The Risks of Wearing Contact Lenses While Swimming

Summer is here, and for many of us, that means fun in the sun, swimming in the pool or the sea, and enjoying the great outdoors. However, if you wear contact lenses, you should be aware of the risks of wearing them while swimming.

What are the risks?

First of all, wearing contact lenses while swimming can increase the risk of infection. Acanthamoeba is a type of microscopic organism that can live in water and can cause a serious infection called acanthamoeba keratitis. This infection can lead to blindness, and it is more common in contact lens wearers who swim, shower or soak in hot tubs while wearing their lenses.

How can I avoid the risks?

The best way to avoid the risks of wearing contact lenses while swimming is to remove them before entering the water. If you don’t want to go without vision correction, you can wear prescription goggles instead. Prescription goggles will provide you with clear vision while protecting your eyes from the water.

What if I forget to remove my contact lenses?

If you forget to remove your contact lenses before swimming, rinse your eyes with clean water as soon as possible after getting out of the water. Then, remove your lenses and clean and disinfect them thoroughly before wearing them again.

What should I do if I experience symptoms of infection?

If you experience any symptoms of infection, such as redness, pain, sensitivity to light or blurred vision, you should remove your lenses immediately and seek medical attention. Acanthamoeba keratitis can be difficult to diagnose and treat, and delaying treatment can lead to serious complications.

The bottom line

While it may be tempting to wear your contact lenses while swimming, it’s not worth the risk of infection. Remember to remove your lenses before entering the water, or wear prescription goggles instead. And if you experience any symptoms of infection, seek medical attention right away.

Enjoy your summer, but don’t forget to take care of your eyes!