As a swimmer who wears contacts, you may be wondering if it's safe to wear your lenses while you swim. After all, swimming is a popular activity, especially during the summer months, and it can be inconvenient to have to take out your contacts before every swim. The short answer is yes you can swim with contacts, but there are some guidelines you must follow to reduce your risks.
The primary reason why swimming with contacts can be tricky is the risk of infection. When you swim, your eyes come into contact with water that may contain bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. These can get trapped between your contact lens and your eye, leading to infections such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) and keratitis (inflammation of the cornea).
Contact lenses can absorb chemicals from the water, such as chlorine, which can irritate your eyes and cause discomfort. Prolonged exposure to chlorine can also damage your contact lenses, causing them to deteriorate and become less effective.
What can you do?
So, what can you do if you want to swim but don't want to take out your contacts? What's important is that you find a pair of goggles which fit well and don't leak. You don't want any water to get into your eye, as this could cause infection or irritation. Your goggles need to be watertight and snug on your face, no room for leakage. This would ensure your contacts don't come into contact with the water and you can stay irritation free.
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Another option is to wear daily disposable contact lenses. These lenses are designed to be worn once and then discarded, which means you can put in a fresh pair before each swim. This can reduce your risk of infection and irritation, as well as prolong the life of your contact lenses.
Lastly, you can wear prescription goggles. These are specially designed goggles that have a prescription lens built into them, allowing you to see clearly while you swim without the need for contacts or glasses.
So the short answer is yes, you can swim with your contact lenses in, however it's important you take the necessary precautions, such as getting custom-fitted goggles that don't allow any water to mess with your contacts. It's more than possible to keep your eyes safe and out of harms way during your swimming.
Take the necessary precautions and you'll be just fine. Happy swimming!