SWIMMING AND CONTACT LENSES By Dr. James Ivanoski, Optometrist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
You can’t see without your glasses so why not swim in your contact lenses? The “why not” has to do with safety: swimming in contact lenses significantly increases your risk of developing eye problems that range from mild to quite severe. Most contact lenses are at least 50% water. This means that chlorinated water penetrates your contacts and stays in contact with the surface of your eye for up to an hour after swimming. The result is an irritation to the surface of your eye and an increased risk of infection.
While a mild eye irritation may go away in a day or so, a severe eye infection can result in permanent vision loss. Even in the best maintained pool or spa, bacteria can be present. In lake water, a severe pathogen called acanthamoeba may be present that causes a difficult to treat corneal ulcer. This protozoa penetrates the cornea rapidly and often requires specially formulated eye drops to save the eye. Beaches may also present the possibility of a fusarium fungal infection.
Those glasses may be bulky but they are your better choice over contacts in the water. Another alternative is LASIK vision correction. With LASIK you can free yourself of the hassles of glasses in the water and still safely enjoy the outdoors. LASIK is actually safer than contact lenses on dry land too! Our Dr. Martha Jay is a leader in blade-free LASIK vision correction so one call to our office is all you need to get started on improving your vision safely.
Call for a free LASIK screening exam today, you won’t regret it. In the meantime, don’t wear those contacts in the water!
Dr. James Ivanoski practices with Dr. Martha Jay and soon with Dr. Lisa Bennett at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin. He specializes in comprehensive eye care for the whole family, including contact lens fitting.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.