Can you wear lenses for swimming and other questions answered

Contact lenses are very popular with people of all ages. An alternative to glasses, there can be a lot of uncertainty regarding if contact lenses are suitable for particular situations. If you're considering getting contact lenses but yet to make a final decision, here are various answers to key questions:

Can you sleep in contact lenses?

For advice on whether or not you can sleep in contact lenses watch this video.

Can I wear contact lenses on a sunbed?

Sunbed / Tanning bed

If you live in a country that doesn't have a lot of sunshine throughout the year, such as the UK, a sunbed can help you to get a tan. When relaxing under a sunbed for several minutes, every precautionary measure must be taken in order to prevent damage happening to contact lenses. We recommend taking off contact lenses before tanning, as the drying effect caused by the warmth may lead to sensitive eyes.

However, contact lenses can be worn whilst sat under a sunbed but you should have adequate protection. Although it can be tempting to wear sunglasses because this is what happens when sunbathing on a beach, wear eye globes or specialised goggles instead. This is because excessive temperatures can melt sunglasses. However, when specialised goggles or eye globes are worn, this won't happen. Even if you're lying under a sunbed for up to twenty minutes, wearing either of these items at all times will protect your eyes and contact lenses won't be damaged.

Can I shower while wearing contact lenses?


Requiring less water than a bath, many contact lens wearers prefer a shower in order to clean themselves. If you wear contact lenses on a daily basis, you probably keep them in when stood underneath a shower. However, showering while wearing contact lenses is a serious no-no. Not only does this reduce the chance of infection developing but there won't be any concerns regarding them falling out of place. As freshwater does contain bacteria, this can infect a contact lens but there is a low chance of this happening.

If you buy daily disposable contact lenses from Vision Direct, you might prefer to keep them in whilst showering. In this situation, avoid rubbing your eyes and keep them closed at all times. As there is only a small chance of an infection happening, you can keep them in your eyes but Vision Direct do recommend that your shower is only a couple of minutes long. Before having a shower, contact lenses can also be taken out and put into solution. They can then be put back into an eye afterwards.

Can I wear contact lenses for swimming?


Swimming whilst wearing contact lenses might seem like a great idea but it can cause a number of problems. When contact lenses are worn whilst swimming in a pool or the ocean, water can splash in your eyes. If this happens, contact lenses can be dislodged and eyesight becomes blurry again. This situation is very unsettling, largely because you might believe that contact lenses have fallen behind the back of your eye. However, this is impossible because contact lenses aren't able to.

When swimming whilst wearing contact lenses, infection can happen to a cornea. If water splashes into your eye, permanent damage can be caused. Even when a small amount of water gets near your eye, lenses can start to tighten and starve it of oxygen. There are some contact lenses that shouldn't be worn at all when swimming, such as gas permeable (GP). Even when contact lenses are worn whilst swimming, they must be thrown away after, that's why we recommend daily disposable lenses if you wish to swim with contact lenses in. Whenever you do wear contact lenses while swimming, we recommend wearing tight fitting goggles to avoid getting water in your eyes.

Swimming goggles can help contact lens wearers to protect their eyes. We recommend that a tight fitting pair of goggles is worn to stop fresh water in a swimming pool or salt water from touching contact lenses.

Can I wear contact lenses to sleep?


Many people like to wear contact lenses when they are awake. Others prefer to wake up with clear vision courtesy of their contact lenses. If you want to wear contact lenses at night but aren't sure if this is possible, there are certain products which allow you to do so, with the permission of your optician.

In the USA, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved some contact lenses that can be worn throughout the day. Otherwise known as extended wear contact lenses, they are designed so that more oxygen reaches the cornea. Some can be worn for several days whereas other extended wear contact lenses are suitable for up to thirty days. Even though extended wear contact lenses can be worn for this amount of time, you might not find them entirely comfortable. Vision Direct is able to answer any queries and can even suggest particular extended wear contact lenses that can be added to your order.

Can I wear contact lenses for flying?


You're bound to look forward to getting on a plane and contact lenses should be considered before setting off on a holiday or a short trip abroad. Contact lenses can be worn in a variety of situations. On a short haul flight that lasts for a couple of hours, the same contact lenses can be worn. However, when on a long haul flight that takes several hours, daily lenses might not be entirely appropriate because you could fall asleep. In this situation, contact lenses might not be appropriate.

When packing a suitcase, make sure that you have enough contact lenses. If you wear daily disposable contact lenses, buy enough from Vision Direct before arriving at a boarding gate. When travelling abroad for a couple of days, check that you have many replacement contact lenses in case they get damaged. Keep a pair of glasses in your hand luggage just in case.

Can I wear contact lenses for sports?


Wearing contact lenses is ideal if you play sports. When glasses are worn whilst participating in a sporting activity, they can cause injury. Whilst playing football, glasses can smash if you're hit in the face. By wearing contact lenses, there won't be any chance of such injury or damage happening.

Not only do wearing contact lenses whilst playing sport minimalize the likelihood of injury but you will also have a clear field of vision. Vision recommends that contact lenses are worn whilst participating in sport of any kind apart from water-based activities. When contact lenses are worn in windy conditions, they can be blown out of your eye although there is only a slight chance that this will happen. Either way, have a spare pair of contact lenses in your rucksack or kitbag.

Can I wear contact lenses with a stye?


If you have a stye, it will be very uncomfortable. As it is a type of infection, Vision Direct recommends that contact lenses aren't worn at all until a stye has fully gone away or you have completed a course of treatment.

When contact lenses are worn if you have a stye, infection can happen to other areas of your eyes that are healthy. If you wear monthly contact lenses, infection remains on them even when rinsed in cleaning solution. When monthly contact lenses are put back into an eye, you could develop further styes. Even if you have a small stye, it can become bigger. Therefore, as soon as a stye has developed in your eye, take out contact lenses and dispose of them. By getting rid of contact lenses as soon as a stye has been detected, you're improving the health of your eye.

Can I wear contact lenses after LASIK?


Laser eye surgery (LASIK) can improve vision beyond all recognition. If you have poor vision, LASIK can help because you'll more than likely have crystal clear vision just days after. However, LASIK doesn't always help and you could still have blurry vision to a certain degree. After LASIK, contact lenses can be worn to overcome this situation. When a cornea is too thin after LASIK, contact lenses can sharpen vision. As permanent damage can happen if LASIK is carried out on a thin cornea, contact lenses are entirely suitable for this situation.

Other contact lenses can be worn after LASIK, such as gas permeable (GP) contact lenses. Unlike soft lenses, gas permeable contact lenses come into closer contact with the eye where it replicates its shape. Hybrid lenses can also be worn after LASIK. Similar to soft lenses, such as daily disposables, hybrid lenses are effective in correcting aberrations that happen because of LASIK. An alternative to gas permeable lenses, hybrid lenses can be worn soon after LASIK where you will more than likely have clear vision.