Optometrist in Fairfax, VA – Can You Swim With Contact Lenses?

Summer is around the corner, and that means trips to the beach, lake, or pool! If you’re new to contact lenses, you might be wondering if it’s safe to swim with them in — the answer is no — it can raise your risk of eye issues, from dry eyes to eye infections and corneal damage. It’s best to avoid wearing contacts while in any type of water or while showering. However, it’s critical to take measures to protect your eyes before and after if you need to wear them. Our optometrist in Fairfax, VA, explains how below.

Water & Contacts

Wearing contact lenses while swimming is hazardous. Your lenses can absorb the water due to the prolonged exposure. This can trap bacteria and viruses that may be present in the water in your eye — especially if you’re swimming in the ocean, a river, or a lake, as they contain more pathogens than treated pool water does.

Wearing your contact lenses while swimming can lead to the following:

  • Eye irritation
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye inflammation
  • Corneal abrasion or ulcer
  • Eye infections

If Your Contacts Are Necessary

If you can’t swim safely without your contact lenses, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of eye problems, such as:

  • Remove your contacts immediately after swimming and rinse your eyes.
  • Wear tight-fitting goggles to keep water out of your eyes.
  • Use artificial tears to prevent dry eyes.
  • Disinfect your lenses in contact lens solution for 24 hours.

You can also throw away your contact lenses, put on a clean pair, or stick with daily contact lenses if you frequently swim.

Eye Infection Symptoms & Treatments

Even with precautions, you should watch for signs of eye infections to catch it early and get to our optometrist for treatment, such as:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Swelling
  • Discharge
  • Redness or pain
  • Watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision

If you have any of these symptoms after swimming with your contact lenses, call our optometrist.

Contact Our Optometrist in Fairfax, VA, To Learn More!

To learn more or to schedule an appointment for a consultation, please contact us at any of the below phone numbers:

Arlington & Clarendon: 703-721-7754

Arlington in Ballston: 703-844-1726

Ashburn: 571-371-0075

Fairfax: 703-214-7992

Herndon: 571-454-8471

Springfield: 703-214-5843

Woodbridge: 703-214-7627

Our friendly staff will be happy to answer any of your questions or help you schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!


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Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, Vienna, Springfield & Woodbridge, VA
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Outstanding - not only is the standard service for eye exams, contact lenses etc better than at many places I've been, the doctor also spotted what turned out to be a serious neurological condition - thanks to her I got to a specialist very quickly! Plus which the staff are all so friendly and helpful, it's really a pleasure to go there.- Clare G. best-ashburn-arlington-woodbrifge-fairfax-springfield-vienna-va-optometry
I had an eye examination for contact lenses done there and ordered several months supply of contacts and the the experience was well worth it. The doctor was very knowledgeable and the examination was thorough. The staff was very professional and helpful and I would not hesitate to return for my eye care needs.- MJ W.best-ashburn-arlington-woodbrifge-fairfax-springfield-vienna-va-optometry
I went in for a contact lens exam. The optometrist was great. Very knowledgeable. Took the time to educate me on visual acuity. Was a great resource from a Physician's standpoint. I was leaving for a trip to Costa Rica the following day and was give 10 days worth of contact lens to try. Will return next week to let him know things worked out well and will try another brand of lens!- Naheed M. best-ashburn-arlington-woodbrifge-fairfax-springfield-vienna-va-optometry
Excellent and attentive! I waited for all of five minutes after showing up early to my appointment, and everyone who worked there gave very thorough and detailed explanations of what tests were happening, why, and what the costs were. I've never had such a positive experience at an eye provider. I would highly recommend them!- Melanie F. best-ashburn-arlington-woodbrifge-fairfax-springfield-vienna-va-optometry
"Excellent doctor's office. Everyone is polite and whether you're speaking with the doctor or selecting new frames, you can take your time and they will help you make the best decision for you. They do not try to sell you expensive items you don't need - which happened to me at one of the chain optometrists in the area. Definitely recommend."- Brookes C. best-ashburn-arlington-woodbrifge-fairfax-springfield-vienna-va-optometry
*The reviews on this page are from actual patients of Visual Health Doctors of Optometry. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
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Our 5-star- rated optometrist in Ashburn, VA, Woodbridge, VA, Arlington, VA, Fairfax, VA, Herndon, VA and Springfield, VA, have helped over 100,000 happy patients with their eye care needs. This includes visual health eye exams, contact lenses, LASIK eye surgeries and prescription eyeglasses.
Come experience Visual Health Doctors of Optometry in Virginia! You will quickly see for yourself why patients consistently provide 5-star-reviews after their experience at one of our 6 convenient optometrist offices. To schedule an eye exam, call one of our eye care centers at 571.291.3604 (Ashburn), 703.576.0144 (Arlington in Ballston Eye Care Center), 703.566.1856 (Arlington in Clarendon Metro Eye Care Center) 703.273.6323 (Fairfax), 571.520.2130 (Herndon), 703.680.7850 (Woodbridge), or 703.971.2021 (Springfield).
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