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Contact Lenses and Swimming Safety

Summer is right around the corner, and you know what that means…

Swimming! Lots and lots of swimming. Whether you are at the beach; in a pool; or even a lake or river, swimming is a lot of fun, but it can also be very dangerous to contact lens wearers. You see, in the water is this little bug called an Acanthamoeba. Now if you are swimming without contact lenses, you have nothing to worry about, but if you are wearing contact lenses, it’s a different story. You see, contacts do this neat little trick of absorbing things into them and keeping what they have absorbed on your lens — including the Acanthamoeba. And as the now infected contact lens continues to sit on your eye, the Acanthamoeba will give you a painful eye infection. And the problem with Acanthamoeba eye infections are, that other than giving you pain, you have no other signs of an eye infection. So what can you do to avoid this painful eye infection?

Well, the best thing you can do is not wear your contact lenses while swimming, but we understand that most people like to be able to see where they are going while in the water. So what else can you do if you wear your contact lenses while swimming? If your guess is to clean your contacts with contact solution, you would be in great company, but I’m afraid that even the best cleaners out there can’t kill everything. So the only thing you really can do if you wear contacts in the water is to throw them away once you are done swimming — do not keep them in for a long period of time after swimming, and certainly don’t put them back in once you take them out. However, we understand that throwing away contact lenses after one use in the water feels like a waste of money, but there are many types of contact lenses, including dailies that you throw away after one wear anyways. And we would be happy to discuss these options with you.

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