucial that you take the right precautions before diving into the water without some sort of eye protection. There are many ways you can keep chemicals or bacteria out of your eyes and still have a fun time with family and friends, though. Keep reading to learn about why it’s important to protect your eyes while you swim.
Ironically, exposing your eyes to water could cause more dryness than usual. This tends to be accompanied by itchiness, redness, and irritation, which can all result in problems seeing clearly once you head home. Ocean salt water and pool chlorine can both contribute to dry eyes, so make sure you are swimming somewhere you are familiar with and feel safe around. Although this dryness won’t result in permanent eye damage, it can be very painful at first and can become more common the more you swim without protection. It’s a good idea to schedule an eye exam if you have been experiencing any significant pain and invest in a good pair of swim goggles.
If you have contact lenses, you should always take them out before entering the water or opening your eyes underneath. It’s very easy for bacteria and chemicals to slip under your lens and remain on the surface of your eye for a longer period of time. Also, these bacteria may make your contacts harmful to use again and cause infection. Taking proper care of your contacts during a day at the beach or pool will ensure you can wear them again and avoid eye infections. Today, goggles can be made with a custom prescription so you don’t have to worry about seeing things clearly underwater.
Swimming in summer usually means swimming in the sun, which comes with another area of concern for your eyes. UV rays can be very harmful to your sight, even underwater, and it’s important to pay attention to the heat if you plan on spending more than a couple of hours outside. Sunlight can reflect off surfaces like cement, glass, and even water, which causes more exposure than you might think. Buying a pair of UV protection/protected sunglasses or goggles will ensure you are prepared and decrease your chances of getting burnt eyes. That’s right, your eyes can get sunburnt, too!
Your tear film is the three layers that protect the cornea. Before and after you swim, apply eye drops to your eyes in order to help keep the tear film balanced over the surface. This film is very thin and, thus, easy to disrupt when you’re swimming. Keeping your eyes hydrated will make it easier for you to maintain their care throughout your pool or beach day. If your eyes become too dry, it could mean that your cornea has been exposed and may result in an infection or irritation. Another way to keep your eyes balanced is to consume lots of water while you are outside and stay hydrated, even while you swim. On a hot summer day, it will be easy to accidentally become dehydrated, so make sure you have plenty of water available.