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Thread: Chlorine And Red Eyes Question

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    Chlorine And Red Eyes Question

    Hey Everyone,

    Got a question that I can't seem to find the answer to with research so thought I'd ask you experts. I've noticed that my wife's eyes turn red after swimming (she says they always have in any pool) and I know from research they say that "pee" in the pool is what causes that. Well that is not the case in my pool as we have no kids and no kids swim in the pool and we are not urinating in it either lol. My chemistry is spot on, no bad smells, crystal clear, etc. I've noticed that if I swim right after adding chlorine my eyes will turn red as well, but if I swim before adding them they don't. So knowing there is no pee in the pool, and no CC when tested are we just more sensitive to chlorine? I hate when articles state stuff as fact like "pee is what is causing red eyes, not chlorine" when in our case that can NOT be true. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
    10,000 Gallon Chlorine Pebble Tech Pool w/ Screened Lanai in full sun mostly all day.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine And Red Eyes Question

    What test kit are you using?
    Post up a full set of results.

    Chlorine does not cause red eyes, in fact you are more likely to have problem if you have too LITTLE chlorine.
    It is the byproduct (CC) that can cause irritation. Pee is just partially ammonia which the chlorine breaks down to CC. But, CC also result from breaking down sweat, sun screen, makeup, organics, etc.

    pH being off can also cause irritation.
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    Re: Chlorine And Red Eyes Question

    A lot of misinformation in the pool industry is passed off as fact. It really is scary what I sometimes hear professionals claim as fact but know to be chemically impossible. Pee in the pool is one of those since it contains so little ammonia that it us very unlikely to cause a measurable CC increase in anything larger than a hot tub.

    A set of test results will help pin this down, but just based on what you shared I imagine the issue is that your pH rises immediately after you add liquid chlorine. Liquid chlorine has a high pH, but the pH drops back down as the chlorine is consumed so overall it is neutral, but you will get a slight increase right after you add it. So unless your test results point to another cause I would try dropping your pH a bit lower than you normally do and see if that helps.

    But I stress, this is just a guess at this point and a set of test results are needed.
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    Re: Chlorine And Red Eyes Question

    Another factor that effects eye irritation is osmotic pressure, this is why people salt water chlorine generators in their pools often claim it reduces eye irritation, the truth is that salt water is closer to the osmotic pressure inside the eyeball so it causes less irritation. See this post For the feel of the water, adding borates or salt is the better choice?
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine And Red Eyes Question

    Test results would be useful to rule out water balance issues.

    One other non-chemical explanation is this - stop rubbing your eyes when you come up from under the water. See this article -

    Swimming Teaching: Bloodshot Eyes After Swimming or Sore Eyes From Swimming?
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    Re: Chlorine And Red Eyes Question

    Hey all, thanks for the replies, sorry for the late reply. My typical numbers are usually:

    FC - 4-5
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.7-7.8
    CYA - 40

    This is really all I ever test for. Interesting read about rubbing eyes, I certainly do that every time I come up. I also was thinking about the PH maybe being the issue and with you all saying it rises after adding chlorine that would make sense. I'm going to try adding chemicals at the end of the day when we are done swimming and not rubbing my eyes and see if anything is different, thanks.
    10,000 Gallon Chlorine Pebble Tech Pool w/ Screened Lanai in full sun mostly all day.

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