(Source:CDC) Many people who wear contact lenses do not know that contact lenses and water are a bad combination even when showering, swimming, or using a hot tub.
Water can introduce germs to the eyes through contact lenses
Water can cause soft contact lenses to change shape, swell, and stick to the eye. This is uncomfortable, and can scratch the cornea (the clear dome that covers the colored part of the eye), which makes it easier for germs to enter the eye and cause infection.
Most water is not germ-free. There are many different kinds of germs in water that can cause eye infections, but a particularly dangerous german ameba called Acanthamoebais commonly found in tap water, lake water, well water, and other water sources . This germ can cause a very severe type of eye infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is often very painful and difficult to treat sometimes requiring a year or more of treatment. Although rare, this type of infection can result in the need for a corneal transplant, or blindness.
Keep contact lenses away from all water
For contact lens wearers, it is best to remove lenses before showering, swimming, or using a hot tub and contact lenses should never be rinsed or stored in water. It is also important to wash and dry hands well before handling lenses, and to clean contact lens cases with solution rather than water to avoid contaminating the lenses with germs found in water.
For those who are actively involved in swimming or other water sports and concerned about being able to see well enough without wearing lenses, prescription goggles may be a good option or possibly even a different form of vision correction, such as laser eye surgery.
Throw away or disinfect contact lenses that touch water
If water touches contact lenses for any reason, take them out as soon as possible. Throw them away, or clean and disinfect them overnight before wearing them again. This may help to reduce the risk of infection, but these recommendations are not based on scientific testing. The safest option is to keep contact lenses away from all water.
|Eye Care Services||Contact Lenses - Orthokeratology, CRT Lenses|
|Eye Diseases||Dry Eye Syndrome, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Keratitis|
|Journal Topics||Eye Care, Healthcare Pandemic|
|Medical Diseases||Dry Eyes, EyeSight|
|Medical Professionals||Eye Care Professionals (ECP)|
|Source Verified: Health News Organizations||CDC|
Your eyes are an important part of your health.
Most people rely on their Eyes to see and make sense of the world around them. But some Eye Diseases can lead to vision loss, so it is important to identify and treat eye diseases as early as possible.
You should get your eyes checked (by an Eye Doctor) as often as your health care provider recommends it, or if you have any new vision problems. And just as it is important to keep your body healthy, you also need to keep your eyes healthy.
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