There are four good rules of thumb to protect your eyes for all kinds of swimming:
Tip #1: Take off your contact lenses before you dip
The number one most important piece of advice for anyone swimming is to take off your contact lenses before you swim. Any kind of water contact with contact lenses can cause sight-threatening issues like amoeba infections, eye infections, corneal ulcers, and severe eye inflammation.
Tip #2 Goggles, goggles, goggles
Invest in a pair of good quality, well-fitting goggles to protect the eyes.
Tip #3 Develop an eyecare routine out of the pool
Take care of your eye barrier when you're out of the water - to make it more resilient when exposed to open water.
If your eyes are already dry or sensitive, there has likely been a breakdown of the tear film which is the first line of defence of our eyes, making the eyes more vulnerable to pathogens or chemicals in water.
Invest in daily eyecare that restores the tear film. For example, consider preservative-free lubricating eye drops and switch to eye products (makeup removers, mascaras) aimed at sensitive eyes, and avoid alcohol, fragrance or loose powders near the eyes. This is especially important if you wear contact lenses.
Tip #4 Keep on top of any issues as they arise
Pay attention to your eyes as you swim. For example, if your eyes start watering as soon as you get into a pool before you have even gone underwater, it’s likely that the chemicals used in that pool are going to sensitise your eyes.
If you feel like your eyes are starting to get itchy or you notice your children's eyes getting red and inflamed, it's time to end the swim session or at least the underwater part.
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