The FDA and the American Optometric Association recommend that you do not go into water while wearing contact lenses. This includes lakes, the ocean, swimming pools, and hot tubs.
• Soft lenses are porous and allow chemicals and bacteria to lodge between the lens and the eye increasing chances of irritation and infection.…
• Water can cause soft lenses to tighten against the eye causing irritation.
• Water is home to viruses and microbes — one of the worst being Acanthamoeba, which may attach to contacts and cause the cornea to become infected and inflamed. Corneal infections are very serious!
• Rigid gas permeable contact lenses can become dislodged and fall out.
• Water rinses away natural tears and exacerbates conditions such as chronic dry eye.
But, let’s be honest, people wear their contact lenses while swimming. If you do, Dr. Tabak suggests the following:
• Wear daily disposable lenses.
• If you are a competitive swimmer or swim for exercise, wear goggles and have a fresh pair of daily wear lenses to put on after your workout.
• Wear sunglasses if just wading or sitting at the pool’s edge to prevent exposure to water.
• If your lenses come into contact with water, remove and disinfect them as soon as possible.
Symptoms of infection:
• Red irritated eyes
• A feeling that something is in your eye
• Light sensitivity and/or pain
If you suspect an eye infection after swimming, or any time, call the office immediately.