The warmer temperatures may be the perfect time for playing around in the water, but it doesn't mean that you can forget to take care of your eyes. Regardless of where you enjoy swimming or what type of water activities you will be enjoying – be it swimming in the local community pool or the lake, surfing in the ocean, river rafting, partaking in deep sea diving or something else entirely, you are probably going to spend some time under water. When you do, it is important that you keep the health and safety of your eyes in mind by remembering these two tips:

1. Always Wear Goggles.

While pool water has chlorine in it to help keep it at a certain pH level so that bacteria is killed off, it doesn't mean that the water is completely eradicated of things that can harm your eyes. When you swim under water with your eyes open, chlorine can make your eyes sting, in addition to the reaction that chlorine has when it reacts to dirt, oils, fats, and urine (yes, yuck!). While the stinging is usually temporary, it is always better to keep your eyes safe from that eye irritation and the possible risk of injury by wearing a pair of goggles.

2. Don't Wear Your Contacts.

As mentioned, it is impossible for chlorine to kill off all bacteria in the water. This means that there are some microorganisms living in the water. As long as you don't wear contact lenses, this isn't too big of a deal for you. However, if you go swimming with your contacts in, then you have a big problem. First off, there are certain lenses (soft ones) that should never step foot in the water because they can shrink and tighten around your eyes, which can lead to very uncomfortable irritation.

Secondly, your contacts will essentially trap those previously-mentioned microorganisms against your eye in a warm environment that is perfect for habitation. Depending on the type of microorganism, it could lead to your blindness. Therefore, it is best to remove your contacts before you go swimming. If you must wear them while swimming in the pool, make sure to also put on a pair of goggles.

If you believe that you have suffered eye irritation or an eye injury after swimming in a pool, ocean, etc., contact an ophthalmology office immediately for a comprehensive eye evaluation. The sooner you are able to get checked out, the sooner you can get a diagnosis and the necessary treatment, if necessary.