What Causes Your Eyes To Burn In A Pool? Don’t Blame The Water, Blame The Urine!

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Swimming is a fun activity and it’s one way of beating the heat. It’s refreshing to dive into the pool, cool off and spend some leisure time. However, as much fun swimming can be, sometimes your eyes burn while you’re in the pool.

A common misconception is that chlorine causes eye irritation in pools but this isn’t true. Chlorine cannot cause burning or redness if used at standard levels because it breaks down organic matter such as sweat and pee. If not appropriately sanitized then bacteria growth will occur which means nasty water illnesses like pseudomonas aeruginosa could arise from poorly managed public pools/gym facilities.

“When we go swimming, “ says Dr Christina Pham, “we all have things on our bodies — sweat, cosmetics (sunscreen lotion etc), skincare products are particularly greasy— that don’t get completely washed off by just mixing with chlorinated water.”

The buildup of these substances combined when anyone urinates in a pool produces harmful compounds called disinfection by-products (DBP’s). These chemicals irritate your skin especially your open mucous membranes; for instance–your eyes. Read more…

Chlorine Is Not The Culprit

Have you ever experienced that burning sensation in your eyes while swimming? It’s a common problem that pool-goers face regularly. Most people attribute this discomfort to too much chlorine in the pool water, but it turns out; it may not be the case.

“The Eyes Burning Sensation While Swimming is not caused by Chlorine, “
Beth Wilmot, Environmental Health Specialist at CUPHD.

The pungent smell of Chlorine around pools and its reputation as a harsh chemical leaves swimmers convinced about chlorine being guilty of making their eyes irritated or red from time-to-time. However, when we think deeply about how our bodies operate with any watering agent such as raindrops that touch our skin or tears rolling down our cheeks, they never cause sensations like irritation or inflammation which are triggered merely due to Chlorine compounds present in most public/stateable/shared/Olympic-sized pools.

The primary reason behind eye irritation in swimming-pools could instead be trichloramine (NCI3), which forms when Nitrogen-based body products such as sweat/urine mix with chlorinated water and oxidizes causing difficulty breathing/skin irritations/redness/coughing attacks alongside ocular itchiness since these tiny particles remain suspended above the pool surface waiting for someone excitedly splashing back into them creating a volatile environment.

So what can you do?

You must ensure effective keeping up of hygiene maintenance practices because cleanliness leads to better oxygen quality & less exposure towards foreign particle inhalation avenues leading to pollutions seen inside respiratory systems alike municipal sewage networks…these practices involve shower thoroughly before going into the water/using toilet facilities whenever required/not adding unnecessary chemicals themselves/giving ample time intervals between yourself/others’ pool activities since the probability of eye irritations is high in indoor swimming facilities/sitting away from Jacuzzi & steam rooms, pay attention to signs or smell indications and seek alternate recreational opportunities like outdoors games if pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma/allergies/too much tyramine intolerance exists with you.

In summary Chlorine does not cause irritation on its own but it comes into play when combined with human sweat/urine/oils because chlorine reacts differently/intensely while coming into contact with these elements leading to eyes reddening/inflammation leaving swimmers thinking that excessive exposure towards Chlorinated compounds was at fault, thus poor cleaning practices resulting in trichloramine accumulation causing respiratory issues/lung diseases must be avoided.

Chlorine Is Actually There To Keep You Safe

If you have ever swam in a pool, chances are that you’ve experienced burning eyes at some point. While it can be an uncomfortable sensation, it is actually caused by the presence of chlorine in the water.

“My eyes burned like crazy when I was swimming but after reading about why this happens, I’m glad there’s chlorine to keep me safe from harmful bacteria.” – John C.

Chlorine is used as a disinfectant in pools and other bodies of water to kill off any harmful bacteria or microorganisms that may cause illness. For instance, without enough chlorine addend to your pool water dangerous viruses such as cryptosporidium will accumulate which could lead to serious health problems. It makes sure that your swimming experience is not only fun but also hygienic.

Your tear ducts serve an important purpose because they flush away things like dirt & fur from animals. The combination of sweat and urine brought into the pool by swimmer means if we don’t use chemicals then additional disease carrying pathogens will grow within our pools quickly creating problems for everyone who interacts with them. The ammonia present in human waste mixes with free available chloramines produced through Chlorinate Based Shock; thus nagging skin irritation expecially redness suddenly breaks out followed by eye discomfort having nose blockage? This might sound scary however these symptoms imply that there isn’t enough “free”-available — i.e., unbound — chlorine present.. Be certain to check pH levels before getting back inside again since incorrect settings leads to similar issues persisting continuously, especially those who frequently go underwater feel worse making their eyes sting vigorously.

“As a competitive swim coach, safety has always been my top priority! A well-maintained pool operates under strict guidelines thanks to the presence of chlorine.” – Emily L.

While it may be annoying to deal with burning eyes, just remember that this is an indication that there’s enough chlorine in your pool keeping you safe! Make sure to follow proper hygiene and safety protocols when swimming and always consult a professional if you’re unsure about any aspect of pool care.

The Smell Of Chlorine Is Not Actually Chlorine

Have you ever swam in a pool and your eyes started to burn or turn red? It is often believed that the smell of chlorine causes these irritations. However, this is not entirely true.

The strong odor in swimming pools mainly comes from chloramines, which form when urine, sweat or other nitrogen-containing substances combine with the chlorine disinfectant present in the water. These chloramines can cause irritation to our eyes as well as respiratory problems like coughing and wheezing.

“Chloramines are formed by unwanted reactions between pool chemicals and what people bring into them.”

Certain factors such as pH levels (high pH), poor circulation, hot weather, and heavy bather loads contribute towards forming more chloramines than usual. According to CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program website “Higher levels of free available chlorine do not necessarily kill germs more quickly but will help reduce formation of irritating compounds that can win their way out of the pool.” This means adding more chlorine does not always solve the problem.

Pool owners should take proper steps for preventing those pesky little elements in order to maintain good air quality around pools. For instance:

  • Maintain an optimal level of about 7.2-7.8 pH range when it comes to chemistry values;
  • Circulate water adequately within all areas so every unit sterilizes evenly;
  • Routinely test & balance chemical readings during peak times especially earlier than competitions or parties 😉

You might have also noticed some professional athletes carrying special equipment bags into competition sites – some who fit under radar… UV-C lamps! Yup they’re trying to ultraviolet purify the surroundings throughout a pool before they swim. Some health clubs, gyms and aquatic centers use this technology as well.

The next time you go swimming or encounter someone complaining about the strong smell of chlorine around pools, advise them that it is not actually caused by chlorine but rather chloramines.

The Real Problem: Pee In The Pool

Have you ever gone swimming and noticed your eyes burning? It is a common problem, but do you know what causes it?

A chemical reaction occurs when chlorine mixes with sweat and urine in the water. When people urinate in a pool, they introduce urea to the water. Urea reacts with chlorine to create trichloramine which can be harmful if not properly treated.

“The human body excretes nitrogenous compounds like urea through swimmer’s sweats or pee over time.”

This happens more often than you might think. According to one study by the University of Alberta, an Olympic-sized swimming pool contains nearly 20 gallons of urine! Chlorine is used to kill bacteria that live on our skin and are present in our bodily fluids that mix into the pool water; however, high levels of chloramines (created from excessive sweating or peeing) make these disinfectants ineffective at doing their job well enough.

In addition, exposure to high levels of trichloramine has been linked to respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis, as well as eye irritation.

“Swimming pools contain harsh chemicals like calcium hypochlorite powder whose fumes irritate swimmers’ respiratory systems right after inhalation”

If the concentration becomes too high for humans, then it may lead them towards serious health concerns including lung damage caused due continuous inhalation of ammonia along with other toxins from dirty pools.

Pools need frequent testing and cleaning so everyone can enjoy them without harm. Remember not to pee in public bodies of water!

Urine + Chlorine = Eye Irritation

Many people love swimming in the pool on hot summer days, but sometimes after a dip in the water, you may feel your eyes burning. This could be due to several reasons, one of them being urine and chlorine mixing with each other.


Chlorine is a necessary chemical that helps kill bacteria and algae present in the swimming pool water. However, it can also cause eye irritation if not used properly or overused because when it mixes with certain compounds like sweat or pee from bathers; it forms irritants called chloramines.

“When chlorine reacts with nitrogen-containing substances such as urea (pee), ammonium salts (such as sweat), skin cells etc., volatile disinfection by-products are formed which can cause irritation to our body.” – Dr Arun Kurkure, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai


The main culprit behind eye irritation while swimming is Pee-which contains ammonia that reacts instantly upon contact with mixed chlorine creating havoc within pools either small or large thus causing negative impacts across all swimmers young and old.

“Human urine changes how effectively free-chlorine maintains safe pH levels”: Center for Disease Control

Note: It’s important never let children into the pool if they have an “accident” until proper cleaning has been done so everyone is kept healthy. Additionally it’s advisable for adults to shower before entering any public/shared bodies of water-this includes washing away deodorants/skin lotions/perfumes/hair styling products/swimsuits/and even dips in Jacuzzis prior to entering main community pools/water parks/swimming bars/adult hotel pools.


The most common symptom of eye irritation caused by swimming is redness and burning sensation in the eyes, which can last for a couple of hours or even days if left untreated.

“Swimming pool-related eye issues include conjunctivitis (aka pink eye), corneal abrasions, vision-threatening mycobacterial infections & parasitic acanthamoeba keratitis.” – Dr Mark Fromer, Ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital

To avoid getting irritated eyes while swimming, it’s essential to take some preventive measures such as wearing goggles while swimming and ensuring one does not dump any unwanted substances into public-shared water bodies. By following these simple precautionary steps everyone will be able to enjoy their swim without worrying about any negative consequences.

Urine Is More Common In Pools Than You Think

Have you ever been swimming in a pool and suddenly felt your eyes burning? There are several reasons why this may happen, but one of the main culprits might surprise you – urine.

According to a survey conducted by the Water Quality & Health Council, 1 in 5 Americans admit to having peed in a public pool at least once. And while some people believe that chlorine will simply disinfect any pee in the pool, that’s unfortunately not entirely true.

“Chlorine binds with all the things it’s trying to kill from sweat to dirt and… urine.”
– Dr. Chris Wiant, Chair of the Water Quality & Health Council

The strong chemical odor you sometimes smell around a public pool is actually caused by chloramines – chemicals formed when chlorine reacts with organic matter (like sweat or urine). Chloramines can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and yes – eye irritation too.

In addition to causing irritating chemicals like chloramines to form in pools, what many swimmers don’t realize is how little pee it takes for these chemicals – and their resulting symptoms –to appear.

“Experts estimate that an Olympic-size swimming pool contains almost 20 gallons of urine.”
– Erin Sheppard Southard, aquatic toxicity expert at Purdue University

This means even if only one or two people have peed in an average-sized home swimming pool before you jump into it, there could already be traces of irritants floating around waiting for someone else’s bodily fluids (or yours) contribute further toward building up those chemical compounds.

Avoiding exposure altogether isn’t always possible unless we stay away from communal pools altogether. However, practicing proper hygiene during and after swimming – like showering before entering the pool or refraining from peeing in it– can help reduce exposure to harmful substances that could cause discomfort.

How To Avoid Eye Irritation In The Pool

If you’ve ever been to the swimming pool, chances are, you’ve experienced eye irritation. Red, itchy eyes can be quite bothersome and even discouraging from swimming altogether. So what causes your eyes to burn in a pool?

The main culprit of eye irritation in the pool is chlorine. Chlorine is commonly used as a disinfectant to keep pools clean and free of harmful bacteria. But when mixed with organic matter such as sweat or urine, it produces chloramines – irritants that cause redness and discomfort in our eyes.

“Chlorine chemistry isn’t perfect, ” says Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program. “It takes time for chlorine to kill germs, so covering up during illness or not swallowing water helps us protect ourselves and others while enjoying how swimming keeps us healthy.”

To avoid eye irritation caused by the chemicals found in pools:

1. Wear Swim Goggles

A pair of swim goggles seals out all contaminants that may enter your eyes while also keeping your vision clear underwater.

2. Rinse Your Eyes With Fresh Water After A Swim Session

Rinsing your eyes with fresh water after exiting the pool will help flush away any lingering contaminants on its surface before they do more harm than good.

3. Take Frequent Breaks During Extended Swimming Stints

Frequent breaks will help reduce prolonged exposure times which lead to higher levels of chemical accumulation causing skin itchiness around sensitive areas like eyelids and nosebleeds over long periods if precautions aren’t taken regularly.

“Taking regular dips keeps one fit but health hazards loom large, ” warns Rekha Sharma, former professor of social sciences at Delhi University.

By following these tips, you can avoid eye irritation in the pool and enjoy your swim session without any discomfort or inconvenience. But beyond that, it is also recommended to follow proper pool hygiene procedures such as showering before entering a public swimming pool and not urinating while inside one; health experts say individuals who do so put themselves especially vulnerable.”

Shower Before Entering The Pool

If you experience eye burn while swimming in a pool, it’s often because of the chemicals used to keep the water clean. Chlorine is commonly used as a disinfectant and can cause redness, itching, soreness, dryness or burning sensation in your eyes.

The irritation could also be caused by other pool chemicals such as bromine and pH balances that are too high or low. But did you know that showering before entering the pool could significantly reduce your exposure to these harsh chemicals?

“Chlorine binds with sweat, urine, dirt and cosmetics on swimmers’ bodies creating irritants”

This reaction forms chlorine compounds known as chloramines which create an unpleasant smell near pools and may cause respiratory problems for some swimmers.. It’s not just about hygiene- taking a quick rinse before entering the pool helps to wash off any remaining substances from skincare products like lotions that mix with chlorine causing skin rash symptoms such as itchiness or hives.

To make sure pools remain safe from harmful bacteria and viruses frequent and appropriate use of sanitizers is required. Proper maintenance of chlorine levels can prevent unwanted reactions between personal care products body fluids pollutants etc., but this does mean making compromises when it comes down safety protocols especially around cleanliness standards says Dulal Mitra UNLV Regents Professor at University Nevada Las Vegas.

With proper precautions in place hydration routines implemented training adherence followed up close people shouldn’t worry too much about what causes specific side effects; they should simply avoid them entirely.-Doyle Brunson-

Wear Goggles To Protect Your Eyes

Swimming is one of the best exercises to keep yourself fit and healthy. However, swimming in a pool can sometimes cause discomfort for your eyes.

The main culprit behind burning or redness in your eyes while swimming is chlorinated water. The chlorine present in pool water helps to kill bacteria but if it’s not balanced correctly it can also lead to eye irritation. Chlorine reacts with organic matter like sweat and urine which leads to forming disinfectant byproducts known as DBPs that irritate eyes, skin, and respiratory system. In addition, these DBPs have been linked with long-term health effects such as cancer.

“Chlorine itself isn’t dangerous when used properly, however swimmers should be concerned about breathing in all kinds of chemicals when they are around pools.”

If you wear contact lenses during swimming then there’s even more risk involved because chlorine particles might get trapped between lens surface causing itchiness or pain on-eye lids due to rubbing them subconsciously with hands.

To protect your precious vision from getting hurt — use goggles while swimming:

  • Goggles form a tight seal around your eyes that prevents water (and other harmful substances) from entering directly into your corneas.
  • You’ll enjoy sharp underwater visibility without having to squint every time you open your eyes- allowing for more comfortable swim sessions!
  • Goggles prevent bacterial contamination caused by people’s sweat or bodily fluids mixed in pool water.
“Goggles aren’t just fashionable accessories – they’re essential!”

Selecting proper goggles will ensure both comfortability and safety of eye socketed area:

  1. Choose goggles that fit snugly around your eyes but feel comfortable to wear.
  2. Maintain proper care of your goggles cleaning them thoroughly after every use, let them dry before storing properly for ensuring longevity of material and the clearness of view during future swim sessions.

Goggles are an essential piece of equipment for swimmers just like a helmet is important for cyclists. Remember swimming is fun – just remember safety always comes first!

Frequently Asked Questions

What chemicals in a pool can cause your eyes to burn?

The main chemical that causes eye irritation in pools is chlorine, which disinfects and keeps water safe for swimmers. However, if the pH is not properly balanced or other chemicals are introduced into the pool, it can create chloramines – compounds that form when chlorine reacts with organic particles like sweat and urine. These compounds irritate the eyes, throat, and skin of swimmers.

How does the pH level of a pool affect your eyes?

The pH level of a pool should ideally be between 7.2 and 7.8 on a scale from 0 to 1If it’s too low (acidic), it can cause eye irritation and damage to surfaces like tiles or metal around the pool area. If it’s too high (alkaline), chlorine cannot do its job effectively as bacteria will continue growing unchecked while also causing cloudiness in the water

Can wearing goggles prevent eye burning in a pool?

Yes! Goggles decrease exposure to irritating chemicals that may lead to redness, watering, itching sensations after swimming etc., especially those caused by unbalanced alkalinity levels commonly found near spas due partly because some materials require regular additive infusions being intrinsically-basic substrates but inevitably shifting balance away from optimal values over time as well at times peak demand overwhelms skimmer capacities so treating agents accumulate faster than they get pumped onto filters where most solid debris gets trapped. Wearing swim googles protects against these circumstances alongside reducing glare for enhanced vision underwater.

What steps can be taken to reduce eye irritation in a pool?

The first step is to ensure the pH levels are between 7.2 and 7.8, with total alkalinity maintained at optimal values

Is it safe to swim in a pool with high levels of chlorine?

In general, swimming in a pool with high levels of chlorine is considered safe since it kills harmful bacteria that can lead to diseases like gastroenteritis or skin infections like athlete’s foot. However, too much exposure can cause chronic irritation such as itching, redness dryness leading sometimes even temporary blindness after overexposure in rare cases among those hitherto-undiagnosed underlying ocular problems but still have adverse conditions aggravated by accidents exposition. Breakdown products from excessive amounts present increased risk factors regarding behaviors associated with weakened visual function occurring gradually yet inevitably form catalysts for various eye disorders down decision line if not dealt sensitively sooner than later.

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