In this article we explain whether you can wear your contact lenses in the sea, pool, diving or shower, what you can do if your eyes are irritated and how you can prevent infections.
For those who wear glasses, a question often arises in the outdoor pool in the summer. should i go swimming with contact lenses or will it be uncomfortable in the water? After all, glasses fog up quickly, and as soon as the drops fall on the glasses, the annoying glasses cleaning cloth is used again. In this article, we will find out if you can wear contact lenses in the sea, in chlorinated water, while diving or even while taking a shower.
These problems can occur in chlorinated water
In general, wearing contact lenses while swimming is possible with a few rules, but is not recommended by the German Ophthalmological Society (DOG). The reasons for this include the following:
- The mixture of chlorine, dirt, urine, sweat and other dirt particles in the bath water can hit the tear film of the eyes and cause infections such as conjunctivitis.
- Contact lenses can get stuck in the eye, which can lead to painful corneal scratches.
- Fungi and bacteria can nest and multiply in the soft material of contact lenses. If left untreated, it can lead to vision impairment or, in the worst case, blindness.
- If you dive with contact lenses and your eyes are open, you may fall out of your eye, especially with hard contact lenses.
In general, you should take care of your eyes in the water even without contact lenses and protect yourself from infections.
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Swimming in the sea with contact lenses
Also, remember in the sea that the water contains bacteria and other dirty particles that can cause serious damage to your contact lenses and your eye. Unlike in a swimming pool, because of the waves in the sea, it is more difficult to control whether the water gets into your eyes or not.
Shower with contact lenses
When taking a shower, you can actually assume that the water is clean, so there is no risk of infection. However, you can never be 100% sure here. Another disadvantage of showering with contact lenses is the possible loss of lenses.
Read also: How to properly clean glasses
Swimming tips for contact lens wearers
- Try not to wear contact lenses. Use modern swimming goggles with earth lenses. contact lenses are no longer needed (1).
- Use well-fitting, waterproof swimming goggles (buy from Amazon/AD). It can prevent water from getting into contact lenses or eyes.
- If you do not want to do without contact lenses, it is better to use daily lenses and remove them after swimming.
- If you are re-using contact lenses, wash your hands well and disinfect the contact lenses thoroughly before removing them. This should also be a hygiene issue outside of the shower.
- If you wear contact lenses, keep your head above water when swimming or bathing.
- Even if you wear contact lenses, always take glasses with you in case you have to take them out or lose them.
Here’s what you can do if your eyes are irritated after swimming
The symptoms should disappear in a few hours, but you can buy a tear substitute at the pharmacy, which relieves the burning of the eyes. If symptoms last more than 24 hours, you should definitely see an eye doctor (2).