What happens when sweat trickles into your eyes during workout?

Posted on:30 November 2021, 16:12pm IST
If you’re used to workout sessions, dealing with sweat must be a part and parcel of your life. Here’s what to do if sweat enters your eyes.
Geetika Sachdev
Keep sweat off your eyes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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It’s a good day today — you hit the gym today with full vengeance, and worked out like there’s no tomorrow! Everything is perfect, but your moves are interrupted by an uninvited guest — yes, we are talking about sweat. As it trickles down your face, and enters your eyes, the momentum drops. Why so? To understand this better, HealthShots got in touch with a few experts.

Can sweat irritate the eye?

Absolutely. While sweat and tears both have the same salinity, sweat consists of hormones and oils that can irritate the eyes, says Dr Rahul Deshpande
Chief Medical Director, PBMA’s HV Desai Eye Hospital (Pune), and Medical Consultant for Entod Pharmaceuticals.

“That’s because before reaching the eyes, it travels through the scalp, hair and forehead picking up germs, dust and grime that further causes irritation to the eyes. Sweat contains salt, which can irritate the eyes. On top of that, it is slightly acidic as compared to the eye’s fluid,” he adds.

Furthermore, Dr Ashwani Seth, Ophthalmologist, Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Karol Bagh, Delhi, explains, “Sweat dripping on the eyes is annoying and dangerous too.

There are many people who may encounter eye problems but may neglect them thinking that it is a common occurrence. But, you will be shocked to know that sometimes the issue can become grave. It is the need of the hour to protect your eyes from sweat.”

What are some of the problems it can cause to the eyes?

Here’s what Dr Seth has to say:

  • Eye irritation: Sweat contains salt and that can irritate your eyes.
  • Burning of the eyes: “Has it ever happened that you are sweating it out in the gym and you encounter eye problems like burning of the eyes? It can happen when sweat enters the eyes,” he adds.
  • Blurred vision or stinging eyes can result in loss of focus: These problems are a common occurrence after sweat enters the eyes, and when you rub the eyes hard, it can further lead to eye pain or redness of the eyes.
Don’t rub your eyes! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How can you sweat-proof your eyes?

If perspiration is a problem during workout or other activities, it is always a good idea to wear a sweatband to stop the fluid from getting into the eyes, recommends Dr Deshpande.

“Wear a ventilated baseball cap with a liner, and apply a thin line of clear lip balm or petroleum jelly above your eyebrows. And don’t forget to wear a gymwrap,” he says.

Here are some other ways that can help too, as per Dr Seth:

1. A cotton moisture-wicking hat

This can be worn, since it is sweat-absorbent, and will protect you during your workout.

2. Hydration is key

If you hydrate yourself properly, the salt content in the sweat will be less and when the sweat enters the eye, eye irritation will also be reduced.

Stay hydrated! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Sweat-absorbent headbands

These headbands wick away moisture and dry quickly, when you tend to perspire more.

4. Eye hygiene

When your eyes are sweaty, do not touch them with your dirty hands. The germs from the hands can enter the eyes leading to eye infections or allergies.

5. Lubricate the eyes:

You can speak to an expert who will recommend certain eye drops that can be helpful, after sweat enters your eyes.

6. Wear sunglasses:

If you are outdoors and want to prevent the fluid from entering the eye, sunglasses can do the trick.

Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.

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