Millions of people in the United States wear contact lenses, which means that you aren’t alone in wondering about how to maintain your vision while you hop in the pool for a swim. While you might never think of going underwater with a pair of regular glasses, the prospect of being able to see better might tempt you to wear your contacts as you swim beneath the surface instead of swim goggles or prescription swim goggles.
Unfortunately, swimming with your prescription contact lenses isn't a good idea. Exploring the reasons why can help you make the right decision for your health, whether you’re diving into an indoor pool or enjoying a recreational dip in the ocean.
Why Wear Swim Goggles Over Contacts
Serious eye infections are more common than one might think. Every year, approximately one out of every 500 people who wear contact lenses will develop an eye infection. In most of these cases, the infection can be linked to the person not following the proper protocols for contact lens care.
While you could easily pick up an infection from the tap water that comes out of your sink or shower, it becomes even more likely once you expose your eyes to water in a swimming pool or natural body of water, such as a lake.
Swimming pool water contains chlorine and other chemicals that are meant to help reduce the risk of common infections. However, some people have allergic reactions to these chemicals that cause symptoms such as redness, itching and irritation. Rubbing your eyes is a natural response to these symptoms that could cause you to develop a corneal abrasion, especially if you wear contacts.
There are also a variety of different bacteria, viruses and fungi that exist within water found in pools, lakes, rivers and the sea. Wearing contacts in the water increases the possibility of these pathogens getting trapped between your lenses and your eye where they can begin to contribute to a festering infection. Here are just a few of the possible infections that you could develop from swimming with contacts.
Swim Goggles Prevent Other Risks
Technically, you can wear contact lenses with non-prescription goggles. This does have the effect of helping to reduce your risk of contracting an eye infection, but it still leaves your eyes vulnerable to accidentally being exposed to water.
Considering that the infection, acanthamoebae keratitis, is associated with people wearing their contacts in the shower or while swimming, you might prefer to take every precaution possible to avoid even the possibility of this happening.
If you find yourself in a position where you prefer to wear your contacts, then look for goggles that are as airtight as possible. A well-fitted pair of goggles should create a seal around your eyes that prevents water from getting inside. If water does happen to come in contact with your eyes, then make sure to remove your contacts as soon as possible and follow your eye doctor’s recommendations for hygiene and cleaning.
Prescription Swim Goggles
Many swimmers prefer to avoid the risk of getting an eye infection completely, which makes sense considering that you need good vision to stay competitive during competitions. Even a minor eye infection can take you out of the game, since you'll need to avoid going in the water until you have fully healed. Good vision is also critical for anyone who enjoys other recreational activities, such as snorkeling or scuba diving. Also consider the affordable option of purchasing prescription goggle inserts for family vacations coming up soon.
Prescription swim goggles are the best option for preventing common eye infections. You can select this type of goggles by using your current prescription information. They also come with features that allow you to customize your experience. For instance, you might choose a pair in a color that matches your swim team’s uniforms. Or, you could opt for tinted lenses that give you better visibility in certain water conditions. Looking for prescription swim goggles that also provide UVA and UVB protection further helps you to maintain your vision for future swimming adventures. There's also prescription swim goggles for kids!
Consider the Best Prescription Swim Goggles
Protecting your eyes from infections helps you to look forward to many more years of swimming. Goggles N More offers non-prescription and prescription swim goggles for all ages. With features that include an anti-fog coating, special tints for visibility and adjustable nose bridges, you’ll find that you enjoy clearer vision underwater along with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re taking the best possible care of your eyes.
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