Protect Your Eyes While Participating in Water Sports
Posted by AE/Contributor, Jul 14, 2014
It’s that time of year when we’re all spending a lot of time in the pool, lake or ocean. It’s important to protect your eyes when participating in water sports and other activities, because an eye infection can ruin your summer fun.
Pool water can have a harsh effect on your eyes, so the best precaution you can take is to wear goggles. Swim goggles are not just for competitive swimmers. It’s good practice to wear them anytime you are in the pool, lake or ocean.
The chlorine in pool water can tear the film from your eyeball that protects your eyes from germs and that can lead to infections. Contrary to what many believe, chemically treated pools don’t kill all the germs.
In addition, chlorine interacts with organic compounds that come off your body and forms chloramines, which act as irritants. You know that pool smell? Those are chloramines! And they can cause stinging, red eyes, dry eye and blurry vision.
In lakes and oceans, your eyes are also exposed to microbes. Most often, they cause conjunctivitis in the eyes, but they can also lead to more serious issues.
If you’re a contact lens wearer, take them out before participating in water activities. Microbes will attach to your contact lenses more easily than your eye, and then become trapped under the lenses. You also run the risk of getting sand under contact lenses if you are playing on beach or surfing some big waves.
Of course, there are also prescription watersport sunglasses that you can wear on the water while you are fishing, surfing or boating to give some protection. But be sure these meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) UV requirements.
Keep your eyes safe and enjoy your summer!