How to keep your eyes healthy when swimming in the lake, pool and ocean.
If this upcoming summer season is anything like last years, we are in for a long, hot season of sunshine and high temperature days. Luckily, along with this hot weather comes fun summer activities that give you the opportunity to cool yourself off.
Whether you prefer spending your weekends lounging in your backyard pool, floating on a boat at a nearby lake, or traveling to your closest beach to jump in the ocean waves, there are an endless amount of opportunities this summer to splash around in the refreshing water.
However, no matter where you decide to spend your days swimming or floating this upcoming summer season, it is important that you are taking the proper steps to keep your eyes safe while you are in the water. There are a number of different foreign substances such as chlorine and bacteria in lakes, pools and oceans, and these types of materials can wreck havoc on your eyes.
To keep on track with May’s Healthy Vision Month, here are the top five ways in which you can keep your eyes healthy during the summer swim season:
1. Ditch Your Contacts
Keeping your contacts in while you are swimming can seriously damage your eyes and increase your risk of dangerous eye infections. Therefore, you should NEVER swim with contacts in. Swimming pools, lakes and oceans all have a number of different viruses and bacteria which can cause infections. In addition to this, water can cause your lenses to stick to your eyes and also decrease the amount of tears your eyes produce.
2. Keep On Top Of Chlorine Levels
When chlorine levels become too high in pools, it can cause a swimmer’s eyes to burn, itch or even become swollen. However, this only occurs when the pH is not in balance. Tears produced by the human eye have a pH level of around 7.0. Therefore, if the pool water is below that level, it will cause several uncomfortable vision problems. The proper pH level for swimming pools is between 7.2 and 7.8.
3. Wear Goggles
The best way to eliminate irritation in the pool and protect yourself from outside bacteria is to wear goggles. Investing in a nice pair of swimming goggles will not only help to protect your eyes, but will also help you to see better while underwater. Also, while swimming in saltwater is generally more gentle to your eyes, oceans still contain as much bacteria as lakes and swimming pools. Therefore you should also bring along a good pair of goggles when you head to the beach as well.
4. Use Solution To Soothe Dry Eyes
Even when chlorine levels in pools are correct, you may still find that your eyes are slightly dry and itchy when coming out of the water. This can often be combated by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day in order to ensure that your body is properly hydrated. However, if this does not solve the problem, eye drops and solution can also help to keep your tear film hydrated after leaving the water.
5. Keep Sunglasses On Hand
The second you hop out of any body of water, even if it is just for a few short minutes, you should always be sure that you have a pair of protective sunglasses on hand. UV exposure can be very, very damaging to our eyes and you should always have a pair of sunglasses that will block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
Do you have any other tips for keeping your eyes safe when swimming or heading to the beach? Be sure to share your suggestions in the comments below!