How Extreme Temperatures Affect Your Contact Lenses

contact-lens

As a contact lens wearer, you might worry about the effects of extreme temperatures on your lenses, especially when you find them left on your porch during a hot or cold day. Fortunately, a recent study shows that contact lenses and their solutions remain safe to use as long as their packaging isn’t damaged. This means that even if exposed to high or low temperatures, your contacts can still be worn without issues.

Let’s delve into how you can manage your lenses in various weather conditions, ensuring they remain comfortable and effective. Here are some essential tips for both hot and cold weather.

Hot Temperatures

Can Contact Lenses Melt?

You might be concerned about your contact lenses melting in extreme heat. The good news is that your contact lenses won’t melt in your eyes or even in high-heat environments like a car or a porch.

Tips for Hot Weather

Managing your contact lenses in hot weather involves taking a few precautions to ensure your comfort and eye health:

  1. Avoid Water: Take out your lenses before swimming, soaking in a hot tub, or showering. Water can lead to infections like acanthamoeba keratitis.
  2. Sweat Management: Sweat can cause eye infections if it gets between your contact and eye. Keep your eyes dry.
  3. UV Protection: Use sunglasses or contact lenses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays.

Cold Temperatures

Can Contact Lenses Freeze?

In cold weather, you might wonder if your contact lenses can freeze. Contacts can freeze if the solution they’re stored in reaches about 5°F, but they will thaw out safely at room temperature if the packaging is intact.

Tips for Cold Weather

Cold weather requires specific strategies to keep your contact lenses comfortable and your eyes healthy:

  1. Fight Dryness: Low humidity in winter can dry out your eyes. Use contact-safe eye drops to maintain moisture.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your eyes hydrated.
  3. Avoid Direct Heat: Stay away from furnaces and car vents that can dry out your eyes. A humidifier can help keep your eyes moist.
  4. Protect Against Wind: Sunglasses or goggles can protect your eyes from harsh winds and UV rays.
  5. If You’re Sick: Avoid wearing contacts if you have a cold to prevent transferring infections to your eyes.
  6. Switch to Glasses: If cold weather is irritating your eyes, give your contacts a break.

Year-Round Contact Lens Care

contact-lens-care

Proper care for your contact lenses is essential, no matter the weather. Here are some general tips for maintaining your lenses:

  1. Proper Lens Care: Clean and store your lenses as recommended, and follow the replacement schedule.
  2. Daily Disposable Contacts: Consider daily disposables to reduce the risk of infections and irritation.
  3. Take Breaks: Occasionally switch to glasses to give your eyes a rest.
  4. Avoid Sleeping in Contacts: It increases the risk of eye infections.
  5. Get Enough Sleep: Rest is crucial for eye health; lack of sleep can lead to dryness and irritation.

Traveling with Contact Lenses

Traveling can expose your lenses to various conditions, so it’s important to ensure they remain safe and comfortable. Here’s how to ensure they remain safe and comfortable:

Travel Tips

When traveling with contact lenses, especially by air, it’s important to keep your lenses and eyes comfortable:

  1. Pack Properly: Always carry your contact lens case and solution. Keep them in a travel-sized, TSA-approved container if flying.
  2. Hydrate: Airplane cabins are low in humidity. Use moisturizing eye drops to keep your eyes comfortable.
  3. Hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly before handling lenses, especially when traveling.
  4. Back-Up: Bring a spare pair of lenses and your glasses in case of emergencies.

Conclusion

Handling extreme weather conditions while wearing contact lenses is manageable with the right precautions. Whether it’s hot or cold, proper care can keep your lenses comfortable and your eyes healthy. Always follow the recommended guidelines for lens care, consider using daily disposables, and don’t hesitate to give your eyes a break with glasses when needed. For any concerns, consult with your eye care provider to ensure your lenses are safe to wear.