If you are a swimming enthusiast, be it in the pool or the ocean, your eyes are constantly exposed to water that could be contaminated. Even though there is chlorine in pools to kill most bacteria, there are still some that survive, and those that do could be the most dangerous. If your eyes become irritated after swimming, the best way to solve this problem is to irrigate your eyes with clean or sterile water. The faster and the more contaminants you can wash out, the less damage will be done to your eyes. However, if your eyes still hurt after having gone through this process, or if they become hazy, you should consult an ophthalmologist immediately.
If you are a contact lens wearer, it is not advised to swim with them. Contact lenses absorb the water, pollutants, chemicals, and bacteria from the swimming environment and hold them against your eye. However if you must swim with your contacts, then here are some recommendations:
Irrigate your eyes with either saline solution or a few drops of artificial tears before reinserting your contact lenses
- Remove your contact lenses immediately after you finish swimming
- Rinse (and rub) the contact lenses with your sterile antibacterial saline solution
Your eyes constantly come into contact with environmental elements. Therefore, it is hard to avoid dust, smoke, wind and sunlight, which often cause itchiness, irritation and stinging. To ease these bothersome conditions, most people will purchase eye-cleaning solutions that claim to wash out all the dirt from the eyes.
However, if you feel like there is definitely something in your eye, you may irrigate your eyes. If a foreign body or chemicals get into your eyes, irrigate copiously for 10 to 20 minutes and then contact your eye doctor right away.
In actual fact, these so called “eye baths” are not a necessity at all, since our eyes produce natural tears that constantly protect and lubricate the eyes. They will wash out any foreign substances or particles, and provide immunity against diseases. Constant use of these cleaning solutions will regrettably wash away all the goodness that our natural tears provide, and do not create a better health for your eyes in any way.