Have you ever taken a giant leap in a pool and accidentally opened your eyes while under water? If so, you will likely never forget the stinging sensation that hit your eyes the moment they touched the chlorinated water. However, did you know that chlorine could actually damage your eyes – sometimes even permanently?
According to The Eye Doctors website, “chlorine strips away the tear film that protects your cornea, making your eyes vulnerable to the dirt and bacteria floating around that wasn’t eliminated by the chlorinated water.” This could possibly cause three different eye conditions:
- Red, irritated eyes. While red, irritated eyes are definitely the least serious of all chlorine-induced eye conditions, they are a result of your eyes becoming dehydrated due to chlorine in the water, as well as the removal of your eye’s tear film. Sometimes, this irritation can lead to blurry or distorted vision (although these symptoms are generally only temporary).
- Pink eye. Pink eye (also known as conjunctivitis) is one of the most common eye infections for swimmers. Pink eye can be either viral or bacterial, and it spreads quickly and easily through the water. In general, pink eye is also known to be highly contagious.
- Acanthamoebic keratitis. Acanthamoebic keratitis is a severe eye infection that is caused by amoeba becoming trapped between the cornea of the eye and a contact lens. Once the amoeba begins to live there, ulcers can form on your cornea, causing permanent damage to your vision.
Don’t stop reading yet! While all of these can sound pretty scary and may have you considering staying out of the pool for life, there are things you can do to protect your eyes:
- Use lubricating eye drops if you find your eyes are red and irritated after a swim in the pool; this will help restore your cornea’s protective tear film, as well as rehydrate your eyes.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses in the pool. If you do wear them in the pool, immediately sanitize them with contact solution after getting out of the pool. Even better, throw that pair of contact lenses away and replace them with a fresh new pair.
- ALWAYS wear watertight goggles when swimming.
Finding the right pair of goggles can be hard. Everyone has a different opinion of what qualities the “perfect” pair of goggles possesses. Also, since everyone has a different physical makeup (i.e. your eye position, width of the bridge of your nose, shape, and size of your head, etc.), goggles that fit and perform well on one person simply won’t work for another.
In order for you to find the perfect set of goggles for you, there are some factors you should consider.
Goggles come in different tints for more reason than simply wanting to see the world through rose-colored (or other colored!) glasses. The tint of lenses actually allows swimmers increased visibility in different swimming conditions. For example, clear lenses are best for swimming in low-level lighting or night swimming. (Many swimmers recommend clear lenses for winter swimming.) Amber, yellow, and blue lenses are typically preferred for swimming in pools. Mirrored or dark lenses reduce the glare of water, as well as give the wearer a perceived psychological advantage. (If you like looking tough, these are the ones for you!)
The types of straps on goggles also differ. Many brands of goggles have some kind of buckle that can be used to adjust the strap to different head sizes. Other goggles (specially Swedish-type goggles) use a strip of elastic that can be tied at the right length. Some straps are split at the portion worn on the back of the head, which many feel helps the goggles stay in place more effectively.
Most goggles on the market these days come with anti-fog lenses; however, you should always check that the goggles you are purchasing are, indeed, anti-fog. (Keep in mind, though, that the effectiveness of this feature is likely to fade the more the goggles are used.)
There are also different styles of goggles. Frame goggles, also known as leisure swimming or open water goggles, training or competition goggles, Swedish-type goggles, and mask goggles.
The last thing to consider when it comes to purchasing goggles is the price. While it may seem like the “best goggles” must be the most expensive, that is not always the case. Finding the right goggles for your swimming conditions and that fit your face is more important than the price tag.
In order to properly care for your goggles and extend their life, they should be rinsed regularly in clear water (i.e. rinsed in a sink, not in the pool). Also, never touch the inside of goggle lenses, as that will cause the anti-fog feature to deteriorate more quickly. Once the anti-fog feature fades, you can lick or spit into the lenses to reduce fog.
Just like when shopping for new shoes or a new pair of jeans, the best way to find out what goggles are best for you is to try them on. Once you see how different makes and models feel on your face, you will get an idea of the type of goggles that may work for you.
Luckily for you, at Parrot Sports Gear, we are fully equipped to help with all of your swim goggle needs. Whether you are a newbie to swimming and aren’t sure where to start, or a pro who knows exactly what you need, come in to browse our extensive stock. We are here to answer all your questions and find the perfect pair of goggles for your swimming needs. Or, if you prefer to shop online, visit the goggle section on our online store: https://www.parrotsportsgear.com/product-category/goggles/.
No matter what type of goggles you choose, just be sure that you wear them. Your eyes will definitely thank you!
Parrot Sports Gear is a leader in swim supplies with a unique line of activewear by TYR Swimwear. Visit our online store today!