Should You Swim With Your Contact Lenses?

Swimming & Contact LensesIf  you wear contact lens and decide to take a swim, it is safer for your eye health to remove the contact lenses before diving in. Swimming pool water is chlorinated to keep it sanitized. The chlorine helps reduce water-borne bacteria and viruses and prevent pathogens and disease from spreading. While chlorine is a successful water sanitizer, its efficacy depends on a number of factors including how recently it was added to the water, the concentration of the chemical and how much the pool is used. When your eyes are submerged in a chlorinated pool, the protective tear film which protects your cornea from dirt and bacteria is washed away.  So, swimmers are more susceptible to getting eye infections like conjunctivitis or pink eye.

Contact Lenses should be removed before swimming.

Contact lens patients are prone to an eye infection called acanthamoebic keratitis. Acanthamoebic keratitis develops when a type of amoeba gets trapped in the space between the cornea and the contact lens and begins to live there. This infection can result in permanent visual impairment or lead to ulcers on the cornea. If you have taken a swim with contacts on, be sure to remove your lenses, rinse them with lens solution and refrain from sleeping in them. Your best defense against eye infections is to maintain good eye health and practice good contact lens hygiene. In addition to removing your contacts before swimming, wearing snug fitting goggles or prescription goggles will also help to mitigate eye irritation.

Rinse Your Eyes After Swimming.

Swimmers should rinse their eyes immediately after swimming to remove chemicals and bacteria. It is important to exercise good pool hygiene by showering before and after you swim, avoid swallowing pool water, and encourage children to use the restroom before entering the pool.

If you are experiencing RSVP (redness, secretions, visual blurring or pain), call us at Westside Eye Clinic. You can reach us at (504) 347-8434 to schedule an appointment. For more information, you can submit a request at We are located at 4601 Wichers Drive in Marrero and are at your service Monday through Wednesday from 9am – 5pm; Thursday and Friday from 9am – 4pm; and by appointment only on Saturday.

Your complete eye health is our top priority!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.