Why You Should Always Wear Goggles While Swimming

woman rubbing her eyes at the beach

Whether you are a beginning or aspiring swimmer, or are just considering going out to swim in a pool for fun this Summer, it is important that you always wear goggles for eye protection while in the pool.  If you are an experienced swimmer, you are already well aware of this.  Goggles are a must-have when it comes to being in the pool.

First, it is important to understand the way our bodies are designed.  Humans were not intended to live and function under water the way many other marine mammals are.  Thus, the human eye is not designed to work properly in water.  Have you ever tried opening your eyes underwater?  What happens?  It’s blurry and difficult to see.  We simply cannot see properly while underwater without some type of protection.  This is where goggles come in to help protect our eyes from being in contact with water and allow us to see properly while in the water.  Combine that with the fact that many people need corrective lenses or contacts in order to see clearly, you simply cannot properly swim and move around in the water without goggles.

So, you might be thinking: “It’s not that big of a deal.  I can’t see perfectly, but I can see well enough to get around.  Why do I need to wear goggles?”

Here, it is important to remind you that any body of water you may swim in—particularly a swimming pool—is not clean and free from potentially damaging your eyes. Outside of people, think about all of the things that go into a swimming pool: leaves, bugs, dust, debris, sweat, sunblock and suntan lotion, perfume, hair, and even urine and fecal matter.  In order to keep pools clean and safe to use, chemicals (mainly chlorine) are used to keep the pH levels at a safe level for swimming.  The pH levels of pool water can be difficult to stabilize in the ideal range, which means one of two things.  Either you have an excess of chlorine and other chemicals in contact with your eyes or, if the pool is not clean and the pH levels are too high, the water is not being properly disinfected and all of those things floating in the water can come into contact with your eyes.

Finding the Right Pair of Goggles

There are different kinds of goggles and you may want to have different pairs for different functions of eye protection. If you plan on doing much of your swimming outdoors and in the sun, you may wish to consider getting tinted goggles with UV protection to protect your eyes from damage from the sun.  There are also goggles with different features, such as anti-glare and anti-fog features.

The important thing is to find goggles that fit and are adjustable to fit to your head and face properly.  The goggles you choose should be able to comfortably fit around your head, but should be tight enough to stay on while swimming.  If the goggles create deep rings around your eyes or give you a headache, then they are too small or are fitted too tight.

If you wear corrective lenses, you can also get prescription and properly fitted goggles from your optician.  Goggles can also be worn with contact lenses and will help protect your eyes and contact lenses from the pool water.

At the end of the day, the pool is intended to be a place of fun and leisure.  However, it’s always important that you are safe and protecting your body, especially your eyes.  Goggles are just one way to do just that!

For help or questions regarding Summer eye protection please do not hesitate to contact Advanced Eye Medical today to help you clear up your concerns and your vision.