Swimming-Related Diseases

Swimming-Related Diseases

The appeal of relaxing in cool waters grows as the weather heats. No one wants to get sick after spending a pleasant time by the water. By avoiding the sun’s harmful rays in shade and using approved sunscreens, you can protect the health of your skin. What about your digestive, ear, or eye health? How confident are you that the water is safe to swim in?

Swimming is a fun and relaxing activity for individuals of all ages. No matter how spotless they may seem from the outside, open water basins like seas, rivers, lakes, and swimming pools are revealed to be containing vitality when inspected under a microscope. Water is life, so it is the perfect habitat for many species.

A variety of microorganisms, including insect eggs and transparent-appearing “juvenile” forms of invertebrates like jellyfish and mussels as well as vertebrates like fish larvae, can be observed in open water basins. Accidental ingestion of water harbouring such creatures can cause discomfort throughout the day. Since locked-in wetlands like lakes have a constrained area and a slow circulation, the density of life there can occasionally rise. Due to water evaporation and biological reproduction, the number of living creatures per litre climbs as the temperature rises in these wetlands. If a sip of lake water is mistakenly swallowed, this will enhance the likelihood of experiencing stomach pain. But these mishaps aren’t significant for public health because they don’t spread infectious diseases. Our primary focus is on preventing infectious diseases that can persist in the body for an extended period, develop diseases that are resistant to treatment, and shorten human lifespans.

In wet and humid environments, certain disease-causing agents are more prevalent than usual. A pathogen’s ideal breeding environment is created when the temperature is added to the moisture and nutrition equation. Water by its very nature allows for movement, which facilitates the transmission of pathogens. Beaches and public pools serve as hubs for several disease-causing organisms due to high human activity levels. It is possible to

contract a variety of illnesses by swimming in lakes and seas that have been colonized by human-carried microbes in addition to the pathogens that are already present there.

Which Ailments Can You Contract When Swimming?

In pools and other bodies of water, there are practical steps that can be taken to safeguard the general public’s health. For instance, routine filtration and chemical additives like salt, chlorine, and such ensure that swimming pools are free of disease-causing agents. As long as there is no external interference with the natural cycle of the oceans, lakes, and rivers, the ecosystem will remain in balance. However, because of human activity, polluted rivers, lakes, and seas lack natural filtration systems, which disturbs their natural balance. We must safeguard the delicate balance of natural reservoirs and refrain from contaminating them with sewage, construction, and other waste materials. Because pathogens that disrupt hygienic conditions can spread more widely through water and infect more individuals. Pathogens in water can result in a number of health issues, including gastrointestinal, ear, eye, skin, and, particularly in women, urinary tract infections.

Gastroenteritis is the most common infectious disease that spreads through wet environments. Swallowing water contaminated with germs encourages gastrointestinal illnesses with symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The pathogens in question are single-celled parasites like Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium, bacteria like Shigella and Escherichia coli, and viruses like norovirus.

These have another thing in common: they are found in human faeces. For this reason, it’s crucial for people to practise good hygiene and take a shower before swimming in public areas.

Another concern to think about is skin, eye, and ear infections caused by bacteria and fungi. After swimming in the ocean or a pool, eye discomfort could develop. Eye sensitivities caused by the irritation of salt, chlorine and similar chemicals are considered harmless as they are temporary. However, bacterial and viral eye diseases like conjunctivitis, which are painful with a burning sensation do require treatment. Otitis externa develops when bacteria that enter the ear canal multiply in the moist environment and infect the ear canal. There are too many bacterial species to count that are responsible for this. After swimming, dry your ears to prevent outer ear infections.

Around the pool and beach, there are other bacteria and fungi that like to live in small ponds formed by percolating water. A simple way to avoid getting skin infections on your feet is to dress any open wounds and wear appropriate slippers when strolling around the pool and the sea. Additionally, it is strongly advised that you wear clean slippers and run your feet through the foot wash at the pool entrances since chemicals are added to

destroy these germs. This is especially true before entering the swimming pool. Dry your feet completely after using wet areas to avoid any possible infections.

Urinary tract infections are another of the illnesses most frequently associated with swimming. Through the urethra, many bacteria and fungi may reach the kidneys, bladder, and urinary system, resulting in diseases requiring painful and prolonged treatment. Women’s urinary tracts are shorter than men’s, making it simpler for pathogens to colonise the bladder and kidneys. Because of this, women should be aware of the risk of swimming-related urinary tract infections. After swimming, changing into dry clothes and using cotton-based undergarments that absorb moisture in the crotch area help minimise bacterial growth and lower the risk of urinary tract infections.

You can enjoy swimming and the lovely weather with your loved ones by maintaining good personal hygiene, avoiding swimming while ill, and appropriately shielding open wounds, regardless of how clean the water is.

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