Summer is here in full force. If the sweltering heat hasn’t driven you to the pool yet, it’s only a matter of time before a friend or child drags you along. In fact, according to a Red Cross survey, 94% of parents expect their child to engage in some sort of water related activity during the summer season.1
Everyone knows you need to wear sunblock to protect your skin. But, has anyone told you to remove your daytime contact lenses to protect your eyes? Contact lenses are extremely safe, but there can be complications associated with improper use. As harmless as it may seem, swimming with contact lenses may present a significant risk factor for the development of a severe, vision threatening eye infection known as microbial keratitis2.
Risk of Microbial Keratitis Swimming in Contact Lenses
Microbial Keratitis is an infection of the cornea that can occur as a result of bacteria or other micro-organisms infiltrating an open wound and being allowed to spread farther into the eye.2 The eye’s built-in epithelial barrier and immune response combats bacteria every day. The body’s natural tear flow and blink cycle are excellent ways to flush these bacteria out of the eye before an infection can occur.3
When any contact lens wearer exposes his or her eye to any non-sterile liquid there is always a chance that the liquid will trap a small number of bacteria underneath the lens preventing the tear flow and blink cycle from flushing out the foreign body. If the individual has even a microscopic abrasion on the eye, the bacteria can infiltrate the open wound and begin to spread.3 This is precisely why swimming in contact lenses may expose individuals to higher risk of these infections.4
Benefit of Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses
There are plenty of swimmers that need glasses or contacts to see clearly. For many, this necessity presents a barrier to enjoying their favorite water sports. That’s one reason why more-and-more swimmers are trying Paragon CRT® overnight vision correction lenses. With these specialty lenses a patient can wear the contacts overnight while they sleep, and remove them during the day for clear unencumbered vision correction.
If you or your child are looking for a vision treatment option that offers freedom from the use of daytime wear contact lenses and glasses, Paragon CRT® may be the right option for you. Don’t let your vision hold you back from doing what you love. Find a certified eye care professional near you and call today. Many eye care professionals offer free screenings for Paragon CRT® patients.
Special Reminder to Keep Your Lenses Clean and Don’t Rinse in TAP Water
Remember how your eye care professional told you over-and-over to never wash your contact lenses in sink or tap water? The sterile cleaning solution is there for a reason. When an individual dives into a pool of water without removing their contact lenses first, they are exposing themselves to the same risks as those that clean their contacts with non-sterilized water.3
1: Red Cross Survey (2015) Youth who lack basic ICT skills. RedCross.org http://www.redcross.org/news/press-release/Survey-Finds-Children-Teens-Lack-Basic-Swim-Safety-Skills
2: Por YM, Mehta JS, Chua JL. Acanthamoeba keratitis associated with contact lens wear in Singapore. Am J Ophthalmol. 2009;148:7-12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19403109
3. Pelletier, J. and Capriotti, J. (2010). Ophthalmology Management - Contact Lenses & Keratitis: What’s the Connection?. Ophthalmology Management. https://www.ophthalmologymanagement.com/issues/2010/june-2010/contact-lenses-keratitis-whats-the-connection
4. Lam JS, Tan G, Tan DT, Mehta JS. (2013) Demographics and behavior of patients with contact lens-related infectious keratitis in singapore. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24254236