SWIMMING AND CONTACT LENSES by Dr. Mark German, Milwaukee area Optometrist
You can’t see without your glasses and love your contacts so why not swim in them? WRONG! You should not swim in contact lenses as it increases your risk of eye problems from mild irritation to severe eye infections. Most contact lenses are at least 50% water. So chlorinated water is going to penetrate your contacts and stay in contact with the surface of your eye for up to an hour after swimming. This can irritate the surface of your eye and increase your risk of infection.
While mild eye irritation goes away in a day or so, a severe eye infection can result in permanent eye damage. 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. That way you can free yourself of the hassles of contact lenses and glasses while enjoying the outdoors. Remember that our Dr. Martha Jay is a leader in blade-free LASIK vision correction, so safe and precise that it has been approved for Navy “Top Gun” pilots and astronauts. Enjoy a safe summer - Call today for your free, no-pressure LASIK screening exam with Dr. Jay.
Dr. Mark German is an optometrist with Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals in Mequon and Saukville, Wisconsin. Both offices are easily accessible to Milwaukee, just off Highway 43.
Dr. German practices with Dr. Martha Jay and Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto. They offer a full array of medical and surgical eye care options from general eye care to cataract surgery to blade-free LASIK Vision Correction. Dr. German specializes in general eye care and hard-to-fit contact lens patients.