Swimming with Contact Lenses

Optic Topic by Steven A. Queenan at Regional Eye Optical - Week of December 10, 2017

Contact lens wearers are regularly warned not to wash their lenses in tap water or to go swimming with their lenses, and there is good reason for both recommendations.

“Acanthamoeba” is a microscopic organism found in soil; dust; and fresh water (including lakes, rivers, pools, hot tubs, tap water, etc.) that rarely causes infections.

However, it poses the risk of serious infection when the parasite gets trapped between a contact lens and the surface of the eye. The infection knows as “acanthamoeba keratitis” involves the parasite actually penetrating the cornea, which can lead to permanent visual impairments and blindness. With this in mind, contact lenses wearers will want to use only sterile products to clean and disinfect their lenses.

To avoid acanthamoeba keratitis, be sure to carefully follow the lens care, handling and wearing instructions you received from your eye doctor. Prevention is always the best approach, because acanthamoeba keratitis can be difficult to treat. Symptoms of the infection include a red, painful eye infection; foreign body sensation; tearing; light sensitivity; and blurred vision.

To learn more or to schedule and eye appointment, please call REGIONAL EYE OPTICAL at 320-587-6309. We are located just inside Regional Eye Center at 1455 Montreal Street, SE in Hutchinson, MN. Our business hours are:

Mon. & Thurs. 8:00am – 7:30pm
Tues. & Wed. 8:00am – 5:30pm
Fri. 8:00am – 4:00pm
Sat. 8:30am to Noon (Sep-May)

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