Can You Swim With Contacts If You Wear Goggles – Swimming is a popular recreational activity that offers numerous health benefits, from cardiovascular conditioning to stress relief. However, for individuals who rely on corrective lenses, the question of whether they can swim with contacts becomes a common concern. While swimming with contacts poses certain risks, many swimmers have found a practical solution by combining the use of contacts with swimming goggles. In this article, we will explore the compatibility of swimming with contacts and the effectiveness of wearing goggles as a protective measure.
Wearing contact lenses during any water-related activity raises several potential issues. Firstly, water itself can affect contact lenses, causing them to become dislodged, move around the eye, or even wash out completely. Secondly, water is a potential breeding ground for microorganisms, such as bacteria and parasites, which can adhere to the lenses and increase the risk of eye infections. Finally, chemicals commonly found in pools, such as chlorine, can interact with the contact lenses and cause discomfort or irritation.
To mitigate these risks, many swimmers opt to wear swimming goggles in conjunction with their contacts. Goggles create a barrier between the eyes and the water, reducing the chance of lenses being dislodged or washed out. By forming a tight seal around the eye socket, goggles provide a protective shield against waterborne contaminants, shielding the lenses from direct exposure. Moreover, goggles also offer the added benefit of improving underwater visibility, allowing swimmers to enjoy their aquatic activities with clear vision.
However, it is crucial to consider a few factors before swimming with contacts and goggles. Firstly, it is recommended to use daily disposable contact lenses instead of long-term or extended-wear lenses. Daily disposables minimize the risk of contamination and offer the convenience of disposal after use. Additionally, swimmers should consult their eye care professional to ensure their specific type of contact lenses is suitable for use in water and to receive personalized advice based on their eye health and condition.
Can I wear contact lenses under goggles?
Technically, you can wear contact lenses with non-prescription goggles. This does have the effect of helping to reduce your risk of contracting an eye infection, but it still leaves your eyes vulnerable to accidentally being exposed to water.
Wearing contact lenses under goggles is generally possible and widely done by many people. However, there are a few important factors to consider before doing so.
Firstly, wearing contact lenses underneath goggles can sometimes lead to discomfort due to increased pressure on the lenses. Goggles can create a tight seal around the eyes, which may cause the lenses to shift or become dislodged, leading to irritation or blurred vision.
Secondly, if the goggles are designed to be worn over glasses, they may not fit properly over contact lenses. This can result in discomfort and compromise the effectiveness of both the goggles and the lenses.
It’s essential to ensure that the goggles fit well and provide enough space for your contact lenses. Additionally, consider using goggles specifically designed for contact lens wearers, as they often feature ventilation systems that reduce fogging and maintain comfort.
Consulting with an optometrist or ophthalmologist is recommended before wearing contact lenses under goggles, as they can provide personalized advice based on your eye health and the specific type of goggles you intend to wear.
Can I wear contacts at a waterpark?
Swimming with contacts can result in eye infections, irritation, and potential sight-threatening conditions such as a corneal ulcer. 2. The FDA has recommended that contacts not be exposed to ANY type of water, including tap water, swimming pools, oceans, lakes, hot tubs and showers.
Wearing contact lenses at a waterpark is generally not recommended. Contact lenses and water, especially in recreational settings like waterparks, can pose several risks to eye health.
Water, whether it’s from a pool, water slide, or any other source in a waterpark, can introduce various microorganisms, chemicals, and debris that may come into contact with your lenses. This can lead to eye infections, irritation, and discomfort.
Moreover, water can cause contact lenses to absorb and retain it, leading to changes in lens shape and size, which can affect the fit and vision correction provided by the lenses. This can result in blurred vision and discomfort.
If you plan to visit a waterpark, it is advisable to wear prescription goggles specifically designed for swimming. These goggles can protect your eyes from water, prevent lens contamination, and provide clear vision without the need for contact lenses.
How can I swim without contacts?
Glasses are certainly recommended over contact lenses for keeping a clear view when swimming, as if you were to get chlorine behind your contact lenses then this could cause a few problems. A good alternative to glasses, however, are goggles.
Swimming without contact lenses can be done by following a few different approaches:
Prescription goggles: Consider getting prescription goggles from an optometrist or an optical retailer. These goggles are customized to your specific vision needs and provide clear underwater vision without the need for contact lenses.
Disposable contact lenses: If you prefer to wear contact lenses while swimming, consider using daily disposable lenses. These lenses are discarded after each use, reducing the risk of contamination from waterborne microorganisms. However, it’s essential to consult with your eye care professional before using them for swimming.
Prescription swim masks: Another option is to use a swim mask with prescription lenses. Similar to prescription goggles, these masks can be custom-made to match your vision requirements and offer clear vision while swimming.
Prescription inserts: Some goggles and swim masks have the option of prescription inserts. These inserts fit inside the goggles or mask and can be made with your specific prescription, providing clear vision underwater.
Can I put my contacts back in after swimming?
You don’t want to reuse the contacts that you wore in the swimming pool. Your contact solution kills germs, but it’s not all that strong. If you put pool-exposed contact lenses in the solution, the most it will do is moisturize them. Then you’re laying those pool bacteria right up against your eye the next day.
It is generally not recommended to put contact lenses back in after swimming, especially in chlorinated or untreated water. Water, whether from a pool, lake, or any other source, can introduce various microorganisms, chemicals, and debris that can adhere to the lenses and potentially cause eye infections or other complications.
Additionally, water can alter the shape and size of contact lenses, affecting their fit and vision correction. Putting the lenses back in without thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting them first can increase the risk of discomfort, irritation, and potential eye infections.
If you do need to wear contact lenses immediately after swimming, it is crucial to properly clean and disinfect them using a recommended contact lens solution. Follow the instructions provided by your eye care professional and the manufacturer of your contact lenses to ensure proper cleaning and disinfection.
Should you take out contacts before swimming?
One of the most common questions optometrists receive regarding swimming with contacts is simple… “Can I wear contacts in the water?” While the answer is technically “yes.” You can physically get into a swimming pool, a lake, or the ocean while you are wearing contact lenses, we recommended that you remove them before.
Yes, it is generally recommended to take out contact lenses before swimming. There are several reasons for this:
Waterborne microorganisms: Water from pools, lakes, or other bodies of water can contain microorganisms that may adhere to contact lenses and increase the risk of eye infections. These microorganisms can include bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Chemicals in the water: Chlorine and other chemicals used to treat swimming pools can interact with contact lenses, causing discomfort, irritation, and potential damage to the lenses. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can also affect the lens material and compromise its effectiveness.
Water absorption: Contact lenses are porous and can absorb water. When worn during swimming, the lenses may absorb water, causing changes in shape and size. This can result in discomfort, blurred vision, and difficulty removing the lenses.
Debris and irritants: Swimming in natural bodies of water may expose your eyes to debris, such as sand, dirt, or plant matter. These particles can get trapped under the lenses, leading to discomfort and potential corneal abrasions.
Is it safe to swim with contact lenses if you wear goggles?
Swimming with contact lenses while wearing goggles can generally be considered safe, provided certain precautions are taken. Goggles serve as a protective barrier, minimizing the risks associated with swimming and contact lens wear. However, it is important to understand and address the potential concerns to ensure safety and eye health.
Goggles create a seal around the eyes, preventing water from directly contacting the lenses. This significantly reduces the chances of dislodging or losing the contacts while swimming. Additionally, goggles offer protection against waterborne contaminants, such as bacteria or parasites, which can adhere to the lenses and cause infections.
Although goggles provide a level of protection, it is essential to consider the specific type of contact lenses being worn. Daily disposable lenses are generally recommended for swimming as they reduce the risk of contamination and provide convenience. It is advisable to consult with an eye care professional to determine the suitability of the contact lenses for water activities.
Maintaining proper hygiene practices is crucial when swimming with contact lenses. Before swimming, it is important to clean and disinfect the lenses according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After swimming, promptly remove the lenses and discard them if using daily disposables. If using reusable lenses, they should be properly cleaned and disinfected before reinsertion.
Regular eye exams are also important to monitor the overall health of the eyes, especially for those who frequently swim with contact lenses. An eye care professional can assess any changes or concerns and provide guidance on maintaining healthy eyes while enjoying swimming activities.
What are the risks and considerations of swimming with contacts and goggles?
Swimming with contacts and goggles can involve certain risks and considerations that individuals should be aware of to ensure their eye health and safety.
Displacement or loss of contact lenses: Despite wearing goggles, there is still a slight risk of contact lenses becoming dislodged or washed out during swimming. This can occur due to the force of water, vigorous movements, or improper fit of the goggles. Losing a contact lens in the water can be inconvenient and may require replacement.
Contamination and eye infections: Water, especially in pools or other recreational areas, can harbor microorganisms that may adhere to contact lenses and increase the risk of eye infections. Bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens can potentially cause conditions such as conjunctivitis or keratitis. The use of goggles helps minimize the direct exposure of lenses to water and reduces the likelihood of contamination.
Chemical irritation: Pools are commonly treated with chemicals like chlorine to maintain cleanliness. However, these chemicals can interact with contact lenses, causing discomfort, redness, or dryness in the eyes. Goggles act as a barrier, protecting the eyes and lenses from direct exposure to such irritants.
Lens care and maintenance: Swimming with contacts requires proper lens care and maintenance. Before swimming, lenses should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After swimming, promptly remove the lenses and discard daily disposables or clean and disinfect reusable lenses. Neglecting lens care can lead to complications and eye discomfort.
Can wearing goggles provide adequate protection for contact lenses while swimming?
Wearing goggles can provide adequate protection for contact lenses while swimming by creating a physical barrier between the eyes and water. Goggles help minimize the risks associated with swimming, including displacement, contamination, and chemical irritation.
Goggles form a tight seal around the eye socket, reducing the chances of contact lenses being dislodged or washed out during swimming activities. The snug fit helps maintain the position of the lenses and prevents water from directly contacting them. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who engage in vigorous movements or participate in water sports where there is a higher likelihood of lens displacement.
Moreover, goggles act as a shield against waterborne contaminants that can adhere to contact lenses and potentially lead to eye infections. By creating a protective barrier, goggles significantly reduce the risk of bacteria, parasites, or other microorganisms coming into contact with the lenses. This is especially relevant in swimming pools, where the water can contain higher levels of such contaminants.
Additionally, goggles offer protection against chemical irritants commonly found in pools, such as chlorine. These chemicals can cause discomfort or dryness in the eyes and potentially interact with contact lenses. Wearing goggles prevents direct exposure of the lenses to these irritants, providing a layer of defense and maintaining ocular comfort.
While goggles offer significant protection, it is important to note that they cannot guarantee complete prevention of lens-related issues. Factors like the fit and quality of the goggles, individual swimming techniques, and lens type can still influence the level of protection provided. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with an eye care professional to ensure the appropriate fit of goggles and to receive personalized guidance based on specific lens requirements.
What precautions should be taken when swimming with contacts and wearing goggles?
When swimming with contacts and wearing goggles, several precautions should be taken to ensure optimal eye health and safety. Consider the following guidelines:
Consult with an eye care professional: Before swimming with contacts, it is crucial to consult with an eye care professional. They can assess your eye health, recommend suitable contact lens types for water activities, and provide personalized guidance based on your specific needs.
Opt for daily disposable lenses: Daily disposable contact lenses are generally recommended for swimming. They offer convenience and eliminate the need for cleaning and disinfecting after swimming. Removing and discarding them immediately after swimming reduces the risk of contamination and potential eye infections.
Ensure proper hygiene: Before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. Clean and disinfect your lenses as per the manufacturer’s instructions to maintain good hygiene. Avoid touching the lenses with wet hands to prevent transferring any contaminants.
Fit and quality of goggles: Invest in high-quality goggles that fit properly and provide a secure seal around your eyes. Ill-fitting goggles may allow water to seep in, increasing the risk of lens displacement or exposure to contaminants. Regularly check the condition of your goggles and replace them if they become damaged or lose their seal.
Remove lenses promptly: After swimming, remove your contact lenses promptly to reduce the amount of time they are exposed to water, chemicals, and potential contaminants. For reusable lenses, clean and disinfect them thoroughly before storing them according to the recommended guidelines.
Consider prescription goggles: If you require strong corrective lenses, consider using prescription goggles instead of wearing contact lenses. Prescription goggles provide visual clarity underwater without the need for additional corrective lenses.
Swimming with contacts while wearing goggles can be a viable option for individuals who rely on corrective lenses. By combining these two elements, swimmers can enjoy the benefits of swimming without compromising their vision or eye health. Throughout this article, we have discussed the potential risks associated with swimming with contacts and how goggles can serve as a protective measure.
The use of swimming goggles creates a barrier between the eyes and water, significantly reducing the likelihood of contact lenses becoming dislodged or washed out. Goggles also offer protection against waterborne contaminants, minimizing the risk of eye infections and irritation caused by chemicals present in pools. Moreover, goggles enhance underwater visibility, allowing swimmers to fully engage in their aquatic activities with clear vision.
While wearing contacts while swimming with goggles is a viable option, it is crucial to consider certain factors. Opting for daily disposable contact lenses is recommended, as they offer a higher level of hygiene and convenience. Regular consultation with an eye care professional is also essential to ensure the compatibility of specific contact lenses with water activities and to receive personalized advice based on individual eye health and condition.
Ultimately, the decision to swim with contacts while wearing goggles depends on personal preferences, eye health, and the specific type of contact lenses being used. It is important to prioritize eye safety and take the necessary precautions to minimize potential risks. Maintaining good hygiene practices, such as properly cleaning and storing contact lenses, is equally important to prevent eye infections or discomfort.