Even though swimming at the pool is a fun way to cool off and exercise during the summer, it can pose a danger to your children’s eye safety. Although chlorine and saline do a great job at keeping the water clean, when levels are too high, these chemicals can lead to swimmer’s eye.
What is Swimmer’s Eye?
Also known as chemical conjunctivitis, swimmer’s eye occurs when the chemicals in pool water wash away tear film and water content in the eyes, explains Moms Against Cooties. The condition can occur in one or both eyes, leading to symptoms such as irritation, redness, blurred vision, itchiness, burning, excessive eye watering, swollen eyelids, light sensitivity and discharge, says Livestrong.
How to Avoid Swimmer’s Eye
- The best way to keep children free from swimmer’s eye is to ensure they use goggles whenever they’re in the water, advises All About Dry Eye. Goggles also provide a safe way for kids to see clearly underwater. If your child normally wears glasses, look into purchasing a pair of UV-protective goggles in their prescription.
- If you have your own pool, keep the pH of the water balanced. Tears produced by the eye have a pH level of 7.0, so pool water at anything lower will cause stinging in the eyes. The optimal level for your pool is 7.3 to 7.8.
- Wear sunglasses whenever you’re around a pool to protect your eyes from overexposure to UV rays and discomfort from intense light.
- Stay hydrated to keep eye film healthy by drinking at least 10 glasses of water on days you go swimming.
How to Treat the Condition
If your children develop swimmer’s eye despite your attempts to keep it at bay, there are a few ways you can treat the condition:
- Flush eyes with a cool eye rinse or use saline eye drops, recommends VSP.
- For children suffering from irritation or inflammation, use a cold compress. Over-the-counter lubricating eyedrops, on the other hand, are ideal for relieving itching and burning.
Make sure to browse through Real Kids’ collection of sunglasses to start protecting your children’s eyes this summer.