Six things you should NEVER do in contact lenses

James Sutton

So you've been wearing lenses for a while and possibly getting a bit's a reminder from our optician of what not to do! 

  1. Go for a swim in a pool, river, lake or sea. 
  2. Relax in a sauna or steam room at the spa.
  3. Have a bath or shower.
  4. Go on a long flight.
  5. Go to sleep.
  6. Handle them without washing your hands.

So are opticians just being really over-the-top about all of this?

The first three you may notice all involve water which does not mix at all well with contact lenses. Tiny microbes that live in water can cause really nasty, painful infections that even cause blindness. It's just not worth the risk, even for a few minutes.

The next two increase your wearing time, deprive the surface of the eye (known as the cornea) of oxygen and may lead to dry eyes. These may lead to permanent eye damage such as scarring, pain or blood vessel overgrowth.

Lastly, the amount of bacteria we pick up on our hands, especially around the nails and fingertips is immense. Transferring that into your eye, where everything else such as eye drops are always sterile, is not a good idea. Unlike our tough skin, our eyes are unable to protect us as well and fight against any bacterial growth.

So, take care with your lenses and take the extra time to remove your lenses carefully.

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Expert advice

“As an optometrist and regular swimmer, I enjoy sourcing a wide range of goggles and masks to help you see well in the pool, sea or spa.”

James Sutton (MCOptom)
Founder of Prescription Swimming Goggles

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