The eye irritation due to swimming is a common issue among those who swim in chlorinated pools. Spending time in a swimming pool can help the body cool off and a fun approach to stay fit. Even though a refreshing dip in a pool can provide a refreshed and invigorated feeling, it can result to scratchy itchy eyes.
The irritation caused by air pollution, chlorine or chemical exposure can cause inflammation of the conjunctiva which is a thin layer of transparent tissue that covers the white part of the eye.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Individuals who experience eye irritation or chemical conjunctivitis after swimming can trigger symptoms in one or both eyes. It is important to note that the symptoms include burning, itchiness, grittiness and excessive eye watering.
The discharge from one or both eyes is a common symptom such as eye redness, swollen eyelids, blurred vision and light sensitivity.
Home remedies for eye irritation
You can flush out the eyes thoroughly using warm water or saline solution to help eliminate any irritants from the eye surface. The application of a cold compress can fight off the irritation and inflammation as well as over-the-counter lubricating eye drops that ease the itchiness and burning. Individuals who use contact lens must stop using them until the eye irritation has passed.
When to seek treatment
The eye irritation that persist for more than a few hours after a swim or does not respond to self-care treatment options must be assessed by a doctor. The doctor will check if there is thick, pus-like drainage.
Irritation from chlorine can result to momentary clouding of vision but a doctor should be consulted if the vision changes persist for more than an hour or two since this can indicate a serious complication.
Eye irritation after swimming can be prevented by testing the pH level of the water on a regular basis and adjusting the pool chemicals accordingly. A pH level between 7.2-7.8 is suitable for eye comfort and disinfection.
Remember that proper maintenance of the ideal pH level in a swimming pool can be difficult and the level in a public pool is beyond control. Using swimming goggles is a suitable alternative that protects against eye irritation by providing a tight barrier between the pool water and sensitive eye tissues.