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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 16, 2019

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      More About Procrastination

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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