Water and Contact Lenses Don’t Mix
Contact lenses have become an increasingly popular alternative to eyeglasses for many people. They offer convenience, comfort, and clear vision without the burden of glasses. However, it is essential to take precautions to ensure that contact lenses are worn safely and correctly. One of the most critical precautions is avoiding water contact with contact lenses. This article will discuss why water and contact lenses don't mix and the potential dangers that come with them.
Why Water and Contact Lenses Don't Mix
Water is a potential source of many contaminants and microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. When contact lenses come in contact with water, they can absorb these microorganisms and contaminants, leading to serious infections and other complications. Some of the dangers of water contact with contact lenses include:
Bacterial infections are the most common risk associated with water contact with contact lenses. The most common bacterial infection associated with contact lenses is keratitis. This is an inflammation of the cornea that can cause redness, pain, and blurred vision. Keratitis is caused by bacteria that can live in water sources such as swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, and rivers.
Acanthamoeba is a single-celled organism that can cause a rare and potentially severe infection called acanthamoeba keratitis. This infection can be excruciating and lead to permanent vision loss. Acanthamoeba is commonly found in soil, water, and air, making it a potential danger when contact lenses come in contact with water.
Fungal infections are a less common risk associated with contact lenses and water contact. However, they can be severe and lead to permanent vision loss. Fungal infections can be caused by various fungi living in soil, water, and air. The most common fungal infection associated with contact lenses is fungal keratitis.
In addition to bacterial, acanthamoeba, and fungal infections, water contact with contact lenses can lead to other risks, such as irritation, dryness, and discomfort. Water can change the shape of contact lenses and cause them to adhere to the eye's surface, leading to discomfort and irritation. Furthermore, the solution used to clean and disinfect contact lenses can become ineffective when exposed to water, leading to bacterial growth and eye infections.
How to Avoid Water Contact with Contact Lenses
There are several ways to avoid water contact with contact lenses, including:
Remove Contact Lenses Before Swimming or Showering
The most effective way to avoid water contact with contact lenses is to remove them before swimming or showering. This includes pools, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, and other water sources. Contact lenses should be removed before entering the water and replaced after thoroughly cleaning and drying the hands.
Wear Prescription Goggles
Prescription goggles can be an effective solution for individuals who must correct their vision while in the water.
Use Contact Lens Solution
Contact lens solution is designed to clean and disinfect contact lenses, removing harmful bacteria and microorganisms. Never use tap water or other water sources as a substitute for contact lens solution.
Use a Travel Contact Lens Case
A travel contact lens case is a convenient way to ensure you always have some contact lens solution on hand, whether you are traveling or simply out for the day. A travel contact lens case is designed to hold your contact lenses and a travel-sized contact solution bottle. Some travel contact lens cases, such as Oplee™ Travel Contact Lens Case, even include a built-in mirror and storage for your eyeglass case.
It's important to note that you should never transfer contact solution from a large bottle to a smaller one. Doing so is not safe and could lead to an eye infection. So use a travel contact lens case that works with standard travel-sized (2 fl oz) contact solution bottles produced by most contact solution manufacturers.
If you are traveling by airplane, most countries restrict the amount of contact solution that can be in your carry-on. For example, in the United States, the TSA allows less than or equal to 3.4oz/100 ml in your carry-on.
In conclusion, while contact lenses offer numerous benefits, it is essential to take precautions to avoid potential complications. One of the most critical precautions is avoiding water contact with contact lenses. Water can harbor dangerous microorganisms and contaminants that can cause severe infections, leading to vision loss and other complications. The best way to avoid water contact is by removing contact lenses before swimming or showering, wearing prescription goggles, and using contact lens solution. It's important to never use tap water or transfer contact solution to a smaller bottle, and using a travel contact lens case can be a convenient way to ensure you always have contact lens solution on hand. By following these precautions, you can enjoy the convenience and benefits of contact lenses without the risks associated with water contact.