The Pools and Children's Eyes
Does Chlorine From Pools Affect Your Vision?
You've spent the summer swimming and diving in the pool, but did all that splashing around in chemically treated water harm your eyes?.
Long-Term Exposure: People have been in contact with chlorinated water for generations in fact, the water flowing from the taps in many communities is chlorinated.
In the Short Term: Exposure to chemically treated water of any kind can temporarily affect the eyes, because when the cornea is submerged in water, its protective tear film is washed away. That leaves eyes vulnerable to bacteria lingering in chlorine-treated water, since some contaminants aren't killed by the trace levels of chlorine often used in pools.
Focus on Lenses: Contact-lens wearers face other issues, the least of which is losing a lens. A serious eye infection called acanthamoebic keratitis, caused by a certain genus of amoeba, has been reported with people who swim with contact lenses, which may absorb water or trap it beneath the lens. Acanthamoebic keratitis can lead to ulcers on the cornea or even blindness.
Goggle It: A pool's chlorine level dissipates over time day 1 is stronger than day 7 but there is no way to know how strong the chemicals are, shy of carrying a personal test kit. A tried-and-true preventative measure is to wear well-fitting goggles.
Corrections & Amplifications: Chlorinated water typically causes swelling in the eye's cornea. How quickly the effects of chlorinated water on the eye disappear depends on the amount of exposure. An earlier version said chlorinated water causes dehydration of the cornea and that the effects can go away in a few minutes.
Pediatric Eye Clinic's goal is to provide our patients with personalized eye health care and education. Our office is equipped with advanced technology allowing us to give you a better understanding and diagnosis of ocular findings. Dr. Gomez is a pediatric optometrist specialized in Wave Design Contact Lenses and Orthokeratology. Orthokeratology or Ortho-k is a non-surgical refractive therapy that helps slow down myopia progression allowing patients to live a life free of glasses or contacts.
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