Gog­gles pro­tect your eyes from chlo­ri­nated swim­ming pools.

If you’re a reg­u­lar swim­mer or just love swim­ming for exer­cise, you’ve dealt with the feel­ing of red, sting­ing eyes after a work­out in a chlo­ri­nated swim­ming pool. It even­tu­ally goes away, but does expos­ing your eyes to chlo­rine have any longterm effect?

Here’s what an eye spe­cial­ist has to say about eye health and chlorine–along with his advice for pro­tect­ing your baby blues from the effects of chlorine.

By Kevin What­ley, The Eye Doctors

Just because the sum­mer is com­ing to an end, doesn’t mean that we have to say good­bye to the swim­ming pool. Whether it means a nice refresh­ing dip on a warm fall after­noon or a win­ter swim in an indoor pool, swim­ming is a great activ­ity for both fun and exer­cise. Nev­er­the­less, have you ever won­dered if all of this splash­ing around in chlorine-filled water can affect your eyes and vision?

Swim­ming pool water is chlo­ri­nated to keep it san­i­tized. The chlo­rine helps reduce water-borne bac­te­ria and viruses to pre­vent pathogens and dis­ease from spread­ing. While chlo­rine is a suc­cess­ful water san­i­tizer, its effi­cacy depends on a num­ber of fac­tors includ­ing how recently it was added to the water, the con­cen­tra­tion of the chem­i­cal and how much the pool is used.

When your eyes are sub­merged in chlo­ri­nated pool water, the tear film that usu­ally acts as a defen­sive shield for your cornea is washed away. This means that your eyes are no longer pro­tected from dirt or bac­te­ria that are not entirely elim­i­nated by the treated swim­ming pool water. So, when it comes to eye health and chlo­rine, swim­mers can be prone to eye infec­tions. One of the most com­mon eye infec­tions from swim­ming is con­junc­tivi­tis or pink eye, which can either be viral or bacterial.

Another eye issue that often devel­ops from con­tact with chlo­ri­nated water is red, irri­tated eyes. When your cornea dehy­drates as a result of expo­sure to chlo­rine, the irri­ta­tion is often accom­pa­nied by blur­ri­ness, which can result in dis­torted vision tem­porar­ily. Although these symp­toms usu­ally dis­ap­pear within a few min­utes, the recov­ery time tends to increase with age. Using lubri­cat­ing eye drops can help alle­vi­ate symp­toms by restor­ing the hydrat­ing, pro­tec­tive tear shield in your eye.

If you wear con­tact lenses, be sure to remove them before jump­ing in the swim­ming pool. Con­tact lens patients are prone to an eye infec­tion called acan­thamoe­bic ker­ati­tis, which devel­ops when a type of amoeba gets trapped in the space between the cornea and the con­tact lens and begins to live there. This infec­tion can result in per­ma­nent visual impair­ment or lead to ulcers on the cornea. If you have taken a dip with con­tacts on, be sure to remove your lenses, rinse them with lens solu­tion and refrain from sleep­ing in them after you’ve had a swim.

There is no way to be 100 per­cent sure of what is float­ing around in a swim­ming pool, so the best way to pro­tect your eyes is to use water-tight swim gog­gles that fit you well. This way you can enjoy your swim in any swim­ming pool with­out risk­ing your eyes or your vision.

Ques­tions about chlo­rine? Some of our cus­tomers have installed UV fil­ters,
which help reduce the need for chlo­rine and allow them to cut down on the amount they use.

Just give us a call to find out more:  503–631-4816.



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