Why Do My Eyes Burn During and/or After Swimming?

People will often complain of burning, itching eyes after spending some time in a swimming pool. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Below are the causes and how to remedy this: 

Chlorine - Seems to be the number one reason that people think is the cause, but is not always the case. However, it can be a cause of it. 

It is a common misconception that red eyes and a strong chlorine smell to the water is the result of too much chlorine. Actually, the cause is not enough chlorine! The combined chlorine compound, called a chloramine, is produced when a free chlorine molecule combines with a nitrogen or ammonia molecule. These compounds smell bad, irritate the eyes and skin, and get in the way of free chlorine trying to do its job.    

Shocking or super chlorinating is necessary to oxidize, or break apart these compounds. So then, when the eyes burn, and the pool smells over chlorinated, the resolution is to raise the chlorine level ten times the normal amount to achieve "breakpoint chlorination" thresholds which will break apart the chloramine bonds...

pH - First and foremost, let me start by saying that the pH in our bodies is 7.2 parts per million. That being said, when the pH in a pool gets too low or high (ideal range is 7.2-7.6 ppm) the body reacts and produces the burning and itching eyes.

A test of the water and re-balance of chemicals, starting with the total alkalinity levels can get the water, and pH levels, back within a safe and happy swimming experience.


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