Swimming With Contact Lenses – Is It Safe?

It’s warm and humid outside and nothing feels better than going for a swim to escape the heat. But you have poor eyesight and it irks you that you cannot wear your spectacles into the water. Aha! You’ve decided to put on your contact lenses to go for your swim. Just a little while won’t hurt, you say to yourself. But is that true? Let us explore this subject together.

The Risks

Assuming you are going for a swim and you put on a fresh pair of contact lenses, just for the occasion. You dive into the pool and the contact lenses get washed out of your eyes, never to be seen again. Yes, the risk of losing your contact lenses is real and it is something you can consider before you put them on the next time you go swimming.

It is a little known fact that fresh water can result in the soft lenses tightening on your eyes. Needless to say, having a piece of plastic squeezing your eyeball is not a comfortable experience.

Contact lenses serve as a medium that can retain chemicals and microorganisms, such as Acanthamoeba, which are usually washed away from your eyes if you are not wearing contact lenses. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals and microorganisms can potentially result in eye irritation, infection and even permanent impairment of your eyesight.

Preventive Measures

The safest measure to take is to avoid wearing contact lenses for your swims. Instead, purchase a pair of optical goggles which serve a dual purpose of being a pair of spectacles, as well as, goggles.

A slightly more risky approach would be to wear a pair of goggles when you are wearing contact lenses for your swim. However, there is a risk that some water might leak into your goggles and contaminate your contact lenses.  Hence, be sure to check that your goggles are of the right fit.

If you do experience any discomfort in your eyes, be sure to visit your eye doctor for a proper diagnosis. Sharing is caring, so do share this information with your bespectacled friends 🙂