Can you Swim with Contact Lenses?

shutterstock_195856931Swimming with contact lenses should be avoided in order to ensure there is no damage to the eye through bacterial infections, irritation or contamination.

The FDA recommendation states that contact lenses should not be exposed to any kind of water, ranging from bodies of water to water from a shower. Water can be a carrier of viruses and microbes that have the ability to attach themselves to a contact lens and cause irritation and infection. If left untreated, these issues can lead to corneal or eye damage.

What You Should Know if You Swim with Contact Lenses

If you choose to swim with contact lenses, there are a few things you should know to avoid experiencing any consequences.

1. Wear Waterproof Swim Goggles. Waterproof swim goggles will protect your eyes from contaminants and possible irritants. In addition, this extra protection will prevent the contacts from dislodging and sliding from your eyes.

2. Try Daily Contacts. If goggles are not an option and you must swim with your contact lenses, daily contacts are the best option. Since they are meant to be disposable, they eliminate the need to clean and disinfect the lens, which in turn disposes of any bacteria that may have attached itself to the lens while you were swimming.

3. Clean Contact Lenses Immediately After Contact with Water. If water enters your eyes, remove the contact lenses immediately to clean and disinfect them. Once you have replaced the lenses, rinse your eyes with drops or artificial tears to ensure proper moisture.

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