The heat is on and pool season has made its welcome entrance. With all of the summer frolicking you may be planning this year, don’t forget about eye safety. Your fun in the water can come to a quick end if you fail to consider your eye health.

Chemical Irritation
Pools are usually sanitized with chemicals including high amounts of chlorine to kill bacteria. These chemicals are often an irritant to your eyes and can actually cause a condition known as “Chemical Conjunctivitis,” which is basically swimming pool pink eye. This issue generally clears up on its own without intervention, but is annoying and painful nonetheless.

Losing Contacts
Another swimming pool hazard to your eye safety is opening your eyes to swim if you are wearing contact lenses. Water may cause your contacts to slip off, and they quickly disappear into the water, never to be found. Not only does this impair your vision while swimming, but once you finish you won’t be able to see on land either.

Poor Vision
Swimming with your eyes open usually results in poor vision while under water, since water does not deliver an image the same way as air does. You may not notice hazards in the water, and when you get out your vision may continue to be impaired due to the chemicals used in the pool.

Germs, Debris, Bugs, and Worse
A swimming pool can be an eye safety nightmare. Think of the number of people who have used it, and imagine their dead skin cells, their bacteria, and even their waste. Chlorine is designed to kill the germs that can live in pool water, but the fact is that you’ll still come in contact with these rather disgusting elements. Swimming with your eyes open is an open invite to all the nasty things living in the water.

Swimming is such a fun part of summer, but should be enjoyed sensibly when it comes to your eye health. Wear goggles if you plan on swimming with your eyes open under water. This will free your eyes from the irritation of chemicals and potential contamination by bacteria or viruses, plus you’ll keep your contacts in and see better while swimming. Swimming goggles also come in prescription variety, so wearers of glasses can enjoy clear sight and summer fun too! Ask your Phoenix doctor of optometry for more information on swimming pool eye safety.