Water and contact lenses just don’t mix

Thursday, 25 February 2016 by David Blabey

Water might seem harmless enough, but when it comes to cleaning contact lenses it will do way more damage than good. We take a look at why opticians recommend your lenses stay as far away from water as possible.

Keep water away from contacts

Unlike dedicated solutions and eye care products, water is very different to your natural tears and contains many more unwanted microorganisms. Because water also isn’t as salty as tears, contact lenses will easily absorb it, swell up and alter their shape.

Because of the odd shape, the lenses are at risk of tightening on the eye causing microscopic but harmful breaks in your eye. These breaks will then allow all the microorganisms from the water into your eye, potentially causing an infection. That’s why it’s important to take your lenses out before you take a shower or get in the bath.

Swimming with your lenses

For all the same reasons as above it’s highly recommended you remove your contact lenses before you go swimming. Whether you’re in freshwater, a swimming pool even in the sea, getting water into your contact lenses will increase the risk of infection and can even worsen existing eye conditions such as chronic dry eyes.

If you do end up getting into the water with contact lenses, you would be much better with daily lenses that you can throw away immediately afterwards. Otherwise the lenses will need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with a proper solution while you are getting dry.

Swimming Goggles

If you are looking for clearer vision whilst in the water, swimming goggles are a much better investment. Wearing a pair of waterproof swimming goggles will reduce your risk of dry eyes and prevent any unwanted bacteria from causing infections in your cornea.

You can even find custom made prescription swimming goggles, which will help correct your vision whilst you are under the water without becoming dislodged or uncomfortable. These can even be made to be UV-protective, offering extra protection when you hit the beach.

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