Saturday, June 19, 2010

Eye Irritation after Swimming

My eye irritation did not involve redness.
 After switching to a different pair of goggles (Speedo Vanquisher 2.0), I have experienced very disturbing feelings of having "dry eye." Sometimes it is only in one eye, and sometimes it is experienced in both eyes. At first I wondered if my tear glands (lacrimal glands) were injured by the pressure the new goggles placed on the soft tissue surrounding the eyes, but with further research on eye anatomy, it seems that the glands that produce tears are located inside the eye socket, above the eyeball. The goggles do not press on this area. The goggles do compress tissue near the nose where a tear duct drains tears into the nasal passages. However, if I had damaged these ducts (by strapping the goggles too tight), then I would have wet eyes and not dry eyes because tears would be produced but have no where to go.

I therefore conclude that I have developed an allergy to the pool chlorine, and as a consequence of getting a new pair of goggles that have needed adjustment, I have gotten water in my eyes each time I wear them. I look forward to finding just the right amount of tension to use with the goggles to ensure they are comfortable but don't leak. So far, I haven't found that middle ground.

Because of this eye discomfort, I went ahead and bought a second pair of goggles that I have worn before. These are Aqua Sphere Kaiman goggles, and they fit well and don't leak with normal swimming. However, they don't work well for diving; I always got water in them after a dive, and this is why I bought the Speedo goggles. The irony is that the first time I dove wearing my Speedo goggles, they slipped down off my face to around my neck. I knew something was wrong during this lap, but I didn't know what until I stopped and discovered I was no longer looking through goggles!

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