Wearing Contact Lenses in the Sauna and Swimming pool. Is it Safe?

contact lenses on sauna

There was a time when people only wore glasses for fashion or to help with vision problems. At that time, everyone knew and was so sure that you cannot wear your glasses to the pool or in the hot tub, or even to take a shower.

Not to mention that people don’t wear it to sleep or in the rain. However, when it comes to the topic of contact lenses, the answers become blurry. Why is it not as clear as the eyeglass scenario? It is simply because while eyeglasses sit on the outside of your eye and your nose, contact lenses are placed directly on your iris.

While it is highly comfortable to have on for the entire day (some people even forget they have contacts on), it might not be the best choice to take them into the swimming pool or the hot tub or even while having a shower.

There are too many reasons that back up this answer, not to mention that eye doctors and professional medical practitioners don’t recommend it. So what are these reasons? Is there any solution for those who have to wear contact lenses? Find out that and more in this guide.

Can I go in the (Shower, Hot tub, Swimming Pool, and Sauna) while wearing contact lenses?

The answer is – it depends. It depends on the kind of contacts you have on, why you have them on, and how long you spend in those situations. Seems like a lot of conditions, right?

That is exactly why you should not do the same thing as a friend or a co-worker just because you see them leaving their contact lenses on in these situations. Briefly, let’s look at what these conditions are before going into the risk involved with wearing contact lenses in the hot tub, pool, sauna, or shower.

contact lens case

The Kind of Contacts Lenses you have

The first determinant is the kind of contact lens you are wearing. There are various forms of contact lenses and though many don’t know, they indirectly and directly impact your decision to wear them or not. They are hard lenses, hybrid lenses, soft lenses, and daily disposable lenses.

Quickly, hard lenses can also be called RGP lenses and they are thicker to hold, less flexible, and more durable – but they don’t have the best fit and conformity. Soft lenses are the opposite since they are thinner, easier to break, lighter on the eye, have increased fit, and most of all, allow for more oxygen to pass through to the eye.

Hybrid lenses are a mix of the two qualities – like trying to find the sweet spot in the middle while disposable lenses are those that cannot be used for more than a day – they cannot and should not be reused.

That said, you already know that hard lenses would absorb a lot of bacteria and moisture making them shift and run around in your eye and soft lenses can get too thin and break.

The Reason you Wear the Contact Lenses

Another thing is the ‘why.’ Some people wear it to change the color of their eye color momentarily for beauty or cosmetic purposes. Others, who are more consistent contact lens wearers, could be wearing contact lenses to fix an eye infection or condition.

If you have the option to remove it, it is best if you did. However, if you can literally not see until you are wearing contact lenses, then the rule is more flexible for you.

The Time you Spend in those Locations

Finally, the longer you spend in these locations – hot tub, pool, sauna, and so on – the worse it is for your eye and lenses. You’ll see why in the next section.

What are the attached risks when you wear contact lenses in the sauna or while swimming?

swimming glasses

Quite understandably, it is almost impossible to remove your lenses before these events and then put them back on after. The whole essence of choosing to wear contact lenses instead of glasses is to opt for convenience and less stress. Removing it is the literal meaning of inconvenient. But what about if the convenience for that moment is not worth it? What about if the risks of putting in on are too severe? Here are the risks of contact lenses in the sauna or hot tub or pool.

The water splashes will damage the contact lens.

Swimming with contact lenses may appear to be okay, but it can lead to a number of complications. It is almost impossible to swim with contact lenses and avoid water splashes. Being in the shower is even worse.

While the water might not necessarily be a bad thing, it contains bacteria. Deposits of these micro organisms on your contact lenses can lead to eye infections not to mention that the water can cause blurry vision. If it is salt or impure water, it could lead to vision loss.

The temperature would dry your eyes

If you were thinking – the sauna does not have water splashes – you might have to think again. There is a limit to the amount of heat that your contact lenses and even your own eyes can take. During high temperature (especially higher than the body’s), the eyes dry up and so does the contact lenses you have on.

Naturally, this will make you feel the need to rub your eyes, or even itch them. The feeling could be severely chronic and any sight mishap of rubbing or itching could break your lenses.

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Daily disposable contact lenses

contact len on finger

If you haven’t heard, this is the only solution you can have if you must wear contact lenses to the sauna or the hot tub. Contact lenses are expensive and so if they break or get damaged, it can be very painful. In the same way, no one wants to keep removing their contact lens every time they have to go to saunas (especially if you are a lover of the idea). That is why the one-time contact lens is a great idea.

When you wear lenses that you know you can dispose of right after, the risks that come with other lenses are minimized. You can go in hot tubs and do all the saunas you wish for. After the entire activity, you would be able to remove it for a new pair. In the same way, you would have the chance to clean your eyes with a reputable cleaning solution. If you can. try to wear sunglasses – they are other forms of alternatives.

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Can you go in a sauna with contact lenses?

You shouldn’t. The sauna will cause your lenses to be dry and you will need to blink a few times during the bath to keep both eyes and lenses dry. If you use a disposable lens, you can place your old lens in its case to refresh them.

Can contacts melt in the sauna?

All rigid lenses are at a lower risk of melting in various saunas with varying temperatures. The only thing to keep in mind is that the contact lens is made up of microplastics that can melt at extremely high temperatures.

Can you wear contact lenses in a swimming pool?

Swimming with contact lenses is not recommended. As suggested, it is best to keep contact lenses from water. Both salt water and chlorine-rich water contain harmful bacteria that can cause eye infections.