All eyes on swimmer Michael Phelps at London Olympics, can you see the finish line?
Dr. Zuraida Zainalabidin
So it's summer time, time to go swimming! With the London 2012 Summer Olympics upon us, one of the main USA athletes that comes to mind is Michael Phelps. Will he reach the unprecedented X number of medals? How many gold medals this year? As he eyes multiple gold medals in London, maybe it gives us the feeling that, dare I say, "Wanna be like Mike" (Sorry, MJ, but Michael Phelps is the Mike we're referencing for the 2012 Olympics.
For those of us blind as a bat, our first question before diving into the pool may be, can we swim in our contacts? This is a time when asking if you can wear contact lenses isn't a vanity issue. Glasses just won't work for the fly, and probably not so hot for backstroke or breast stroke either.
Swimming with contact lenses should be avoided when possible, as contacts can result in eye infections, irritation and possibly sight threatening conditions such as a corneal ulcer. Tucson Optometrist Dr. Zie does not advise exposing contact lenses to any kind of water; including showers, hot tubs, swimming pools, ocean, and lakes. Water can contain numerous viruses and microbes that can be harmful to your vision.
However, Dr. Zie advises daily disposable lenses and wearing swim goggles. Goggles reduce the likelihood of contaminants and also reduce the risk of your contacts dislodging. Furthermore, discard the lenses immediately after swimming, rinse your eyes with artificial tears, then replace the lenses with a fresh pair of daily disposables.
Another consideration may be to wear prescription swimming goggles, just like many people purchase prescription sun glasses. If you live in the Desert, it's not a bad idea with all of the sun we're exposed to. Just like sunglasses, there are UV-protective goggles to avoid harmful UV rays from the sun.
Always contact your eye doctor immediately if you experience prolonged eye irritation or sensitivity to light after wearing your contact lenses in water. Ok, so you're not the next Michael Phelps. If you're like me, the closest you'll come to simulating his training, is by eating Subway! Regardless, enjoy time in and near the pool.
To lean more about common eye problems, get a copy of our free Got Eyes? book, or schedule an appointment today. If you have dry or irritated eyes, or just need to update your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, contact Dr. Zuraida Zainalabidin at Head to Toe Healthcare, PLC. Dr. Zie will explain your situation to you and get you seeing clearly in no time.
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