Protecting your eye health is paramount and if you wear contact lenses, you’ll need to be a bit more vigilant in this regard than someone who just wears glasses instead.
Dr Sumitra Khandelwal from Baylor College of Medicine in the US has just reminded contact lens wearers about the importance of taking extra care when swimming, as infections can be borne via water like lakes, rivers, hot tubs and swimming pools.
Minor infections, irritations and more severe health problems like ulcers can occur by swimming in water with contact lenses in, he noted. It’s also possible to develop acanthamoeba, which is caused by little parasites that affect the eye, resulting in pain, blurred vision and redness.
“These bacteria love water. They need natural water to grow. They stick to contacts and eventually contact lens cases. Pseudomonas bacteria also like to invade the cornea through micro scratches which occur when swimming but can also invade even when just removing lenses,” Dr Khandelwal said.
Given figures from the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers showing that one in 12 adults in the UK now wear contacts, it seems as though there are many people out there who could benefit from Dr Khandelwal’s advice.
If you’re new to wearing contacts, make sure you ask your optician lots of questions so you know what to expect and what you should and shouldn’t do. For example, they’ll stress the importance of taking your contacts out before falling asleep – something that should be avoided at all costs!