What Happens If You Open Your Eyes In Pool Water? [Updated!]

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You’re at the pool, minding your own business when suddenly… BAM!… you’re blindsided by a big splash.

Uh-oh. What happened to you? Did you fall off your raft? Did a shark attack? Did someone toss a grenade in the pool and you almost bit the dust? Keep reading to find out.

Shock, Then Temporary Blindness

When you open your eyes in pool water, you’ll experience a moment of sheer terror as you realize you’re suddenly blind. In most cases, this sudden blindness is temporary, lasting only a few seconds at most. In some cases, people have been known to suffer from permanent blindness after an eye injury in the pool. A 2006 study found that out of the 57 people who reported seeing lights after entering the water, 14 experienced permanent visual impairment due to the incident. This means that in some cases, people have seen the lights and have gone home completely blind. Fortunately, most people who experience temporary blindness due to pool irritation will regain their sight almost completely. However, it’s still not easy to diagnose when a medical professional will need to conduct an eye examination to determine the extent of your loss of vision. Most cases of temporary blindness resolve within a day or two, as the irritation from the water recedes and your eyes dry out. The best thing you can do to ensure you regain your sight is to get out of the pool as soon as possible, especially if you already suffered from poor vision prior to entering the water. If you wait for the irritation to subside, it could be too late – you might end up with permanent blindness.

What Do I Do If I Can’t See Well?

If you can’t see well enough to enjoy the sights around you, it’s time to find a new hobby. Swimming can be a lot of fun if you do it right. There are plenty of pools around the country where you can enjoy the scenery while getting your exercise. You’re also less likely to fall underwater or suffer from oxygen deprivation, as you’re not able to see very far below the surface. You might consider taking up scuba diving or water ballooning as a hobby, similar to sky diving or hang gliding. These sports are immensely popular around the world because it’s easy for people to get involved and interested in something new. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy yourself and give your body a workout, consider taking up swimming. You’ll have fun, meet new people, and most importantly – you’ll be less likely to suffer from serious consequences due to risky behavior. The important thing to keep in mind is that while the above examples refer to recreational use of the water, if you do play in shallow water or in areas where parasites such as jellyfish reside, then you run the risk of contracting a waterborne disease. Jellyfish are dangerous and irritating creatures that can cause rashes, which in some cases, can lead to infection. Always make sure that the water in which you’re swimming is fresh, free of fecal matter and harmful chemicals, and that you’re properly vaccinated against the usual summer camping diseases (i.e. hepatitis A and B). If you follow the guidelines above, you’re sure to have a safe and fun time in the water. Just remember to be careful and to always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. In most cases, temporary blindness is a minor incident, something that you’ll recover from quickly. In more serious cases, you might need to get intravenous injections of steroids or other medications to reduce the inflammation in your eyes. In some cases, you might require surgery to repair the damage done by the parasite. In most situations, though, once the inflammation has receded, you’ll be able to see perfectly well again. Most importantly, if you play it smart and safe, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to have fun in the water without fear of harming your eyesight.

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