Newsflash: Professionals Disagree

Sometimes I think I'm becoming a rogue when it comes to contact lens safety. Ok yes "don't share contacts", that's an obvious one. But how about "don't sleep in your contacts" or "NEVER wear your contacts swimming"? Really? NEVER? Come on.

Take, for example, this recent blog post from Women's Day:

Swimming Solutions for Contact Lens Wearers

The following statement appears prominently in the post:

"Always remove contacts before swimming. The chlorine in the pool is alkaline, which can strip away moisture from contact lenses and irritate your eyes"

Really? "ALWAYS" remove your contacts before swimming? I disagree with this. It's a calculated risk. "The chlorine could irritate your eyes", the author states. Yeah? So what? Newsflash: chlorine irritates everyone's eyes, even non-contact lens wearers. Sometimes you have to weigh the risk vs the reward. Would you rather SEE while you swim (and risk IRRITATION!!??) ...or wear your glasses? Because glasses in the pool are oh-so-awesome, right? OH NO YOU COULD POSSIBLY LOSE OR SCRATCH YOUR GLASSES! WHAT THEN!!?? Ok so instead just don't wear any vision correction at all while you swim. How about that? You don't really need to see if your child is drowning or not, right?

I mean I'm obviously being facetious here. Use your best judgement is all I'm saying. YOU have to weigh your potential risk with your potential reward. It's up to you if you want to "risk" possibly having irritated eyes vs seeing what you need to see in the pool with your contacts on. Let's be clear: I am not advocating that everyone "always" wear their contacts while they swim. I'm just saying that IMO...making a blanket statement like everyone should "ALWAYS" remove their contacts before they swim is a little overboard. Use some common sense, is all.

How about "NEVER consume alcohol, it's bad for you". Uh, ok. I'll consider that one tonight over a glass of scotch.

My wife & my son both wear their contacts lenses while they swim...with my blessing.


  1. Hope you might find some time to clear my little doubt. is it the "eye irritation" thing that prevents/doesn't allow a CL wearer from swimming with lens on?...or the possible eye infection risks due to contaminated water? ( though chlorine is a perfect germicide.) Daily disposables might be the perfect option for the guyz who wanna swim with their lenses that they can just dispose them once they finish with the pool.
    PLz reply doc..I'm really interested to here from you.

  2. "is it the "eye irritation" thing that prevents/doesn't allow a CL wearer from swimming with lens on?...or the possible eye infection risks due to contaminated water?"

    you mean you're asking me what the author's motives are for discouraging CL wear in the pool? who knows? probably both of those.

    and dailies would be great. 'course I already believe that dailies are the safest & most comfortable modality.

    as an aside, I looked up one time the stats on eye infections from wearing contacts while swimming, and I'm pretty sure I read that you're *STILL* more likely to get struck by lightning than you are to get an eye infection from swimming with contacts in.


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