Taking a dip in the swimming pool, a lake, or for the little ones-running through the sprinklers, is a refreshing way to cool off in this summer heat. These waters may not be so good on our eyes, here are some things to be aware of if you plan on doing any of these activities soon.
The chlorine in swimming pools can cause a reaction on the surface of our eyes and make them red, sensitive, and teary. Be sure to wear goggles to protect against this chemical and when you’re done swimming flush your eyes out with cool, clean water or solution. Fresh/well water consists of other organisms and bacteria. Acanthamoeba Keratitis (an infection that enters the eye through an opening like a cut) can occur from being in these types of water and is more prevalent in people who wear contacts. You can also contract this infection by touching your hands to your eyes after being in the water. This is treatable with medicine however the best way to avoid it is being sure your hands are sanitized and you are completely dry before touching your or someone else’s eye.
Hose water is the safest. But it’s important to remind kids of the dangers of spraying others in the face-especially at close range as this can cause eye damage. If you contract an infection you’ll notice redness, pain, a mucus-like discharge, sensitivity to light, and swelling. See a doctor quickly to get treatment-if left too long you may cause damage and scarring to your retina and be left with permanent damage.