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Pool Safety: Preventing and Managing Eye Irritation and Infections

Pool Safety: Preventing and Managing Eye Irritation and Infections

As the summer heat rises, the pool beckons with promises of a cool, refreshing dip. While swimming is a fantastic way to beat the heat and enjoy the season, it's essential to remember that our eyes are vulnerable to irritation, infections, and injury at the pool; these are eye emergencies. Understanding pool safety and adopting preventive measures can significantly contribute to maintaining healthy vision throughout the summer months. Here are some of the common causes of eye irritation, infections, and injury associated with pool activities. By implementing practical tips and effective management strategies, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience while safeguarding your precious eyesight.

Protect Your Eyes In the Pool

These are some of the potential poolside eye emergencies that can cause irritation, infection, and injury and smart tips to protect your eyes.

Chlorine and Its Effects
Chlorine is commonly used in swimming pools to disinfect the water and protect swimmers from harmful bacteria. However, excessive exposure to chlorine can have adverse effects on our eyes. Chlorine can strip away the protective film of tears on the surface of the eye, leading to dryness, redness, and irritation. To minimize the impact of chlorine, consider wearing swim goggles designed to create a barrier between your eyes and the water. Additionally, ensure that the pool's chlorine levels are properly balanced and maintained to avoid excessive exposure.

Avoiding Contamination
Pools are often shared spaces, increasing the risk of contamination from various sources. Swimmers who have conjunctivitis or other eye infections should refrain from entering the pool until they have fully recovered to prevent spreading the infection. Additionally, it's crucial to practice good hygiene by showering before and after swimming and washing your hands thoroughly. Removing contact lenses before swimming is also advisable to prevent the accumulation of bacteria and debris on the lenses, which can cause eye infections.

Immediate Care for Irritation and Infections
Even with preventive measures, it's still possible to experience eye irritation or infections after swimming. If you notice any redness, itchiness, or discomfort in your eyes, it's essential to take immediate action. Rinse your eyes with clean water or artificial tears to flush out any contaminants. Avoid rubbing your eyes, as it can worsen the irritation. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek professional advice from an optometrist. They can provide appropriate treatment to alleviate your symptoms and prevent any complications.

Eye Trauma
Accidents can happen, and eye trauma is a potential risk when swimming or at the pool. A collision with another swimmer, a slip on a wet surface, or even a rogue pool toy can lead to eye injuries such as corneal abrasions, blunt trauma, or foreign object penetration. It is crucial to be cautious and aware of your surroundings to minimize the risk of eye trauma.

Sun-Related Eye Damage
Poolsides are often bathed in sunlight, and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to eye conditions such as photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea) and long-term damage like cataracts and macular degeneration. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses that wrap around the eyes and using broad-spectrum sunscreen around the eyes are essential for protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Contact Lens Complications:
Wearing contact lenses while swimming or in the pool can increase the risk of eye infections and other complications. Contact lenses can trap bacteria and other contaminants against the surface of the eye, leading to severe infections such as microbial keratitis. It is recommended to remove contact lenses before swimming or opt for prescription swim goggles to ensure clear vision and reduce the risk of eye-related complications.

Being aware of these risks and taking necessary precautions can go a long way in safeguarding your eyes while swimming or spending time at the pool. By practicing pool safety measures and seeking prompt professional care in case of emergencies, you can enjoy the water with confidence, knowing that your eyes are well protected.

Protect Your Eye Health And Vision And Enjoy Your Summer

By understanding the potential risks and taking necessary precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of swimming while protecting your eyes from eye emergencies like irritation, infection, and injury.. Remember to wear goggles, maintain proper water quality, and practice good hygiene before and after swimming. If you experience any eye discomfort, seek emergency eye care to address the issue. Prioritize pool safety and ensure your eye health remains at its best, allowing you to make the most of the summer season with clear and comfortable vision.

If you experience a pool-related eye emergency, or any other eye emergency this summer, seek immediate emergency eye care at Market Mall Optometry. If you have a non-emergency eye health concern, book an eye exam at Market Mall Optometry in Calgary NW. After a comprehensive eye exam, our team can provide insight into your vision and eye health and provide effective treatment strategies. To schedule an eye exam, call Market Mall Optometry at 1-403-286-4884 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: How much will emergency eye services cost if I don’t have insurance?
A: Alberta Health Care covers all emergency eye care costs for people of any age.

Q: If I have an eye emergency, does Market Mall Optometry take walk-ins?
A: Yes, for eye emergencies Market Mall Optometry accepts walk-ins. If you have suffered an eye injury, come to our NW Calgary clinic right away. See our hours of operation here. You can also call our office at 1-403-286-4884 for immediate advice.

Q: Can an eye doctor help with my eye emergency or should I go to the emergency room of a hospital?
A: An eye doctor can absolutely help manage your eye emergency. Eye doctors are trained to treat eye emergencies and can provide proactive diagnoses and treatment that will prevent vision loss, reduce the risk of spreading contagious infections, decrease pain and discomfort, and allow for quicker healing. The emergency room can also handle eye emergencies. It is better to go to whichever you can get to easily and quickly.

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