Swimming is one of the best ways to exercise and relax; however, swimming underwater can affect the eyes. You’re most likely familiar with the stinging and redness of swimmer’s eye. While your eyes can still see underwater, eye doctors don’t recommend opening your eyes underwater. In fact, if you swim underwater without swimming goggles, you may be prone to some infections such as conjunctivitis. To protect your eyes while swimming, you should:

Remove Contacts Before Swimming

If you wear contacts, remember to remove them before swimming. Just like oil, contacts and water cannot mix. In fact, as a contact lens wearer, you may be more prone to Acanthamoeba keratitis. This infection can impair your vision or cause corneal ulcers.

Use Lubricating Eye Drops

Chlorine drains water from the cornea, leaving your eyes dry after swimming. Your eyes feel irritated, get red, and they may be temporarily blurry. The best way to cure this problem is by waiting for your eyes to naturally heal themselves. However, your eyes may take longer to bounce back but some types of eye drops can help you recover faster by building the torn layer.

Wear Swimming Goggles

Whether you’re a competitive swimmer or you splash around for fun, wearing swimming goggles will make it easier for you to see underwater. Swimming goggles also protect your eyes from ocean saltwater and chlorinated water. While chlorinate and ocean saltwater won’t cause any permanent damage to your eyes, it is quite painful and leaves your eyes red and watery. Swimming goggles offer a waterproof seal that prevents intrusion of water into your eyes.

Wearing swimming goggles will also improve your underwater vision, and you can even wear them with contact lenses. If you’re a competitive swimmer, wearing a pair of swimming goggles will improve your distance perception and enable you to make a better judgment on when to turn which will also improve your lap times. What’s more, you will have a better view of your lane.

Get the Right Pair of Swimming Goggles

There are different types of swimming goggles that have different functions in protecting your eyes. If you swim outdoors most of the time and in the sun, you should consider tinted swimming goggles with UV protection. Some swimming goggles also have anti-fog and anti-glare features. However, the most important thing is finding swimming goggles that fit and are easily adjustable.

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