Wearing Contacts While Swimming

Source: Flickr Photographer:HeyPaulI am aware that the subject of this post will probably raise a few eyebrows, considering we are still in the wintry months of January. However, as someone who has worn contacts since I was 13 and now writes for an optical blog, I’ve been searching through the many questions I’ve stored away over the years and finding the answers one-by-one in my own sweet time.

And this happened to be one of those questions.

Now as an eyeglass/contact lens wearer, swimming is kind of a tricky thing. To be blind as a bat or to not be blind as a bat, that is the question.

Back in the day, I had to chose whether to wear my eyeglasses in the pool and, if I wanted to dive under or splash around, I’d have to get out, put my eyeglasses down somewhere safe, and then pop back into the pool (or, at my prescription, the big light blue).  When I was 13, I got contact lenses which I was extremely excited about. I waited all school year in anticipation of summer, and the first day I got into the pool, the chlorine pool dried my contacts to the point that I tore it while blinking.

I was aware that wearing my contacts in water was just overall a risky thing to do. After all, if you’re in anything man-made or in lakes and rivers, you’re highly at risk for getting a microorganism called acanthamoeba on your lenses from the water, causing inflammation and infection in your eye. Oceans and pools still put your contacts at risk, but a lower risk and other factors still play in. Oceans can easily dislodge your contacts, because you are literally faced with fast moving water. And pools, well, we remember that story.

“There’s got to be a way people do this,” I said to myself.

And there was. Goggles.

Goggles are probably the best option when it comes to going swimming. Not only do they protect your eyes from irritants like chlorine, but also protect your eyes from microorganisms living in the water your swimming in.

They also make it possible for you swim in your contacts. They protect your lenses from the water and from infections while you splash.

You have the ever great option to get prescription goggles. As someone who doesn’t like wearing contacts often and because it’s highly recommended that your bring a bottle of saline solution with you to rinse your lenses off once you get out of the pool- regardless, it’s just easier, healthier and safer to wear a fashionable pair eyeglasses (or even prescription sunglasses!) and then switch out to prescription goggles when I get there.

Pools, oceans, lakes, rivers, whatever micro creature lives in the water -my body can fight and my contacts don’t have to. Neither do yours.

Stop by an America’s Best store today, and speak with one of your associates.

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