We are often exposed to irritants that can affect the ocular structure. Chlorine is a chemical and antiseptic substance that is used in much of the world to clean our home and disinfect the water in swimming pools. 

When chlorine is mixed with water in small amounts, it is not considered harmful to the eyes. However, the high concentration that is used to disinfect some spas can trigger significant eye irritation.

What can we do in these cases? In Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We explain how chlorine affects the eyes and what to do about it. 

chlorine in the eyes

What to do if I get chlorine in my eyes?

chlorine splashes they happen more times than we think. This chemical is abrasive and is present in many disinfectants and antibacterials for cleaning our homes. Therefore, we must be very careful when cleaning our house. 

Chlorine is a very irritating substance and, the slightest splash that gets into the eyes, can cause damage to the cornea Of the eye. To prevent this from happening, it is very important to act immediately and minimize the consequences of having chlorine in your eyes. 

If chlorine has gotten into your eyes and you don't know what to do, put into practice the following recommendations

not rub

The first thing we usually do when a chemical gets into our eyes is to rub them quickly. This is what you should avoid in the first instance. By rubbing our eyes, we are spreading the substance throughout the ocular structure and causing more damage.

eye cleaning

If chlorine has gotten into your eyes, rinse them with plenty of cold water for at least 15 minutes. Ideally, you should do it in the shower so that the water falls into the eye while you make eye movements in different directions.

eye drops

If you don't know how to clean your eyes, you should know that there are special products for eye care. The artificial tears, for example, they are drops to clean the eyes that help keep structures lubricated and stimulate tear circulation

After cleaning your eyes, we recommend applying a drop of artificial tears in each one to relieve irritation and soothe discomfort. For this reason, always we advise our patients to have drops to clean their eyes at home

Effects of chlorine on the eyes and its consequences

The effects of chlorine on the eyes depend on many factorsincluding the sensitivity of the patient, the amount of chlorine that has penetrated the ocular structure and whether or not the chlorine was mixed with water. 

In adults

chlorine affects the eyes of adults and children in the same way. The most common is that there is a significant and very annoying irritation, almost always by the water of highly chlorinated pools

However, the adult may receive a chlorine splash when cleaning the house. In any case, the symptoms that usually appear are the same, what varies is the severity of these. 

Chlorine in the eyes May cause

  • Burning. 
  • Ocular redness 
  • Itching 
  • Blurry vision. 
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Burns. 

In children

It is very common for children's eyes to become irritated due to the concentration of chlorine that some swimming pools can have. If the child shows discomfort or discomfort in the eyes, it is important carry out the following care

  • Wash your eyes well with plenty of cold water. 
  • Avoid the child rubbing his eyes. 
  • Apply artificial tears in the eyes of the child or baby.
  • Avoid bathing your child in pools for at least a week.

The best way to avoid chlorine damage to children's eyes is prevention. And this is when we invite you to take care of your little one's eyes by wearing swimming goggles whenever they go to the pool.

These glasses are small, light and very comfortable. But best of all, is that prevent your child's eyes from coming into contact with chlorine or any chemical substance and irritative that may be in the pool. 

itchy chlorine eyes

Frequent chlorine eye diseases

When chlorine in the eye causes more serious damage, may manifest any of the following conditions

Infectious conjunctivitis

La conjunctivitis infectious or irritative that causes chlorine is almost always by the pool. That is, the patient has been harmed by excess chlorine that is causing pain when opening the eyes, redness and a foreign body sensation within the ocular structure. 

La conjunctivitis irritative occurs when la conjunctiva of the eye becomes inflamed by a substance such as chlorine. This inflammatory process means that we have to go to a visit with the ophthalmologist and it can take up to a month to heal. 


La keratoconjunctivitis is inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva of the eye due to lack of hydration. The use of artificial tears when having chlorine in the eyes is important to reduce irritation and prevent keratoconjunctivitis. 

Tips to avoid getting chlorine in your eyes

The best way to prevent chlorine damage to the eyes is to prevent them from coming into contact with this substance. There are many preventive measures that can help you, such as:

  • Chlorine is present in all swimming pools, although in some more than in others. To take care of your eyes in the pool we suggest wear swimming goggles, as it is the only way that your eyes do not come into contact with the water. 
  • Don't open your eyes Under water. 
  • Do you wear contact lenses? Remember always wash your hands before touching contact lenses, especially if you have been in contact with an irritating substance such as chlorine. 
  • If your skin is sensitive and you suffer from eye irritation, we suggest you go to swimming pools that are outdoors
  • give yourself one fresh water shower every time you get out of the pool. 

If chlorine has gotten into your eyes and you feel unwell, get in touch with Área Oftalmológica Avanzada. Our specialists will be happy to assist you. We will wait for you!

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Chlorine in the eyes, how does it affect and what to do?
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Chlorine in the eyes, how does it affect and what to do?
Chlorine is a very irritating substance and the slightest splash that gets into the eyes can cause damage to the cornea of ​​the eye.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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