Should I wear swim goggles to protect my eyes when swimming this summer? By Kristina Oneill on July 25, 2013


Here’s the deal friends, swim goggles protect the eyes and allow you to keep your eyes open during your entire swim without having problems.  What sort of problems you ask? Bacteria.  Bacteria is hidden beneath the surface. Sweat, urine, saliva, mucus, hair, dead skin and fecal matter as well as sun cream, perfume and cosmetics are among the pollutants introduced by swimmers into pools.  I know this does not paint a pretty picture of summer at the pool but I would say based on the list above it would be advisable to wear goggles to swim in order to prevent eye infection and irritation of the eye and to have better vision while swimming.

Swimming without protecting your eyes from the water can result in redness and irritation. The reason redness and irritation occurs is due to the pH levels in the pool. If the pH is too high, the chlorine in the water won’t be able to disinfect properly and keep both the pool and the water clean.  If pH is too low the pipes in and around the pool will corrode. When the pH level is perfect it will help prevent eye discomfort and help with pool disinfection.  So, swim goggles are completely optional...but probably a good idea!  Keep in mind when you plan to have laser vision correction you will not be allowed to swim for two weeks in order to reduce any risk of infection.  

Dr. Andrew Holzman

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS, is one of the most well-respected ophthalmologists in the greater Washington, DC, area. He is regularly sought out by professional athletes, media personalities, and other doctors for laser eye surgery. Dr. Holzman is a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

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  • The International Society of Refractive Surgery

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