Welcome to Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates

It’s Summer: Can I Wear My Contact Lenses Swimming?

As a contact lens wearer, you probably choose them over your glasses for sharper vision – especially if you have an active lifestyle. You may even dread the thought of having to leave your contacts at home when you visit the pool or your friend’s hot tub oasis – having to remember your glasses when leaving the house, not seeing clearly when you take them off, the constant need to wipe your lenses due to pesky chlorine spots. But we are here to tell you that these are all minor inconveniences when compared to the alternative – a Corneal Ulcer that may develop from wearing your contact lenses swimming.

Topcon’s (r) specialized slit lamp camera allows our doctors to photograph and monitor corneal ulcers

This cautionary tale in meant to save you many trips to the eye doctor and, worst case scenario, permanent vision loss. Hot tubs and pools are breeding grounds for acanthamoeba – and they do not mix well with contacts. If present in the water, the bacteria can increase the risk of you contracting a serious condition known as acanthamoeba keratitis. Non-contact lens wearers can develop this condition, but it is more prevalent in those who wear contacts.

The symptoms associated with this condition include: redness in the affected eye, blurred vision, feeling of a foreign body in the eye, and light sensitivity. If you experience any of these symptoms after exposure to the pool and/or hot tub water (especially if you are a contact lens wearer) you should contact our office at 732-774-5566. Schedule an appointment to meet with one of our eye doctors and get appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

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