How to prevent and treat eye infections in swimming pools and on beaches?

Diving into a refreshing swimming pool or enjoying a day at the beach are activities that bring us joy and fun during the summer. However, it is essential to be aware that these aquatic environments can also pose risks to our eye health. Water-related eye infections are a common concern, but with a few precautions and protective measures, we can significantly reduce the dangers and enjoy our time in the water with peace of mind.

Risks of eye infections at pools and beaches

Both swimming pools and beaches are ideal environments for the proliferation of bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms that can cause eye infections. These are some of the main conditions to which we are exposed:

  1. Bacterial conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis is a common infection that causes redness, itching, discharge and a burning sensation in the eyes. Pathogens can spread easily in water, especially in poorly maintained pools or pools with inadequate chlorine levels.

  1. Viral conjunctivitis

This infection, also known as seasonal viral conjunctivitis, is highly contagious and is transmitted by contact with contaminated eye surfaces. Swimming pools and beaches are places where transmission can easily occur due to close contact with other people.

  1. Acanthamoeba keratitis

Although less common, Acanthamoeba keratitis is a potentially serious eye infection that can develop at swimming pools and beaches. This microorganism, which lives in both fresh and salt water, can enter the eye through contact with contaminated water and cause damage to the cornea.

This condition is most common in swimmers and surfers. It occurs when a microscopic parasite (Thelazia) enters the eye and causes inflammation and discomfort. The presence of contaminated water can increase the risk of acquiring this type of infection.

Measures to prevent eye infections at swimming pools and beaches

The good news is that we can reduce the risks of eye infections by taking appropriate preventive measures. Here are some essential recommendations:

  1. Avoid direct contact with water

Try to avoid getting water directly in your eyes while swimming or playing in the pool or sea. Wear swimming goggles or avoid opening your eyes under water as this will reduce the risk of possible infection.

  1. Don’t rub your eyes

If your eyes feel uncomfortable or itchy while at the pool or beach, avoid rubbing them with your hands. Instead, wash your hands and rinse your eyes with clean water to remove any irritants.

  1. Don’t share personal items

Avoid sharing towels, swimming goggles, sunglasses or other personal items that come into close contact with your eyes. This will reduce the risk of spreading micro-organisms.

  1. Wear sunglasses with UV protection

Proper sunglasses with UV protection are essential to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and other irritating particles present on the beach.

  1. Maintain hygiene at the pool

If you visit a swimming pool, make sure the pool is properly maintained and that chlorine and pH levels are controlled to reduce the amount of pathogenic micro-organisms in the water.

  1. Don’t wear contact lenses in the water

Avoid wearing contact lenses while in the pool or sea, as they can act as a sponge for micro-organisms and increase the risk of infection.

7.Rinse your eyes after swimming

After swimming in pools or the sea, rinse your eyes with clean water or saline to remove any irritants or micro-organisms that may have entered your eyes.

  1. Wash your hands frequently

Wash your hands with soap and water regularly, especially before touching your eyes or putting in contact lenses.

What to do in case of an eye infection

Despite taking every precaution, some eye infections may still occur. If you experience symptoms such as redness, itching, burning or discharge from the eye, it is important to follow these recommendations:

  1. Don’t touch your eyes

Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes with dirty hands, as this may worsen the infection.

  1. Consult an ophthalmologist

If symptoms persist or worsen, it is essential that you see an ophthalmologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

  1. Don’t wear contact lenses

If you wear contact lenses and develop symptoms of eye infection, stop wearing them immediately and consult an eye care professional.

  1. Follow your doctor’s instructions

If you are prescribed any treatment, be sure to follow your ophthalmologist’s instructions to the letter for a speedy recovery.

Conclusion

Enjoying the pool and the beach is a delight during the summer, but it is also important to take precautions to protect our eye health. With preventive measures and quick action in case of infection, we can enjoy our time in the water without worry.

Remember that prevention is the key to enjoying your fun times at the pool and beach without worries. Implement the protective measures we have shared with you, and don’t forget to have regular ophthalmological examinations to keep your eyes in optimal condition.

At Clinica Castanera we are committed to providing high quality, personalised care, and we are available to answer all your questions and concerns related to the health of your eyes.

Remember that your eyes are a priceless treasure, and taking care of them is essential to enjoy a full life without visual limitations. We wish you a summer full of fun and eye wellness!

If you need more information or would like to make an appointment with our ophthalmology specialists, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to assist you and provide you with the care you deserve.

Have a safe summer full of spectacular views!