Eye_HealthSummers in Arizona can reach very hot temperatures, which is why many people spend a great amount of time at the pool. Unfortunately, while a dip in the pool is a refreshing way to cool off , it can also cause irritation, or “swimmer’s eye,” which can be a painful result without the proper precautions. To avoid ocular problems and enjoy your time in the pool, follow these summer eye health tips before diving in.

Don’t Wear Contacts When Swimming

Wearing contact lenses while swimming may seem harmless, but this bad habit can provide a surface for bacteria to latch on. Studies show that microbial growth on contact lenses can be present after only one swim. The best solution is to invest in a pair of prescription swimming goggles. If you prefer to continue wearing your contact lenses, use disposable ones or be sure to disinfect the lenses thoroughly after swimming. It’s also a good idea to change your lens case frequently.

Protect Your Eyes to Avoid Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome is one of the more common eye disorders among adults—especially in Arizona. It results from low tear production and instability of the tear film. While goggles are an effective defense against the drying effects of pool water, you should also apply artificial teardrops before swimming for additional protection.

Minimize The Effects Of Chemicals

Chemicals such as chlorine and saline do affect your eyes, but they merely grease the wheels for the true culprit. Your eye is covered by a tear film that maintains lubrication, but pool chemicals cause this film to evaporate, leaving the dry surface of your eye vulnerable to other chemicals and bacteria. Use goggles to minimize exposure and rinse your eyes with clear, fresh water immediately after leaving the pool to ensure your eye health.

Don’t take a chance with your eye health! For more eye care tips or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists, visit our website.