Eye Safety When Swimming in Florida Pools and Lakes

Florida Swimming Safety

Eye Safety When Swimming in Florida Pools and Lakes

The allure of beautiful northwest Hillsborough County invites visitors and residents to enjoy nature’s greenery and bodies of water. A swim in any of the white, sandy-bottom lakes in the area presents a uniquely Floridian experience. The convenience of a home pool offers a cooling dip and whole-body exercise. However, each opportunity to swim brings risks as well. Some safety precautions can help protect the eyes from potential dangers.

Wear Swim Gear

The chlorine and other chemicals in swimming pools cannot make them clean enough for your eyes. Goggles provide protection from contaminants in pool water and reduce the risk of dry eye, pink eye, and swimmer’s eye. However, lakes may increase the likelihood of an eye infection because it does not contain chlorine to control the bacteria.

Even though not visible to the naked eye, microscopic organisms live in lakes and pools. Serious eye infections can occur in eyes that have no protection. While they let you see more when you swim, contacts increase the risk of infection. Porous contact lenses allow the organisms to enter, creating the potential for damaging delicate eye tissue. If you cannot swim without wearing your contact lenses, choose tightly fitting goggles to prevent any contact with the water.

Avoid Wearing Contacts

Contacts create a space for the microbes to dwell safely. The microbes get under the lens and remain. When you blink without contacts, the tear film typically pushes together and medially to drain at the punca. Then, a fresh layer of tears appears. Your eye discards microbes that way. With contacts, the blink goes over the lens and does not clear the microbes under the contact. Thus, they feast on your cornea, an unpleasant experience.

Rely on a Natural Barrier

Your eyelids close tightly to prevent water from having any effect on your eyes. Swimming puts you in an environment different from your natural surroundings, and your body provides the protection that let you enjoy it safely. However, the defense lasts only as long as you keep your eyes closed. In a pool or a lake, you have no good reason to open your eyes underwater. Your body’s reaction to it proves its objections.

Contacts create a space for the microbes to dwell safely. The microbes get under the lens and remain. Typically without contacts when you blink the tear film is pushed together and medially to be drained at the punca and a fresh layer of tears applied. The micros are discarded that way. With contacts, the blink goes over the lens and does not clear the microbes under the contact allowing them to feast on your cornea. Not pleasant.

Blurry Vision

Swimming underwater gives your vision a distorted view of reality. Objects look distorted as the water changes the way light enters your eyes. The chemicals in the water where you swim remove water from your eyes, creating a burning and stinging sensation.


A response to contaminants from suntan lotions, fragrances, or other substances that others bring into a swimming pool can cause redness in your eyes. Chemicals that clean the water can have damaging effects when they contact the surface of your eyes. In addition, freshwater lakes contain millions of microorganisms that may create infection and redness.

Protection with Sunglasses

Blinding glare can damage your eyes when you go for a swim at a lake or pool. The intense light that reflects off the water’s surface can make it difficult to see anything clearly. In addition to making you squint and experience eyestrain, it can create potentially hazardous effects on your vision.

Preventative Wraparounds

Sunglasses that provide lenses around the sides of your eyes follow the shape of your face, preventing glare and UV rays from entering. The extensive selection of sunglasses at Beyond 2020 Vision Specialists lets you choose a pair that complements your face and your identity. A head strap can make sure your glasses stay in place during active watersport activity.

Skin Cancer

Awareness of sun exposure that causes skin cancer may not extend to eyelid skin cancer.  Most cases occur on the lower lid where it receives more sun exposure. The occurrence of eyelid cancer in between 5 and 10 percent of all skin cancers may help emphasize the need to protect the lids with sunglasses.


Aging causes most cataracts as normal eye changes start to happen after age 40. Smoking, heredity, and injury contribute to cataract formation as well. However, the American Academy of Ophthalmology includes sun exposure without proper sunglasses as a significant cause. Essential protection for the eyes, sunglasses help minimize brightness anywhere the sun and its rays impact your eyes. UV rays damage your cornea and lens, creating damage over time that may contribute to cataracts that steal your vision.

Cleaning Up

After a dip in a pool or lake, you need to shower off and make sure no residue remains on your skin. In addition, it gives you a good chance to notice any dryness or discomfort in your eyes. You may give them some comfort with artificial tears free of preservatives. If anything seems more concerning than a little redness, irritation, or itching, you may need Dr. Christopher Tumolo at Beyond 2020 Vision Specialists to take a look.

If you experience pain, swelling, eye discharge, or any decrease in vision, you need medical attention. An Odessa optometrist can provide professional care that helps prevent permanent vision loss.

Finding a Caring Optometrist Locally

Residents of Odessa, Cheval, and Trinity can find expert care from Dr. Christopher Tumolo at Beyond 2020 Vision Specialists. A location in the Suncoast Crossings shopping center at 16230 State Road 54 next to the Suncoast Parkway offers convenient access. Residents or visitors to the area may schedule an appointment online or by calling 813-926-5993.