August 3, 2020

Alert about the misuse of contact lenses in beaches and swimming pools – La Provincia


In the summer months, eye care is relaxed, and it is also a time when more outdoor activities are carried out, such as playing sports or being on the beach or in the countryside. All this can lead to damage or injury to the eyes that are a reason for ophthalmological urgency. For this reason, from the Emergency Department of Vithas Eurocanarias Ophthalmological Institute campaign is carried out 'Eye with the Eyes' during this summer season to inform the population that also in summer you must continue with eye care to avoid ophthalmological emergencies and that, if it occurs, they know how to detect the urgency and act before it.

The doctor Carolina Kuttenkeuler, ophthalmologist of the Emergency Service of Vithas Eurocanarias Ophthalmological Institute, notes that "the eye infections they are very frequent in summer since we spend much more time in the water of the playto or the swimming pool, which can transmit bacterial or viral eye diseases. In addition, we must bear in mind that the water in the pools has chlorine and other chemicals that irritate the eyeball. "

Among the most frequent infections, the specialist points out infectious conjunctivitis and keratoconjunctivitis. Infectious conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva and is highly contagious in the first few days, although the inflammatory process can last up to a month. Those who suffer from it should take hygienic measures to avoid spreading it to other people. To do this you must wash your hands after touching the eyes. You should avoid sharing towels, pillowcases or scarves with others.

On the other hand, keratoconjunctivitis or dry eye syndrome occurs when there is inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva due to lack of hydration of the eye. This inflammation is usually more frequent in children and has a higher incidence in the summer months, since they spend a lot of time exposed to wind, dry environments due to air conditioning, pool water …

To avoid these infections, specialists recommend wearing swimming goggles to avoid conjunctival irritations from water chlorine and sunglasses to protect the eyes from external agents.

"One of the biggest mistakes made in summer is to use contact lenses for many hours, which leads to inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva," says Dr. Kuttenkeuler. This can also happen by not maintaining good hygiene of contact lens wearers, which, as a consequence, can lead to the appearance of a corneal ulcer.

Ensures that in summer patients with keratitis are frequently found by bathing on the beach or in the pool with contact lenses. These lenses work like a sponge and when you open your eyes underwater they are soaked with certain substances that are going to stay in the eye. This not only generates dryness, but also generates an eye infection.

Submariners

During the holidays many venture to try new activities, such as scuba diving. Occasionally, those who go to the bottom of the sea suffer pressure variations that can lead to annoying eye spills, a reason for immediate assistance to the ophthalmologist's office, since they can lead to conjunctival or periocular hemorrhage.

"To avoid these spills it is important to use an approved diving equipment that offers safety guarantees," says Dr. Kuttenkeuler.

Among the recommendations to avoid ophthalmological emergencies during the holidays, specialists point out: Maintain good eye hygiene; hydrate the eyes with physiological serum and artificial tears; wear appropriate goggles for swimming or diving; and protect the eyes from solar radiation with sunglasses.

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