Swimming is a great way to get physical exercise – it’s challenging, fun, and works almost all of the major muscles in your body. But there are lots of people that are put off this great sport because of concerns about vision.
Protect Yourself From Chlorine
It is a commonly known fact that after a trip to your local swimming pool, your eyes may sting or be a little red. This is because of a chemical called chlorine which is added to pool water to protect it against any growth of microbes and bacteria. The chemical content of a swimming pool can be anything from 12-95% chlorine, and if the concentration is too high it can be an irritant to our eyes.
The temporary reaction you get from chlorine is a mild form of ‘chemical conjunctivitis’, which normally lasts no longer than a few hours.
Wear Swimming Goggles!
Goggles are the most effective way to protect your eyes from chlorine and other chemicals in pool water. While no goggles are able to keep out 100% of water, they help significantly to reduce irritation.
Goggles come in many shapes and sizes. Many designs now have interchangeable nose bridges so that you are able to adjust the goggles to fit your face. These are recommended to people who swim regularly…or plan to!
Don’t Have Perfect Vision?
You shouldn’t be put off swimming just because you don’t have perfect eyesight. As while being able to see is an essential part of the sport, there are solutions available.
If you wear glasses, you can get custom-made prescription goggles. If you are unsure of the exact quality of your eyesight, you can visit an Optician to test your eyes.
Prescription goggles are readily available online from various retailers, and they are the best solution to having poor eyesight while swimming. Your Optician will be able to modify your prescription to make it suitable for purchasing goggles online. The prescription may not be your exact specification, but when worn only for a few hours should have no negative effects overall.
Contact lenses work great for most sports. Unfortunately, this is not the case with swimming.
Many people choose to keep their contact lenses in while taking a swim, but by doing this they run the risk of getting chlorine and harmful bacteria trapped underneath the lens. This can potentially have very serious consequences for their sight, so wearing contact lenses while swimming should be avoided. There have been some extreme cases where people went swimming in their contact lenses, contracted an infection, and lost vision in that eye.
It is a popular misconception that you should pair contact lenses and goggles. This is not recommended. No goggles can keep out 100% of water all the time. If you do, you may run the risk of bacteria entering the inside of your goggles, where there is an increased risk of getting caught underneath the lens and resulting in infection.
If you have any concerns about your eyesight and swimming, please speak to your optician.