Does Chlorine Effect Your Eyes?
A favorite summer time activity for most of us is taking a refreshing dip in the pool. Not only is it great exercise but can also be great family fun. But have you ever wondered if the chlorine in the water is hurting your eyes?
The water in a typical swimming pool is chlorinated to keep it sanitized. The chlorine helps reduce water-borne bacteria and viruses to prevent pathogens and disease from spreading. While chlorine is a successful water sanitizer, its efficacy depends on a number of factors including how recently it was added to the water, the concentration of the chemical and how much the pool is used.
The tear film that acts as a defensive shield for your cornea is washed away when your eyes are submerged in chlorinated pool water. Which means that your eyes are no longer protected from any leftover bacteria and dirt that may still be in the treated pool water. Which is why swimmers are more prone to eye infections, such as conjunctivitis or pink eye.
You may also experience red and irritated eyes after swimming. As a result of exposure to chlorine, the cornea will become dehydrated which is often associated with temporary blurred vision and irritation. Although these symptoms usually disappear within minutes, the recovery time tends to increases with age. Lubricating eye drops can help alleviate symptoms by restoring hydration to your eyes.
One of the best ways you can protect your eyes is to wear water-tight goggles that fit you well. This way you can enjoy your swim without risking your eyes or your vision.