Chlorine’s Effects on the Eyes

arztsamui, fdpThe cold, bright blue pool water here in the Triangle feels so refreshing in the summertime heat! Not only is swimming a great way to cool off, but it’s also great exercise. From diving for rings to making a splash with cannonballs, few residents in the Triangle would argue that an afternoon at the pool is anything short of a summer day well-spent. However, it’s important to practice proper eye care in the pool!

What really causes red, irritated eyes after swimming? It’s most often the result of dehydration of the cornea due to chlorine exposure. The irritation can sometimes be accompanied (temporarily) by blurry vision. Although this usually goes away within minutes, the ability to recover quickly reduces as we age. And there really is no quick way to sooth irritated eyes. Doctor approved lubricating eye drops for dryness, and cold compresses can help to reduce inflammation and irritation.

Another risk non-goggle-wearing swimmers face is an eye infection because sweat isn’t the only thing that gets washed away while swimming! If a swimmer’s eyes are open in the pool, the tear film (which protects the cornea) can be affected. When this happens, eyes are more prone to infections like conjunctivitis (pink eye) because the tear film isn’t doing its job protecting the eyes from dirt and bacteria. If eyes have been exposed to chlorine, be sure to flush them thoroughly with warm water or saline solution to get rid of irritants on the eye’s surface.

Contact-wearers, be sure to remove the contact lenses before going for a swim. This will help prevent an uncomfortable infection called Acanthamoebic Keratitis. This condition is caused by a type of amoeba getting stuck between the cornea and contact lens. If left untreated, this can lead to ulcers on the cornea and permanent vision problems. If contacts have been left in while swimming, be sure to remove the lenses, rinse them with lens solution, and avoid sleeping in them after swimming.

When does a patient come in to see Beth R. Friedland M.D. at Park Ophthalmology? If swimmers are experiencing irritation for more than a few hours after getting out of the pool, aren’t responding to home remedies, or experiencing eye discharge, it is time to see the Doctor.

Remember, the best care is preventative care. Wear well-fitting, water-tight goggles to keep eyes healthy this summer.

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Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about eye exams is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

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Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Photo: Arztsamui, freedigitalphotos.net

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2 Reasons Your Eyes Need Sleep

iosphere sleepIt is 2014, and sleep is so overrated these days. Many people will share the fact that it is a full third of the day wasted. The time could certainly be put to better use. Is a good night’s sleep really necessary?

Pulling an occasional all-nighter to finish the work shouldn’t cause very serious problems or concerns, but doing it often can affect health. It is not just about exhaustion or the dark circles under the eyes; people risk a lot more than that. Our bodies, especially our eyes, need rest. Studies have shown that our eyes, in particular, require a minimum of five hours of sleep to rejuvenate and become fully functional the next day.

  • Paying attention to eye health is very important: If someone is suffering from lack of sleep, the eyes will be the first sign. One common, and often ignored, side effect is eye spasms (called Myokymia). These irritating tremors do not cause any damage to vision, but are a clear sign that sleep is needed. Dry eye (which causes itching, light sensitivity, redness, pain, blurred vision, and pain) is another possibility when sleep deprived.

If patients ignore the warnings that eyes give in signals, extended sleep loss could lead to much more severe eye health issues from the added stress, such as visible blood vessels in the eye.

  • Consistency is a key factor: Typically, everyone believes that sleep is an eight hour rest activity. This average does not necessarily cross all age groups. Studies have shown that people in their 20’s should actually get closer to nine hours a night, and older adults may actually need fewer hours of sleep. The truth is that the ideal amount of daily sleep may differ for every single person, regardless of age. The best practice for overall health, including important eye health, is to be consistent with sleep patterns.

Another helpful practice for eye health and rejuvenation is resting the eyes during the day. This is especially important for those individuals who constantly use computer screens. The strategy is to close the eyes periodically for longer than just a blink. This will allow your eyes to rest and can help prevent eye strain.

If suffering from chronic sleep loss and tiredness, and not simply staying awake to work or have fun), it may be due to sleep apnea. As addressed by Park Ophthalmology, sleep apnea is an irregular breathing pattern that could raise the following health concerns: swelling of the optic nerves, floppy eyelid syndrome, and even glaucoma.

If you are experiencing any problems with your eyes due to sleep loss, call Dr. Beth Friedlandat Park Ophthalmology immediately to make an appointment.

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Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

 

This article about eye exams is brought to you by the professional team atPark Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.

 

Locations:

Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829

**

Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Photo: Iosphere, freedigitalphotos.net