We know how much you love your contact lenses. After all, what’s not to love, really? They fix vision in an instant, are lightweight, and invisible—totally unlike the glasses that sit on your face, hiding your eyes, bearing down into the sides of your nose, and rubbing behind both of your ears. No thanks. Also, contacts allow you to totally play around with your look thanks to colored lenses. Blue eyed today, green eyed tomorrow with the help of styles like Air Optix Colors and FreshLook Colorblends. That said, with all the love given them, there are a few activities where it’s pretty important to remove your beloved contact lenses during. Now, most, if not all of these, also suggest the removal of glasses, too, so we’re not bowing down to the frames. We’re just sayin’.
Does this count as an activity? We like to think so (power-nappers, unite!). That said, leaving your contacts in overnight is definitely something you should avoid. We know, sometimes you are just so falling-on-your-face sleepy, but trust us, take the extra two minutes and remove the little guys (and put them away properly in a clean contact lens case for safe keeping). For starters, you increase your risk of infection since there is no oxygen in the eye, which is a perfect environment for bacteria to grow in. Also, because the lens is directly against your cornea, your eye doesn’t get a chance for proper lubrication from your tear ducts. Now, there are some lenses specially designed for use even while sleeping. If you’re interested in a pair of extended wear contact lenses you can sleep with, just get your doctor’s OK to use them first. An eye infection isn’t something we’re willing to risk—and you shouldn’t either!
Any and All Water Sports
This includes swimming, snorkeling, water skiing, jet skiing and anything else that requires you to be in a swimming pool, lake, ocean, river or other body of water. That’s because these pools of water can hold lots of teeny, tiny microorganisms, some of which are known to cause eye infections. What about wearing contact lenses in the shower, hot tub or bath, where you’re just relaxing? Doctors still suggest removing your contacts. The specific microbe that is known to cause eye infections is called the Acanthamoeba, and it can result in permanent vision loss. Yikes! And again, totally not worth the risk.
If you’re using a blow dryer or curling iron, then, no, that’s not a reason to remove lenses. But if you plan to use hairspray or another hair product that pumps out as a spray or is in an aerosol can, then it’s a good idea to do this with your contact lenses out. If it is a hand pump that goes into your hands first, like a serum or oil, then you should be good. But anything that sprays out into the air can be really damaging to contact lenses due to the products’ stickiness. For this reason, it’s best to wait to pop your contacts in until after you’ve finished spraying the product.
Skiing and Snowboarding
This one is somewhat controversial. Many people prefer to wear contacts when skiing, while others rely on prescription goggles to help them see when speeding down icy mountainsides. If you do decide to wear contacts, consider wearing goggles over them. Although you contact lenses cannot freeze in your eye, they can dry out in cold atmospheres. Goggles will help limit the amount of wind that gets into your eyes (thus drying them out and making them tear up to compensate for the lost moisture). You should also be sure to bring an extra pair of lenses or back-up glasses in case yours slide out, thus potentially ruining your day.