Why? The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has recommended that all contact lenses avoid exposure to any form of water. There is an organism present in all forms of impure water that, along with other forms of bacteria, can attach itself to the surface of contact lenses.
Although it is a rare occurrence, these bacteria and organisms could cause a sight-threatening eye complication called Acanthamoeba Keratitis. Bacteria find a place to survive between the lens and the eye. When they get a chance to live and thrive, they irritate the eye and can cause corneal ulcers. Symptoms to be aware of that could indicate Acanthamoeba Keratitis:
- Severe eye pain
- Increased redness not alleviated with regular eye drops
- Cloudy vision
- Increased sensitivity/pain when inserting contact lenses (this would be due to enlarged or inflamed corneal nerves)
Ways to avoid risk of contracting this condition, if your contact lenses are exposed to water:
- If you accidentally wear your lenses into a hot tub, swim spa, or sauna, avoid any water splashing into your eyes
- Use lubricating drops to help loosen the lens on the eye
- Remove the lenses and thoroughly clean & disinfect them. If they’re disposable lenses, discard them
- Never sleep with lenses in your eye that have been exposed to water
Swim spas, hot tubs & saunas are all excellent forms of relaxation and promote a healthy lifestyle. Take care to keep your eyes healthy too!