Pool Water: Eye and Skin Irritations

Do you avoid the swimming pool due to itchy eyes or irritated skin from pool water? There’s good news; this problem can probably be fixed with a few pool chemical adjustments! Eye and skin irritations are a common problem for swimmers; you are not alone and you shouldn’t be left out of the enjoyment that comes from the swimming pool.

Your eyes and skin aren’t the only thing being affected by unbalanced pool water: nasal irritations often occur in indoor pool areas with poor ventilation and excessive levels of combined chlorine, also known as chloramines.


The two basic causes of eye, skin, and nasal irritations in the swimming pool are improper pH levels and high chloramines. When it comes to pH levels, the human eye is most comfortable in water with a pH level of about 7.5. Therefore, a low pH level, below 7.2, or a high pH level, above 8.0, can become very irritating and uncomfortable for swimmers. You may need a pool chemical such as pH increaser or pH reducer to help you achieve the accurate levels.

A high chloramine problem is caused when combined chlorine levels exceed 0.2 ppm (parts per million). Chloramine is the chlorine that has worked to kill algae or bacteria and has become ineffective. Chloramines in your pool cause strong chlorine odors and burning eyes when swimming and prevent free available pool chlorine from doing its job. Many people commonly and incorrectly blame high chlorine for stinging eyes, itchy skin and nasal irritations; it is actually the high chloramines that are to blame.


After testing for pH levels with water test strips and finding high or low pH is the cause of your eye and skin irritation, you will need to adjust the pH to the recommended range and retest your pool water. If you found high levels of chloramines (combined chlorine) you will need to apply pool shock to the water. Be sure to retest pool water after adding pool chemicals. Do not use the pool until chlorine levels are between 1-3 ppm.

Once your pool water is tested and balanced, you should have no problem entering the pool water without irritations. If eye, skin or nasal irritations still occur, stop using the pool and call 888-718-7946 for additional information about pool water balance.

Posted: Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 @ 12:33 pm
Categories: How Tos, Pool Chemicals, Pool Safety.
Tags: , .
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