13.05.2016

"Always wear goggles" when swimming with contact lenses

"Always wear goggles" when swimming with contact lenses

The amazing sporting feats at the Olympics will no doubt lead to many people attempting to emulate their heroes, and for many this will involve diving into the swimming pool.


However, while many Olympic swimmers will no doubt be wearing contact lenses underneath their goggles, there are certain safety precautions that people need to follow before they replicate the likes of Michael Phelps.

That is the opinion of Karen Sparrow, optometrist and education advisor for the Association of Optometrists, who noted that with swimming there is chlorine in the water which can affect the eyes and can increase the risk of an infection, so it is always a good idea to wear goggles.

She explained that some people might wear daily contact lenses in the pool or if they are swimming in the sea, then throw them away immediately when they finish swimming and put a fresh pair in, or they'll rest their eyes and wear their glasses.

"But the safest option is if you are going to swim in contact lenses, because you need to be able to see then wear some kind of well-fitting swimming goggles over the top," she explained.

"You can actually get prescription swimming goggles so therefore you can actually see through swimming goggles, because they are like a pair of glasses and they have got your prescription in."

The danger with swimming in contact lenses is that people might cause damage to the front of their eyes and get an eye infection.

Therefore, it is important that people have regular check-ups, even if they wear contact lenses that feel comfortable and have worn them for many years.

"There can be things that are going on in their eyes that they might be unaware of. So they should have a regular eye examination at least every couple of years unless there is a medical reason for having an eye test more frequently," Ms Sparrow said.

If people are wearing contact lenses, they should have a check-up at least once a year just to make sure everything is ok and their eyes are getting enough oxygen and are healthy under the lenses, she concluded.ADNFCR-1853-ID-801426810-ADNFCR


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