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Not Sure If You Should Wear Contact Lenses While Swimming?

Not Sure If You Should Wear Contact Lenses While Swimming?

Lian Kao, an undergrad student in Taiwan who overused a pair of disposable contact lenses by wearing them for six months straight, has been left blinded. Kao never removed her lenses to clean them and even kept them in her eyes while swimming, sleeping and bathing. She developed a condition called Acanthamoebic keratitis in which the single-celled amoeba Acanthamoeba ate up her cornea. The Daily Mail wrote, “Medics were horrified when they removed the contact lenses to find that the surface of the girl’s eyes had literally been eaten by the amoeba that had been able to breed in the perfect conditions that existed between the contact lens and the eye. The girl should have thrown the contact lenses away after a month but instead she overused them and has now permanently damaged her corneas.” Still not sure if you should wear contact lenses while swimming? Read on.

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    What are the risks?

    Why is wearing contact lenses in pools risky? No water of any kind (swimming pool, hot tubs, showers, tap water, etc.) should ever come into contact with contact lenses. This is because water is a breeding place for micro organisms that might cause serious eye infections. Since contact lenses are porous, they can also absorb chlorine and various chemicals found in the water, which can in turn lead to potentially sight-threatening conditions.

    But, if you do like swimming a lot and you suffer from farsightedness or nearsightedness, here are a few ways to help you out.

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    1. Use waterproof swimming goggles if you want to use contact lenses.

    But be extra careful when doing this. If ever you feel that water from the pool has entered your eyes, immediately remove the lenses and rinse your eyes. Daily disposable contact lenses also might be helpful because you do not need to clean them every day. They are designed to be thrown away after one use. You get a new pair daily.

    2. Consider investing in prescription goggles.

    If you swim a lot, consider getting waterproof prescription swimming goggles, which are way better than using contacts and you don’t run the risk of catching any unwanted infections.

    3. Consider corrective surgery.

    You might consider laser surgery for eyes to get your eyes corrected for either farsightedness or nearsightedness if you are an active swimmer. You won’t require any lenses or glasses in the future.

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    4. Overnight Vision Correction

    There is another solution, called Overnight Vision Correction or Corneal Refractive Therapy, in which specially shaped contact lenses are worn while sleeping. The lenses reshape the cornea overnight to correct sight problems. After a two- to three-week adjustment period, when you remove the lenses in the morning you will have perfect natural vision lasting for up to 72 hours. You won’t be needing contact lenses for the rest of the day! This process is called orthokeratology, and it is a simple, nonsurgical way to correct your vision temporarily.

    5. Use UV-protective goggles to avoid damage from sun.

    UV radiation can aggravate already sensitive eyes and has been implicated in long-term macular damage.

    6. Always maintain proper lens care to avoid infections.

    Proper lens maintenance reduces the chances of contamination, since protein and lipid build up helps the micro organisms to attach in between lenses and your eyes.

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    7. Maintain good hygiene.

    Good hygiene is of utmost importance while wearing contact lenses. Also, never swim in beaches with signs that warn of unclean or contaminated water, and replace and clean your lens cases frequently. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:

    • Redness in the eyes
    • Irritated or painful eyes
    • Blurred vision
    • Sensitivity to light.

    8. Keep spare lenses handy at all times.

    Always keep an extra pair of lenses with you, as well as the lens solution. You never know when you might need them.

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      Last but not least, take care of your eyes! They are your precious assets that bring light to your world. Happy swimming!

      Featured photo credit: steve morgan via flickr.com

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      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

      1. Exercise Daily

      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

      The basic nutritional advice includes:

      • Eat unprocessed foods
      • Eat more veggies
      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

        5. Watch Out for Travel

        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

        6. Start Slow

        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

        Final Thoughts

        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

        More Tips on Getting in Shape

        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

        Reference

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