Is it safe to wear contact lenses while showering?
No. It’s absolutely not safe to wear contacts while immersed in water.
Contact lenses should also be kept away from water as it’s a natural breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms, which can get trapped under the contact lens, putting you at risk of a waterborne eye infection.
What are the Risks of Showering While Wearing Contacts?
Contact lens wearers are more likely to develop keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea, if their lenses come into contact with water. Left untreated, keratitis can cause vision loss.
In microbial keratitis, microorganisms invade the cornea and cause an infection of the eye. The microorganisms that cause these infections can be found in a variety of water sources, including rivers, lakes and streams, showers, tap, a pool or jacuzzi. Normally, the antimicrobial properties of tears protect your eyes, but that process is hindered by contact lenses.
Furthermore, contact lenses can stick to your eye when exposed to water, potentially leading to corneal abrasions. These scratches may enable microorganisms found in non-sterile water to penetrate the cornea and cause an infection.
Eye Care Tips for Contact Lens Wearers
- In order to avoid eye infections, it’s important to follow the tips below. However, do not consider these tips as medical advice. Always speak to your eye doctor for individual advice on wearing and caring for your contact lenses.
- Avoid water while wearing contacts. Keep your contacts away from water. Make sure to remove your contacts before showering, bathing, or swimming. Don’t rinse or store your contacts in water, and if it does occur, make sure to throw away or disinfect them thoroughly.
- Use clean hands. Always wash your hands and dry them thoroughly before touching your contacts.
- Follow product instructions. Always follow the directions when cleaning or disinfecting your contacts.
- Store contacts properly. Make sure your contacts are exclusively stored in fresh contact lens solution. Never reuse old solution.
- Wear contacts for the proper length of time. Avoid wearing your contacts for longer than the recommended time period.
So, remove those lenses before showering. If you experience symptoms like eye pain, discharge, or sensitivity to light, immediately remove your lenses and consult Dr Robert Gerowitz, Optometrist PC in Palatine without delay.
Who can wear contact lenses?
Almost everyone can wear contact lenses, no matter their age, prescription or lifestyle.