What happens if a household with a swimming pool discovers that someone has a chlorine sensitivity? Do they have to drain the pool and convert it into a skate park? No, nothing so drastic as that! Chlorine sensitivities are more common than one might think and there are suitable solutions to keep this condition from spoiling everyone’s swimming pool fun.
What It Is: Actually, chlorine is all around us. It is a naturally occurring element. We also use it as a disinfectant and household cleaner. Small amounts exist in the water we bathe in and drink. In swimming pools, it serves the very noble purpose of purifying the water in order to prevent the spread of infectious pathogens. Although effective chlorine levels in swimming pools may cause minor irritations to most, for those who are sensitive, chlorine can create such discomfort they must forego exposure altogether for the sake of their health.
Symptoms: Mild symptoms may only be irritating while severe reactions can mimic an asthma attack. Here is a list of the most common reactions that manifest whether the reaction is mild or severe:
- Itchy, watery eyes with redness and possible loss of eyelashes.
- Stuffy nose.
- Dry, itchy skin.
- Skin rash that may create areas that flake and peel.
- Wheezing or whistling while breathing.
- Feeling of tightness in the chest.
What To Do: The good news is that you don’t have to say good-bye to aquatic fun in the pool. After all, Olympic swimmers are in chlorinated pools for hours every single day. Many of them, like U.S. Olympian Amy Van Dyken, a six-time gold medalist, develop chlorine sensitivity yet continue their sport and go on to win medals. They learn how to overcome this condition in order to enjoy swimming for the rest of their lives. Of course, severe symptoms will require medical treatment and a swimming pool solution. However, for mild chlorine sensitivity, effective relief can be less disruptive:
- Bathe or shower after any time in the pool.
- After cleansing the skin of chlorine residue, apply a soothing lotion.
- Use a topical hydrocortisone steroid cream on areas of the skin that are especially sensitive.
- An over-the-counter antihistamine can also provide effective relief from multiple symptoms.
If Change Is Necessary: If the decision is made that chlorine in the pool simply must go, don’t worry. There is no need to toss out the swimsuits and purchase skateboards and helmets. You can still enjoy your pool. You just convert to saltwater. It works for the fish of the sea, doesn’t it? Why not humans, then? After all, aren’t we humans really just a bag of saltwater? A saltwater pool is only natural!
Converting to a saltwater system for water management of your pool is more affordable than you think. Saltwater pools are becoming increasingly popular as water-sport enthusiasts discover a more comfortable swimming experience. Skin is the largest organ of the human body. While swimming, this organ has 100% exposure to any agent in the water. A saltwater system still utilizes chlorine to keep the water pathogen free, but the levels of the chemical in the water are much lower and better regulated. Instead of periodic treatments that introduce high levels of chlorine that gradually deplete over time, like a traditional chlorinated pool, saltwater systems have a generator that maintains a steady, low-level flow of chlorine to purify the water.
Invest In Good Health: So, rather than give up your aquatic activities because of chlorine sensitivity, convert to saltwater and swim like the fishes! Consider it an investment in good health. You will avoid those nasty reactions to chlorine exposure yet still enjoy the pleasure and benefit of one of the best physical activities for every age group, swimming. Partner with licensed and certified swimming pool professionals who provide a full portfolio of services, repair, and regular maintenance. For more information, please contact us.