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A 45-year-old member asked:

What happens if you open your eyes underwater with contacts in?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Francine Yep
Family Medicine 31 years experience
Case of Missing Lens: Consider wearing swim goggles so that you don't find yourself starring in the "case of the missing lens" [a nancy drew mystery?]. I know people who swear that they've never lost a lens when swimming in a pool. But usually goggles are cheaper than replacing contact lens. If it doesn't float off your eye, it could pop out when you're wiping your face.
Dr. Stephen Hamilton
Ophthalmology 32 years experience
Lose your lenses: They will likely float out and be lost. You will at the very least expose your lenses to water borne organisms and parasites that can cause serious eye infections. Swimming in contact lenses, even in chlorinated water, is not recommended. I tell my patients that if they swim in contacts to then immediately discard them.
Dr. David Speck
Ophthalmology 42 years experience
Possible infection: The contacts may float away. However, you should not wear contacts while swimming, as they may cause the development of a severe infection by a one celled organism called acanthamoeba. These infections are very difficult to cure and may cause severe scarring. Acanthamoeba lives in natural bodies of water, swimming pools, and hot tubs, even when properly chlorinated.

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A 40-year-old member asked:

What happens if u open your eyes under water wearing contacts?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Tim Conrad
Ophthalmology 34 years experience
They float away: If you open your eyes underwater with contact lenses, there is a very good chance you will lose them in the water. Wear swim goggles over your contacts or don't swim in them.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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