It’s no secret–contact lenses and water don’t mix. Whether you’ve inadvertently splashed it in your eye or tried to use it in place of solution in a pinch, you know that water is no good in and around your contacts. Although it’s easy to forget, swimming in your contacts is no different.
The reason why you should avoid letting your lenses come into contact with water is legitimate: water is often home to countless numbers of organisms, and your lenses can easily trap those organisms, exposing your eyes to bacteria that can cause anything from irritation to serious infection. One of the more extreme (but rare) cases is a condition called Acanthamoeba keratitis, which, if left untreated, can cause permanent vision loss or require a corneal transplant.
It’s always best to remove your contact lenses before you swim, but since many people prefer to see when they swim (uh, ever seen Jaws?), simply removing them ahead of time may not be an option. We get it, so here are some tips to ensure you can soak up summer at 20/20 and consider your eye health at the same time.
Fun fact: if you’re really committed, you can go so far as to buy prescription swimming goggles. Yes, they exist.
The Simple Contacts team is passionate about all things health. Follow along—we're just getting started.