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Can I Go Swimming While Wearing Contact Lenses?

If you wear contact lenses, you’ll know how unobtrusive and convenient they can be.

Pop them into your eyes using a tried and tested process and you’re free to go and enjoy the rest of your day.

All the benefits. All the ease. All the convenience.

There’s no doubt about it. Contact lenses can really make a tremendous difference to your life.

But, while contact lenses are a superb option for many people with all kinds of vision issues, there is one place you should simply never, ever wear them: while swimming.

One of the most important places to protect your eyes is in the water.

But don’t worry! Wearing contact lenses doesn’t preclude you from experiencing the joys of swimming. It doesn’t have to mean that your swimming days are numbered.

On the contrary.

In the swimming world today, there are some awesome swim goggles that can take the place of your contact lenses.

That’s right! You need never be a fish out of water ever again.

If you wear contact lenses and up-to-now you’ve been tempted to wear them in the water, this article is for you.

Let’s take a deeper dive.

Can I Go Swimming While Wearing Contact Lenses?

  1. Water and Contact Lenses

Here’s something many people don’t know.

Contact lenses and water are usually never supposed to come into contact with each other. In fact, you should avoid exposing your contact lenses to water at all costs.

And, this doesn’t just include the water in pools or in the ocean. It extends to showering too.

Even when you’re cleaning your contact lenses, you should never look to rinse them with or store them in water.

But why exactly? What detrimental effect can mere water – the type we drink, the type we swim in – actually have on contact lenses?

The answer may surprise you.

  1. Water and Bacteria 

Most water, whether it’s from the tap or the ocean and everything in between, is normally never completely free of germs.

In reality, water offers a very hospitable environment to viruses, microbes, and bacteria of all kinds.

When we shower, when we take a soak in a hot tub, or when we go for a swim in a pool or a lake, we are exposed to microbes of different varieties.

Usually, this doesn’t pose too much of a problem. Our bodies are well used to dealing with microbes, and in normal circumstances, they don’t pose us great harm.

But, throw in a pair of contact lenses into the mix and problems can emerge very quickly.

  1. Acanthamoeba 

Water contains a myriad of different germs that are particularly good at causing severe and even life-changing eye infections.

One such germ is called Acanthamoeba, a dangerous single-celled living organism that can cause an eye infection known as Acanthamoeba Keratitis.

This type of infection is particularly nasty and can take up to a year or more to treat effectively.

If treatment fails, Acanthamoeba Keratitis can result in inflammation of the cornea, permanent eye damage, and in particularly bad cases, it can even cause blindness.

Usually, our eyes are very good at protecting us from infections. But, when we are wearing contact lenses, a different picture emerges.

  1. Contact Lenses Absorb Water – and All of Its Contents 

Your contact lenses are, of course, a superb source of support when it comes to helping you to see things more clearly.

But, in the water, contact lenses become a magnet for dangerous microbes of all kinds.

Why is this?

Because contact lenses absorb whatever is around them. When your contact lenses are exposed to water, the water is absorbed directly by the lens.

In turn, that water is pushed up directly against the eye. In fact, the water is trapped between the lens and the eye.

This space between your eyes and the contact lens provides the microbes in that water with a free and exposed hunting ground.

Not only will they happily occupy that space, but with such a hospitable, unchallenged environment, the Acanthamoeba will spread infection.

That infection doesn’t necessarily happen straight away either.

Even when you are out of the water and have cleaned your lenses, the Acanthamoeba can still infect your eyes. This type of infection can occur days after your exposure to the water.

  1. What to Do Instead

So, if you wear contact lenses, what can you do instead? If exposing your contact lenses to water of any kind is a complete and utter no-no, how can you incorporate swimming into your life?

The good news is there is a safe, simple and comprehensive solution to your swimming problems.

It comes in the form of swim goggles.

The benefits of wearing swim goggles are many and varied.

Here are just some of the reasons why you need swim goggles in your life:

  • Swim goggles protect your eyes from all of the harsh microbes in the water that would seek to do you harm
  • They come in all shapes, sizes, and styles
  • One size does not fit all. They can be fully adjusted to suit your specific comfort needs
  • There are entire ranges of swim goggles on the market today that are specifically designed for people with vision issues. You don’t have to take the unnecessary risk of wearing contact lenses in the water anymore. These goggles use advanced technology to allow you to see more clearly. Consider them a pair of waterproof glasses where you can adjust the lens diopter as needed.
Contact Lenses and Swim Goggles

So, water and contact lenses should never mix.

But, thankfully, for swim enthusiasts of all levels, having a level of eyesight that is less than perfect does not have to take away all the fun.

Heck no!

Unlike contact lenses, swim goggles were made for the water.

You can swim happily, safely, and with total peace of mind when you incorporate swim goggles into your routine.

The right goggles will give you excellent visibility while expertly protecting your eyes.

Fun, safety and enhanced vision all at the same time?

That sounds like a total win-win to us.