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Can You Wear Contacts While Swimming? A Complete Guide

“Can I Wear Contacts While Swimming?” Unfortunately, No…


If you’re an avid swimmer, you’ve probably asked yourself – “Can I wear contacts while swimming?” Whether we’re talking about a long soak in a chlorinated pool or a short shower, it’s never safe to get any contact lenses wet in a solution that is not meant specifically for contacts. The risks simply outweigh the potential benefits. We understand that it can be frustrating to go without your vision, but to help ensure you understand why this activity can be exceedingly dangerous we have collected a number of points for your consideration. Read on for explanations about why it’s best to avoid wearing contacts while swimming.


Contacts And Water Do Not Mix


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While some people might swear by wearing their contacts in the water, most physicians will warn you against it. Contacts and water simply do not mix for a few reasons.

First and foremost, soft contact lenses are made primarily from either hydrogel or silicone hydrogel. Both materials absorb water, which is more likely to trap bacteria and other unwanted particles. This makes them incredibly difficult to clean because chlorine or bacteria can get stuck in the tiny crevices of the contacts. This can potentially lead to infection, which can have both short and long term consequences on your eyesight. 

Another issue is that wearing contacts while swimming can reduce the oxygen supply to your eyes. Without sufficient oxygen, your eyes can’t fight off bacteria or other foreign particles. This can be incredibly uncomfortable and, in some cases, can even cause damage to your vision. Swimming pools, lakes, oceans, and even your home’s water main all house various bacteria and other microorganisms that can easily stick to your contacts and cause eye infections. The immune system of the eye is complex, and any inflammation that results from a bacterial infection can damage your vision. Thankfully, there are alternatives that both grant you vision and protect your eyes while underwater, like prescription swim goggles. Consider investing in a pair if you find yourself going in the water often.


Risks Of Wearing Contacts In The Water


Swimming can be a refreshing way to beat the heat, but it’s essential to know the risks involved if you wear contact lenses. Although wearing contacts in the water might seem like a good idea, there are several dangers to consider. For one, chemicals in pools and hot tubs can irritate your eyes and cause discomfort. Furthermore, water carries bacteria that may cause serious eye infections, and wearing contact lenses increases your risk of developing an infection. In some severe cases, eye infections from wearing contacts while swimming can even lead to vision loss. You should visit an eye doctor if you notice blurry or double vision, swelling and irritation around the eye, or have persistent headaches.  To protect your eyes, it’s best to remove your contact lenses before entering the water.


Proper Contact Care Before and After the Pool 


Swimming can be tricky for contact lens wearers, but with proper care and precautions, enjoying the water without any issues is possible. Before taking a dip, removing your contacts and switching to prescription goggles or a snorkel mask is essential. Wear tight-fitting swim goggles to keep water out of your eyes if that’s not an option. Afterward, thoroughly clean and disinfect your contacts using a solution recommended by your eye doctor. It’s also wise to give your eyes a break by not wearing contacts for a few hours after swimming. With extra effort and care, you can safely enjoy your time in the water with clarity and comfort.


Importance Of Following Contact Lens Safety Guidelines


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While contact lenses can drastically improve one’s vision during daily activities, wearing them while swimming is not recommended. Water can seep into the lenses and create a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to a potentially severe eye infection. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises against wearing contact lenses while swimming in water, including pools, lakes, and oceans. In addition, it is important to follow contact lens safety guidelines, such as properly cleaning and disinfecting them, to minimize eye irritation or infection risk. While it may be tempting to wear contact lenses while swimming, the potential consequences make it crucial to prioritize safety.




Wearing contacts while swimming can lead to various risks, such as infection, irritation, or vision loss. Thankfully, there are a few ideas for contact lens wearers who do not wish to swim with their contacts. Specifically, goggles, prescription swim masks, and daily disposable lenses are great alternatives for contact wearers who cannot or should not swim with their contacts in. Additionally, clean your contacts properly before and after swimming activities for added protection. Ultimately, following contact lens safety guidelines is vital when participating in water-related activities. In conclusion, finding an alternative to swimming with your contacts should be taken seriously as this decision could choose between healthy eyesight and reduced vision over time. Clearly Eye Care can help you find your prescription fast so you can go right back to taking the plunge-just without the contacts!

Call us today at 512-243-7519, and treat yourself with reliable eye health services from Clearly Eyecare, LLC. You deserve a clear and comfortable sight without having to worry about any potential complications in the long run!

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