Red, Itchy Eyes Blame It on the Pee, Pool and Sweat

Sometimes swimming leaves swimmers with red, itchy eyes or a skin rash. Oftentimes, people mistakenly think this is solely due to too much chlorine in the water.

If you have red, itchy eyes, you can most likely blame it on the pee, poop and sweat in the in water. Let’s uncover this mystery…

Looking at Chlorine

Adding chlorine to your pool water is a good thing because it protects your swimmers’ health by killing germs and stopping them from spreading.

But, what happens when the chlorine combines with what comes out of or washes off of swimmers’ bodies? We’re talking pee, poop, sweat, dirt, skin cells and personal care products.

You’ll find several reactions taking place.

  • Free chlorine which is the chlorine that kills germs gets used up and is no longer available to kill germs.
  • Chemical irritants called chloramines form.

Should I Look for that Chemical Smell?

If you smell that chlorinated smell you can bet the pool isn’t healthy because pools that have the right balance of chemicals don’t have a strong chemical smell.

If you smell “chlorine” in your pool, you are actually smelling the chloramines because once in the water, they turn into gas in the air.

For indoor pools, this can be a real problem because the pool isn’t in a well-ventilated space.


Negative Effects of Chloramines

If you breathe or come into contact with chloramines where you swim, you can experience negative health effects such as:

  • Respiratory symptoms such as nasal irritation, coughing and wheezing and asthma attacks in people who have asthma. (Swimmers and others in the swimming area experience this.)
  • Swimmers have red and stinging eyes as well as skin irritation and rashes.

How to Reduce Chloramine Formation

Chlorine is important in the overall health of your pool. But, when there’s too much pee, poop and sweat in your pool, you may encounter health issues.

To reduce the chloramine formation and improve the health of your water follow these guidelines:

  • Keep the pee, poop, sweat and dirt out of your water!
  • Make sure swimmers with diarrhea don’t get in your pool.
  • Use the bathroom before getting in the pool, and again, don’t pee 0r poop in it.
  • Shower before getting in the water for just one minute to remove dirt, sweat, and oils.
  • Wear a bathing cap.
  • Have kids take bathroom breaks.
  • Oh, and did we mention – don’t pee or pool in the water!
  • Check diapers regularly to keep poop out of the water.

Make sure your family, friends and other pool guests know your “pool rules,” and that they exist to keep everyone healthy and irritant-free.

Wondering about your chlorine levels and health of your pool water? Bring us a sample of your water, and we will test it for free. You then receive a printout of what your pool needs.