By Alexa Kaczka
Usually, it is not recommended that people enter swimming pools while wearing contact lenses, as the products are not intended to come into contact with water and people may encounter problems if they do so.
The results is that some people often struggle when swimming, as their vision is not as great as when they are on dry land and using their contacts – a problem that used to affect a 14-year-old Welsh swimming prodigy.
Sam Wild, who has swum at Welsh national level and is one of the top five 14-year-olds in the country in the butterfly and freestyle disciplines, was finding that he could not see as clearly as he liked when taking part in races.
Such visual impairment was affected his ability to judge distances, which is vital when a swimmer approached the side of the pool and need to either stop or flip and continue the race.
However, the Flintshire Chronicle reported that help was at hand for the youngster, as he was declared eligible for treatment known as orthokeratology, which involves the use of a special type of contact lens.
The treatment is particularly popular among young people and involves innovative gas permeable contact lenses being worn at night, which reshape the front surface of the eye and help to improve daytime vision.
As the contacts do not have to be worn during the day, Sam has been able to continue his training regimen of 14 hours a week and benefit from perfect vision when in the pool.
His mother Anna told the news provider that the results have been excellent so far, with Sam able to pursue his hobby and improve his performance.
"The first thing any competitive swimmer does when they've finished a race is look up at the results board to see what time they did. But Sam was so short-sighted he couldn't see the board or the clock - he even struggled to see us in the crowd cheering him," she explained.
"Now he has no such problems. The lenses have restored his ability to see life in full focus. It's simply amazing."
by Emily Tait