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    5 things you need to know: Urine in pools causes red eyes

    Urine causes red eyes after swimming in a pool

    Atlanta—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently told Women’s Health magazine that the reason some swimmers get red eyes after a dip in the pool isn’t the chlorine—it’s the urine in the water.

    Michael J. Beach, PhD, associate director of the CDC’s Healthy Water Program, tells the magazine that chlorine binds with the sweat and urine produced by swimmers and forms chemical irritants. That chemical irritant is also to blame for the cough many swimmers get from an indoor pool after the chemicals enters the lungs.

    “This report will make you think before ever getting in a public pool,” says Chief Optometric Editor Ernie Bowling, OD, FAAO. “Remember even though you’re there for fun, you are potentially sharing body fluids with the entire populace. I recommend no one ever open their eyes underwater, and recommend swimming goggles. And of course remove contact lenses before swimming.”

    Heading to the pool? Take a shower and a bathroom break first. Don’t ever pee in the water (and, no—we know what you’re thinking—you’re not safe to do it in a lake or ocean either). The CDC also recommends that people refrain from swimming if they’re sick or have any open wounds.


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    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...

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    • JamesJordan
      Seriously? Air causes redness. I don't know if this is supposed to be educational or a joke but I hope it's the latter.

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