Can pool chlorine cause blindness?
Not to scare you away from swimming pools or anything, but chlorine gas does react with water on your eyes to form hydrochloric acid, and technically that can cause blindness. That said, obviously pool owners will tend to keep the amount of chlorine to a safer combination of hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ions. But still, if this mixes with urine, sweat, or other by-products in the water, it can react to form chloramines which irritate your eyes. And like we mentioned before, chlorinated water also washes away the protective film on your eyes, making you more prone to infections from bacteria swimming in the pool.
What we’re saying here is that your standard, clean, well looked after chlorinated pool shouldn’t cause blindness (considering you’re not wearing contact lenses and prone to point number 3 above). Risk of blindness or eye irritation occurs when chlorine is at unsafe levels, there’s presence of other by-products in the water (like urine or sweat), or there’s bacteria or viruses lingering around. There’s really no way to tell until you do open your eyes, so we’ll say it’s a safe bet that you should wear goggles in chlorinated water.
Is it safe to open your eyes in the pool?
If it’s a saltwater pool, by all means, open your eyes. So long as you know perfectly well that the pool is clean and free of any bacteria or viruses. That’s right, you can never have perfect proof of that fact and for that reason it’ll never be 100% safe to open your eyes in a saltwater pool. Feel free to do it here and there if you believe the pool to be extremely clean, but you might still suffer from some irritation, stinging and redness due to the salt.
When it comes to chlorinated water, as we mentioned earlier, there are a number of eye illnesses which might stem from opening your eyes underwater. While chlorine is designed to keep pools clean, it can sometimes exist in unsafe amounts in the water. It can also tear away the protective film that sits on your cornea, making your eyes more vulnerable to infections from bacteria and other stuff in the pool. When you’re sharing a pool with strangers who are secretly peeing, and you can spot a band aid floating a while away, then safe to say that pool will probably be unsafe to open your eyes in.
What does chlorine do to your body?
If you’re often swimming in chlorinated pools, youmight want to be aware of the potential effects and risks associated with swimming in chlorine water. While we discussed the effects of chlorine on eyes earlier in the article, there are other parts of the body that can be affected by chlorinated water, too.
First thing to note is that chlorine is a gas, we can always smell chlorine from a mile away thanks to its strong odour. Inhalation via smelling and breathing is the main way that chlorine is absorbed into the human body, but it can also be absorbed through the skin. Don’t forget that your skin is your largest organ and capable of absorbing anything that touches it.