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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 20, 2018

      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

      Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

      If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

      1. Breathe

      The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

      • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
      • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
      • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

      Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

      2. Loosen up

      After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

      Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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      3. Chew slowly

      Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

      Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

      Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

      4. Let go

      Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

      The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

      It’s not. Promise.

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      Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

      Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

      21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

      5. Enjoy the journey

      Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

      Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

      6. Look at the big picture

      The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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      Will this matter to me…

      • Next week?
      • Next month?
      • Next year?
      • In 10 years?

      Hint: No, it won’t.

      I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

      Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

      7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

      You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

      Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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      8. Practice patience every day

      Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

      • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
      • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
      • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

      Final thoughts

      Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

      Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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