Why do we Have Red Eyes After Swimming Sometimes?

Peron Under Water

Have you ever been curious as to what causes redness in your eyes sometimes after you have been swimming? Often times we are told that this redness is a result of the chlorine in the water. Although this is partially true, chlorine is not the only reason this may occur.

Understanding the difference between free chlorine and combined chlorine will shed some light on this topic. Free chlorine is the chlorine that is in your pool and its job to disinfect and sterilize the pool so it is safe to swim in. Combined chlorine is the chlorine in your pool which has attached itself to introduced contaminants like body oil, suntan lotion, organic debris or anything else. Combined chlorine is also known as chloramines. Chloramines are not effective at disinfection or sterilization of your pool. However, they are very good at drying your skin, creating that strong chlorine smell and turning your eyes red.

Another factor with “eye redness” is the pH. It is important to keep the pH between 7.2-7.8 for a variety of reasons, but most important, it keeps the water close to human conditions. As humans, our blood, saliva, tears, etc. ranges between 7.2 and 7.6. Often, when we experience eye redness, it is a result of swimming in water that has not been balanced properly and the pH is outside if its recommended range.

Keeping your water balanced is a critical part of maintaining your pool. The condition of your pool and its equipment depends on it. Balancing your water properly also has a direct effect on its clarity and more importantly, the health of your water. If you want to be sure that your pool water is balanced properly, call Blue Water for a water quality analysis.