There are many benefits to pool-time. For one, swimming is loads of fun. It is also safe to swim during COVID-19
, as long as you socially distance from other swimmers. Not only that, it’s a healthy way to exercise without putting too much wear and tear on your joints. Of course, there can also be downsides. Besides the obvious drowning danger, there are other ways for swimming to harm you. For instance, pool water can contain harmful bacteria, and water with too much chlorine can irritate your eyes.
Obviously eye pain is less serious than drowning, but it can still be quite unpleasant. Today, we’ll talk about how putting too much chlorine in your pool can hurt your eyes.
Pool Chemicals: Helpful in Moderation
Before we start with the doom and gloom, it’s important to talk about the benefits of chlorine. A truly clean pool or hot tub must have properly balanced pH and alkalinity levels. These help to keep the water clear and prevent the buildup of algae, slime and more.
Most of the time, a swimming pool should have about four ppm of chlorine. This can be measured with pool water test strips. Typically, these strips evaluate chlorine, pH and acidity levels in your water. This helps to keep the water clean and, as a result, keeps you healthy.
Too Much Chlorine Can Irritate Your Eyes
Now that we’ve discussed the value and benefits of chlorine
, let’s talk about the downside. Unfortunately, too much chlorine can irritate your eyes.
Now, since our readers tend to be avid swimmers, we’re surely all familiar with the common burning sensation of a heavily chlorinated pool. Too much chlorine can dry out your eyes, leaving them red and irritated. Our eyes are covered with a thin layer of tears, which helps to moisten and protect these sensitive organs. This layer is called a tear film
. While swimming in heavily chlorinated waters, the chemical can damage and dissolve this protective barrier. As you can guess, after time, this leaves our eyes exposed to the elements, which often results in dry red eyes and blurry vision.
Beware of Infection
Another way that too much chlorine can irritate your eyes is by leaving them open to infection.
We’ve written about water-born infections on this blog before. Once the chlorine wears down the eye’s natural resistance, the eye is more susceptible to infections like conjunctivitis
, or “pink eye.”
Okay, so now that we know the effects of chlorine, what can we do? Well, the best course of action is to properly balance the levels of your pool. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can contact your local pool shop. They’ll be able to provide helpful tips or even have someone come over to do it for you. Let’s look at some other ways to prevent too much chlorine from irritating your eyes.
Don’t Swim for Too Long
When it comes to chlorine, the best advice is to take a break. Just come out of the water and give your eyeballs a chance to regroup. It’ll greatly improve your day!
Beyond stepping out of the pool, try to wear goggles. These protective devices let you see through the water with ease, without risking eye pain.
When you step out, don’t forget to gently rinse your face with cool non-chlorinated water. This practice can wash the chemicals out of your eyes and prevent irritation. Remember to always bathe before you swim
, to keep the water clean for others as well. Then, rinse off after your swim to keep yourself clean!
If you feel dryness or redness in your eyes, try some over-the-counter eye drops. These can often help to moisten and soothe your eyes.