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Swimming and Contact Lenses?
CREATED: 12/09/13 by DanielJRiegel REPLIES: 11
DanielJRiegel's ravatar DanielJRiegel    JOINED: 1/24/13    POSTS: 29
Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/09/13 8:50 AM

Hi everyone,

I went to an eye doctor this weekend who recommended that I switch to one-a-day contact lenses because of swimming (I currently wear 2-week lenses). She said wearing contacts for days after swimming in them could result in an infection with nasty consequences (even if you always wear goggles).

Has anyone else heard this?

- Daniel

kev7's ravatar kev7    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 457
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/09/13 8:56 AM

Been swimming in my contact lenses for years without any problem. I wear my disposal contact lenses for a month before replacing them. However, my eye doctor did mention the potential of a problem while swimming. He recommended replacing the contact lenses if water leaks into my goggles.

rojojade's ravatar rojojade    JOINED: 1/19/11    POSTS: 363
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/09/13 9:04 AM

Make sure you change the solution in the case and wash out the case daily, and I think you will be fine.

I know my optometrist was amazed that my eyes were perfectly fine. I swim and race in contacts ... when I remember to put them on in the morning.

jxjia's ravatar jxjia    JOINED: 8/13/12    POSTS: 110
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/09/13 10:03 AM

I've heard of it but I have not had a problem. As long as you clean your lenses, I think it should not be an issue.

With that said, the swimming pool as you may well be aware is quite gross. You want to look into prescription swim goggles. They should address your concerns.

vkanders    JOINED: 7/4/11    POSTS: 44
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/09/13 10:04 AM

I've been swimming for 20+ year and wearing contacts for almost as long, and have NEVER heard that, even though every ophthalmologist I've been to knows that I swim with them in. Never had an issue with infection, either.

If you don't want to wear the contacts while swimming, you can get prescription goggles for about $20/pair and use those to train. Then for races, you could wear your contacts and just change them out the next day.

Nate's ravatar Nate    JOINED: 2/23/10    POSTS: 68
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/09/13 10:28 AM

I've been swimming with contact lenses for years, never had a problem.

laineym3's ravatar laineym3    JOINED: 7/2/10    POSTS: 122
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/09/13 11:25 AM

Contact wearer and never had that issue. Is she thinking you're swimming without goggles??

DanielJRiegel's ravatar DanielJRiegel    JOINED: 1/24/13    POSTS: 29
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/09/13 12:10 PM

Yeah, I made clear that I swim with goggles.

She mentioned this blindness-causing bacteria in pool and open water that can infect your eyes if you leave in your contacts after swimming with them.

I do a good job of cleaning out of my contacts every day, and I'm not really the worrisome type. But, I may invest in a pair of prescription goggles like several posters recommended.

smaguire2    JOINED: 5/18/11    POSTS: 29
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/09/13 4:59 PM

I bought these because I hate swimming in my contacts: http://www.aquagoggles.com/ I also hate swimming.

They're not life-changing, but they're serviceable and cheap.

fets's ravatar fets    JOINED: 8/15/13    POSTS: 31
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/10/13 4:17 PM

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the bacteria your eye doctor is talking about. Thanks to that bug, it is also why after surgery and many medical procedures you'll be instructed not to get in a swimming pool (or hot tub, w/e) until your wounds have healed. It also the culprit responsible for swimmer's ear, and some other non-tri-related conditions.

Cleaning your contacts AND NOT SLEEPING IN THEM is the best thing you can do, regardless if you swim or not. Misuse of extended wear soft contact lens, including overnight lenses, promotes infections (pseudomonas being the most common pathogen). For more reading w/o pubmed access... http://webeye.ophth.uiowa.edu/eyeforum/cases/171-pseudomonas-keratitis.htm/

That being said, on race days I wear 1-day lenses and keep an extra set at transition. I've never had an issue where I lose a lens, but I never want to. In general, I am more worried about water getting into my goggles and shifting my lenses so that I cannot see (I am THAT person who wears sunglasses in the rain for the same reason). Honestly, if you're wearing good goggles, you have a solid protective barrier. I also put my goggles on before I get in the water to avoid droplets inside. Just don't open your eyes underwater without goggles like more casual/play swimmers do.

morunner66's ravatar morunner66    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 702
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/11/13 3:46 PM

I've been swimming in my disposable contacts for years. I have the 2 week soft lenses. I NEVER sleep in them, but wear them everyday. And I always wear them swimming. I usually wear them longer than 2 weeks as well. I soak them at night in multi-purpose solution. I have never had an issue.

Thanks for the insight though. I do still plan on swimming with my lenses.

DanielJRiegel's ravatar DanielJRiegel    JOINED: 1/24/13    POSTS: 29
RE: Swimming and Contact Lenses?
POSTED: 12/30/13 6:41 AM

Forgot to thank everyone for your feedback! I ended up buying a pair of prescription goggles from aquagoggles.com. Thank you!

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