It’s summer and many of us will spend hours keeping cool by splashing around in pools, hot tubs, sprinklers and other swimming facilities that use chlorine. This chemical commonly used to disinfect water does a good job keeping us safe, but as our optometrist at Omni Eye & Vision (Squamish) tells us, it can also be an irritant to the surface of the eye. We pride ourselves in educating our patients about all aspects concerning the health of their eyes and the protection of their vision!
Chlorine can cause dehydration of the eyes and wear away the tear film that covers the outer surfaces of the eye. Too much exposure to this harsh chemical can result in redness, swelling, itching, blurriness and even temporarily distorted vision.
Wearing swimming goggles is recommended to sharply reduce chlorine exposure, especially for young children who love to splash around for hours. Make sure to choose the right size and properly adjust the straps to keep water from leaking into the goggles, and to clean them with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser after each use.
If you or your children have been swimming without goggles, flush the eyes with cool, clean water or a saline solution when they come out of the pool. Wearing contact lenses while swimming can be dangerous; avid swimmers should opt for goggles with prescription lenses.
For those of us taking a dip in the ocean or a saltwater pool this summer, the stinging caused by the drying effect of the water can be relieved by applying a cool compress or using preservative-free artificial tears to restore moisture.
Your eyesight is precious, and regular visits to our optometrist at Omni Eye & Vision (Squamish) is the best way to protect it this summer and all year long! We specialize in providing a comprehensive examination, carefully chart any changes in your vision, and prescribe corrective lenses if necessary. Please contact us today for an appointment!