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Can You Swim Wearing Contacts and Goggles?

By Beth Rifkin

While the ability to see underwater reduces the risk of bumping into walls or other swimmers, wearing contact lenses can increase your risk of eye infection in the water. If you wear contact lenses, the only safe way to open your eyes in the water is by wearing waterproof goggles.

Contact Concern

The FDA advises against wearing contact lenses without the protection of goggles in any type of water, including the shower, ocean, lakes or pools due to the increased risk of sustaining a bacterial infection. Irritation, eye infections and even conditions that may threaten your sight can occur. Remove your contact lenses as soon as possible if water does get in your eyes

Goggles

Waterproof goggles can keep unwanted bacteria and contaminants from reaching your eyes. At the same time, goggles help to keep the contacts in your eyes rather than having them dislodged while underwater. Goggles come in various shapes and designs; make sure the goggles are leakproof and fit properly by sitting on the bone outside the eye rather than resting on the eye socket. Consider using goggles that are fog-proof and those that offer ultraviolet protection against sunlight. Prescription goggles exist, but your choices are very limited. Consult with your eye doctor or eye-care professional when choosing goggles for swimming.

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