Health Watch -- Memorial Day Weekend: Swimming and Your Eyes

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about the summer fun that starts with Memorial Day Weekend. Cookouts and swimming at the lake are often traditional ways to celebrate the holiday — and the summer. But doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say contact lens wearers should be careful.

You should remove lenses before swimming in lakes, ponds or rivers. Dr. Dwight Cavanagh, a UT Southwestern ophthalmologist, says there's a kind of amoeba that lives in fresh water that binds to contact lenses, causing serious cornea damage. These infections are rare, but they can lead to blindness. Dr. Cavanagh recommends that you remove contacts before entering a spa or hot tub as well. See a doctor if your eyes become red and sore or if you have decreased vision.


May 2006

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