Swimming and the use of Contact Lenses

As summer approaches and the temperatures rise, so does the need to reduce the impact of heat that comes with it. We do whatever we can to cool off. We wear light clothing, use fans and air conditioners. Even take part in water sports such as swimming. But often we forget our eyes.

Although most wear eye protection such as sunglasses, not enough measures are taken to prevent eye infections from water. The eye is a vulnerable organ which is easily susceptible to infections and requires protection. Infections spread easily through water and the type of water you are swimming in plays an important factor in deciding whether to swim in contact lenses or not.

Contact lenses are porous and may absorb chemicals, microbes or other impurities from the water. This may harm or irritate your eyes, which can possibly lead to an infection. Additionally, contact lenses can easily fall out of the eye, getting lost if eyes are opened under water. Swimming in contact lenses, without wearing protective goggles, could lead to eye infections. If left untreated, these infections could lead to scarring of the eye, or in rare cases, loss of vision.

Regular Swimmers should seek professional advice from their eye care practitioner. An eye care professional can offer advice on whether daily disposable contact lenses are right for you.

With daily disposables you throw your contact lenses away at the end of the day and insert a fresh, new clean pair every day. By disposing of your contact lenses, you are generally decreasing the amount of time your eye is exposed to any harmful materials or impurities that could be absorbed by your contact lenses. It is also recommended that you wear protective swimming goggles over your contact lenses. Once you have finished swimming, replace the used lenses by inserting a fresh new pair of daily disposable contact lenses. Alternatively you could wear goggles such as Centrostyle Swimmi Sighted Swimming Goggles. These sighted goggles come in a variety of different powers, allowing you to swim without the need for additional lenses.


  • Sighted swimming goggles are readily available in a vast array of powers. If you feel uneasy about swimming in contact lenses opt for these
  • If you experience eye itchiness, irritation, dry and salty eyes, increased sensitivity to light and pain after swimming in your lenses go to your doctor immediately
  • Avoid swimming around slow flowing rivers, lakes, contaminated pools and man made water holes. Organism are borne in water and these may attach to contact lens surface and potentially cause an eye infection
  • Applying lubricating eye drops to prevent your lenses from drying out.
  • Keep your eyes closed when you swim under water
  • Avoid splashing water into the eyes
  • Always take your spectacles with you when you go for a swim, or a replacement set of contact lenses