Swimming or Showering With Contact Lenses
While contact lenses have improved since they were first invented, this doesn’t mean they’re built to take a swim or shower.
Yup, you read that right! Showering or swimming with your lenses in is a huge, big-fat no-no. In fact, many of our clients love Lashbrella because the Lashbrella keeps the water out of their eyes so they can shower and see all at the same time without the risk of an eye infection.
It may sound dramatic, but it’s not. Trust me, this is nothing to bat an eyelash at and walk away. The American Academy of Ophthalmology backs this sentiment up that whether you use daily contacts or long-wear contacts, avoiding getting water in your eyes is important, and here is why:
Your contact lens is like a sponge:
Contact lens are little sponges. They’ll hold onto any bacteria, viruses or amoebae in the water, increasing the chances of infection in your eyes.
Yes, even in your shower bacteria and other “bad guys” exist:
From a hot tub to a pond or a shower, these potential infectants are around and waiting to wreak havoc on your eyes.
Not to frighten you as in general, water has lots of germs—viruses, bacteria, etc.—and they’re not harming us. Usually water companies use various methods to take these bad guys out of our water before we drink from our tap or take a shower.
And generally, going swimming in a lake or river is fine—minus certain circumstances, but there is the risk of developing infections if you choose to swim (or shower as above) with your contacts.
Rare, but serious: Acanthamoeba Keratitis
One of the biggest but rare risks you face when wearing your lenses in the shower or going for a swim under water with them, is Acanthamoeba Keratitis.
What Is that?
If it sounds scary, it is.
Basically, acanthamoeba is an organism found in water sources like lakes, the sea, etc. That means these little organisms also can be found in tap water. Typically people who contract this eye infection are contact lens wearers, thanks to that sponge-like factor from lenses.
And the symptoms aren’t pretty
The symptoms of this infection are: blurry vision, light sensitivity and pain. Unfortunately, the infection can get worse, damaging your cornea, scarring the cornea or even tearing it. This would require a serious operation: a cornea transplant.
Before you go to throw out your contact lenses, keep in mind that the CDC shares that there are only up to 20 of these infections per million lens wearers.
Some other “side-effects”
Showering can dry out your contacts, as well as cause them to shrink. There is nothing more painful than a contact lens stuck to your eyeball. And let’s not forget getting soap in your eyes. UGH!
This exactly why the Lashbrella really helps if you need your contacts in while showering or, heck even if you want to take a dip in the pool without some random kid splashing you.
Moral of this story
Don’t panic. Contact lenses are great, but be smart when showering or swimming!