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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 November 11, 2019

      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

      Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

      To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

      Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

      1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

      Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

      Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

      To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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      2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

      Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

      If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

      Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

      3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

      Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

      Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

      4. Feed Your Brain

      Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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      This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

      Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

      Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

      5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

      According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

      Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

      Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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      6. Write it Down

      If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

      It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

      You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

      7. Listen to Music

      Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

      8. Visual Concepts

      In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

      Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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      Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

      9. Teach Someone Else

      Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

      Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

      10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

      Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

      So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

      Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

      More About Boosting Memory

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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