Posted by: Scott and Christie Eyecare Associates in Eye Health

protect your eye health while swimming

Summer is officially in full swing, and what better way to escape the endless heat than to splash in cool water. Before you head out for your next swim, we want to open your eyes to some helpful eye health tips for summer fun at the pool.

Protect Your Tear Film 

What is a tear film? According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tears are made up of three layers:

  • The oily layer on the outside
  • The watery layer in the middle
  • The inner mucus layer

The three layers together are known as the tear film. Pool chemicals or water irritate the eyes by washing away the healthy tear film, leaving the cornea unprotected. Frequently swimming this summer can lead to dry eye syndrome, a condition where the tear film stops functioning correctly.

Wear Goggles 

When it comes to preserving your tear film, goggles are your best friend. They form a protective barrier between your eyes and the water, ensuring your tear film remains intact. After your swim, remember to clean your goggles thoroughly to remove any bacteria. A helpful tip for cleaning your goggles is to use a white vinegar and water solution, soak them for an hour, rinse them, and let them air dry.

Caution for Contact Lens Wearers 

Wearing contact lenses while swimming can harm your eyes, and it is best to skip the contacts altogether before you splash in the pool. The lenses are like a sponge for all types of bacteria. Jumping in the water for a few minutes makes your eyes vulnerable to harmful bacteria. It is best to give your eyes a layer of protection and wear goggles if you have difficulty seeing without your lenses.

Have You Had Eye Surgery Lately? 

If you recently had eye surgery, your eye doctor will give you instructions to follow during your recovery. One of the things to avoid after surgery is swimming because the potential for chemicals and bacteria can inhibit a successful recovery. Check with your eye doctor to see when it is safe to return to your normal activities after surgery.

Don’t Forget To Wash Your Eyes

After your swim, the best thing you can do to protect your eyes is to wash them immediately. This simple act can help soothe your eyes and wash away any irritants or chemical residue. Remember, it’s crucial to wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before touching your eyes. This small but significant step can prevent the transfer of bacteria and keep your eyes healthy.

We wish you a safe and healthy summer! Stay safe and hydrated, and follow these helpful tips to protect your eyes while you enjoy the water, whether at a pool, water park, lake, or beach.

Have FUN safely and happy swimming!


References: American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided within this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

Patient Portal
Pay Bill Online
Request an Appointment
Contact Us
Pay Bill Online
Schedule an
WARNING: Internet Explorer does not support modern web standards. This site may not function correctly on this browser and is best viewed on Chrome, Firefox or Edge browsers. Learn More.