Long days spent playing in the water are fun, but the end result can leave you with blurry, red eyes. Knowing some basics—like how pool water affects your eye health—could prevent irritated swimmer's eyes. At Hawaiian Pool Builders, we have answers to five of the more common questions in relationship to swimming and your eyes.

Why do my eyes turn red? Red eyes occur when blood vessels near the surface of the eye become enlarge and dilated. Increased exposure to irritants or chemicals may cause your eyes to become irritated. If you are prone to getting red eyes from swimming, you should consider wearing goggles in the pool.

Irritated Swimmers EyesCan I swim with contacts? Contact lens wearers beware. If you want to wear them in the pool, and you open your eyes, wear goggles. The water could damage your lenses. They could change shape, rip, fold in your eye, or even wash away. The possibility of bacteria contaminating your lenses and causing an eye infection also exists.

What do I do if it feels like there is something in my eye? It is easy for sand or small objects to get into your eye when you’re enjoying swimming in a pool. Try not to rub your eyes as this could scratch the cornea. Do not rinse your eyes with running water, the eye will water naturally to flush out the object. If it is still painful, and you think the object is still in your eye, it’s important to go see your optician.

What is safer for your eyes – chlorine or saltwater? Saltwater is a more natural approach and safer on skin, hair, and your eyes. Pools sanitized with chlorine are generally safe and bacteria free. Chlorine mixes with organic matter and kills unhealthy bacteria. The downside is that it creates chemical compounds that can irritate skin and eyes. Saltwater pools use salt to keep the pool clean rather than chlorine tablets or other chemicals. Chlorine is a byproduct of the salt, so very small amounts are present in saltwater sanitized pools. Saltwater pools are generally considered safer and gentler to your eyes and skin. Eye irritation will be greatly reduced by swimming in saltwater.

How can I soothe my eyes? If, after a long day in the pool, your once clear view becomes foggy and blurry, flush your eyes with a cool eye rinse or try saline eye drops for quick relief. Keep a bottle of eye drops in your pool side bag for instant access.

At Hawaiian Pools, we want you to enjoy being in the pool. Having irritated swimmer’s eyes makes it much less enjoyable. Stop by our retail store to pick up a pair of goggles and get answers to other questions you may have about your eye’s and the pool.

Category: Pool Advice