poolIn the heart of summer, many of us enjoy being outside getting fresh air or sitting by the pool or heading to the ocean for a getaway. Whether it is to stay fit by swimming laps or water aerobics, which can help with chronic pain or diving in for a swim for fun, a pool can be refreshing. While these sound relaxing, the chlorine or saltwater can sometimes make your eyes dry and irritated, or even cause blurriness to your vision. Your Noblesville Eye Doctor has tips on how to protect your eyes when you’re in and out of the pool this summer. 

Why does the pool affect your eyes?

There are many reasons that pool water and salt water can have a negative effect on your eyes. Water takes away the team film that protects our eyes from germs. Germs easily can enter the eyes when this film disappears. This can lead to infections, red eye, eye irritation or itchy eyes. Believe it or not, germs are spread fairly easily in pool water. The chlorine kills some germs, but not all. Chloramines can also irritate the eyes. These are a combination of chlorine disinfectants and perspirations, oils, perfumes and urine that enter the pool off of swimmers. This is what causes the “pool” smell. When these come in contact with your eyes, they may cause irritation, red eyes, blurry vision and or stingy pain. 

Since you can’t control the level of chlorine that public pools have, it is best to protect your eyes anyway that you can. 

Here are tips that can help from your Noblesville Eye Doctor:

  • Shower or at least rinse off before you enter the pool. This will rinse off any perfume, oils, lotions, etc that may be on your body. This eliminates these compounds from mixing with the chlorine and exposing them to the water.
  • Purchase a pair of goggles that are airtight. It is best to find a pair of goggles that fit your face and do not share them with others, as germs can be exchanged this way as well. These will protect you from the water and also protecting your tear film. 
  • Rinse your eyes and body off after you swim. This can rinse away any chlorine or compounds that may have come in contact with your body. 
  • If you can see without your contacts well enough to swim, maybe keep these out for the period of your swim. Contacts can harbor bacteria, so it is best to avoid getting water in them.
  • You can also purchase a pair of prescription sunglasses. These can protect your eyes while you are floating in or around the pool from not only chlorine but the sun as well. Visit your Noblesville Eye Doctor, Dr. Amy Walden & Associates and pick up a pair today!
  • Use lubricating eye drops. This helps soothes the eyes and assists with dry eyes.

Visit your Noblesville Eye Doctor For More Summer Eye Protection Tips

Many of us love to swim and or be around water, but as relaxing and fun as it may be, it is smart to follow the tips above so you can enjoy your water time. Call your local Noblesville Eye Doctor Dr. Amy Walden & Associates and make an appointment if you have any symptoms that last longer than a few hours and or days. The best approach to eye care is to catch it early to prevent further damage.