Can I Put My Contact Lenses in Water Overnight?

man suffering from eye irritation

Read this blog before you put your contact lenses in water overnight—there are risks you need to know

Contacts are like sponges; they soak up everything around them. That’s why water exposure can cause problems when mixed with contact lenses. Think about that the next time you’re tempted to store your contacts in anything other than a proper lens solution.
This isn’t just about discomfort either—we’re talking serious eye infections here! The kind of stuff that could lead to corneal transplants if left unchecked. Well, don’t worry because by reading on, you’ll learn how to keep your eyes safe and sound while wearing silicone hydrogel contact lenses.
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Table of Contents

Understanding the Interaction of Contact Lenses and Water

Storing contact lenses in water might seem like a quick fix, but it can actually be detrimental to your overall eye health

swimming underwater and wearing goggles
Have you ever wondered why you shouldn’t wear contact lenses in water or store them in it? It’s a common question, but there are crucial reasons behind this advice. First off, water can cause silicone hydrogel contact lenses to change shape, swell, and stick to your eye.
This happens because soft contacts absorb more water than hard ones due to their porous nature. Imagine soaking up a spill with a sponge—that’s what your dailies do when exposed to any kind of liquid. This absorption causes the lens shape to alter dramatically, which could lead to discomfort or even injury.
Besides reshaping issues, using tap water for storage opens doors for harmful bacteria into your eyes, leading to potentially severe eye infections. The key culprit here is an amoeba called Acanthamoeba, commonly found in tap, lake, ocean, and pool water. Contact lens users should avoid water exposure and use contact solution.
According to the CDC, Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK), an infection caused by these germs often linked with wearing contact lenses while swimming or washing them with tap water, isn’t something you’d want anywhere near your eyeballs. So remember—no storing contacts in anything with other water sources than proper contact solution.

Swimming With Contacts

We all love cooling down at the local swimming pool, especially during those sweltering summer months. But did you know silicone hydrogel contact lenses present can have adverse effects if you dive right in without removing your contact lenses?
You see, not only does chlorine irritate sensitive ocular tissues, but it also deposits onto lens surfaces, causing cloudy vision along with redness post-swim. While prescription goggles might seem like overkill, they’re far safer than risking serious eye health problems for contact lens users.
In rare cases, wearing contacts in the pool can lead to severe eye issues like corneal ulcers or inflammation. Be sure to keep those lenses dry and away from any form of H2O unless you want an unplanned trip to the optometrist. Contact lens users should ensure proper care of their lenses, including using contact solution and a contact lens case, to minimize the risk of water exposure.

Risks Associated with Storing Contact Lenses in Water

Think twice before you go to store your contact lenses in water

placing a contact back in its case
Have you ever been tempted to store your contact lenses in water when out of lens solution? Be aware of the risks associated with storing contact lenses in water instead of lens solution. The common belief that tap or well water can serve as a safe substitute is far from true. Water exposure can cause significant damage to contact lenses, including silicone hydrogel contact lenses.

Risk of Acanthamoeba Keratitis

A harmful germ called Acanthamoeba, often found lurking in these sources of water, can cause an eye infection known as Acanthamoeba keratitis. This severe eye infection has nightmarish consequences for contact lens wearers who take the risk.

This nasty infection latches onto contacts and gets transferred into your eyes. It’s uncomfortable and incredibly dangerous to your eye health. Some patients have required over a year of treatment to fight off this stubborn infection.

Long-term Effects on Eye Health

In extreme cases, Acanthamoeba keratitis leads to such severe damage that corneal transplants become necessary. And let me tell you—nobody wants their eyeballs under the knife if they can avoid it. In some instances, people have even lost their sight entirely due to improper storage practices with contact lens cases.

The Importance and Role of Contact Lens Solution

Now that we know you can’t put your contact lenses in water, let’s explore some of the benefits of using a proper contact lens solution

Contact lens solutions are not just simple saltwater substitutes—they’re specially designed concoctions aimed at keeping your lenses clean and your eyes safe from harmful bacteria. When you pop those soft contacts into the proper cleaning solution, you’re ensuring that any dirt or microbes picked up during the day don’t end up causing an infection. It is important to consult with an eye care professional to determine the best contact solution for silicone hydrogel contact lenses.
Lens solutions contain disinfectants powerful enough to kill germs yet gentle enough not to harm your eyes. The formulation also helps retain water content, providing relief for dry eyes while wearing contacts.
Using something other than contact lens solution might seem harmless, but doing so could expose your eyes to risks such as bacterial infections and corneal ulcers—painful open sores on the clear dome covering the front part of your eye. Contact lens users should consult with their optician or eye care professional for appropriate eye care, including the use of contact solution and eye drops.

Maintaining Your Contacts Properly

Caring for contacts isn’t hard once you get into a routine—it becomes second nature before long. But here are some pointers:
  • Always wash hands thoroughly before handling lenses—no exceptions
  • Gently rinse your lenses in the solution before storing them
  • Never top up or mix fresh solution with old—always use fresh drops
The bottom line? The right contact lens solution is essential for keeping your lenses clean, comfortable, and safe. It may seem like an annoying extra step, especially when tired. Trust us when we tell you that taking proper care of your lenses is worth it. Using the right contact solution keeps your lenses clean and ensures they stay comfortable and safe to wear.

Proper Care and Hygiene for Contact Lenses

Let’s take a closer look at the proper way to handle contacts to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable

putting contact lens solution in a case

Taking good care of your contact lenses is a must if you want to keep your eyes healthy. Proper care and hygiene of contact lenses are essential to ensure optimal vision.

Handle with Clean Hands

The first step in lens hygiene is always handling them with clean hands. Wash thoroughly before touching your contacts to avoid introducing dirt or bacteria into the eye. Make sure to dry off completely, as residual water can interfere with the lens’ function.

Clean Your Lens Case Regularly

Your contact case can become a breeding ground for bacteria if not cleaned regularly and disinfected. Rinse it out daily and let air dry upside down on a clean towel.

A Fresh Pair Every Time for Daily Disposables

If you’re using daily disposable lenses, never wear them more than once. Each new day calls for a fresh pair of contacts to minimize the risk of infection and ensure optimal comfort and clarity.

Mindful Removal Practices

We often overlook how we remove our contacts at night; however, this process requires just as much attention as when putting them in. Always use clean hands, and be gentle to avoid unnecessarily tearing the soft contact material or irritating your eyes. Remember to store your dailies in a contact lens case with contact solution to prevent water exposure and maintain their water content.
Don’t forget that proper maintenance extends beyond simply cleaning—remember regular check-ups, too. In addition, pay close attention while inserting your contacts from their storage case. And yes – even how one removes their silicone hydrogel contact lenses needs careful consideration since any damage done during removal can lead to potential eye problems down the line.

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams for Contact Lens Wearers

Eye exams are for more than checking for glaucoma

Although contact lens wearers may feel no discomfort and have a clear vision, regular eye doctor check-ups are essential to identify any potential issues early. But here’s the thing: not all eye problems cause symptoms right away. So, it’s crucial to get regular check-ups with an eye doctor.

These exams aren’t just about making sure your current prescription still works for you – they’re also about safeguarding your overall eye health.

Catching Problems Early On

Sometimes, issues like dry eyes or corneal abrasions can start out small but worsen over time if left untreated. These conditions might be linked to wearing contacts, leading to more severe cornea or damage, such as corneal ulcers.

A routine exam lets doctors spot these signs early on before they become big problems. Plus, by monitoring changes in your eyes over time, they can adjust treatment plans as needed.

Maintaining Your Prescription

Your glasses prescription isn’t always the same as your contact lens one—there are additional measurements involved when fitting lenses directly onto the eyeball itself. This makes annual reviews vital for maintaining accurate prescriptions and comfortable wear.

If anything feels off—even slightly—don’t wait until next year’s appointment. Reach out to a trusted practice immediately.

Daily Disposable Contacts

You might be thinking, “I use daily disposable lenses, so I’m safe from infections.” Unfortunately, that’s not entirely true. Although daily disposables do reduce certain risks because each pair is sterile straight from the packet (no chance of bacteria growing in the old solution), this doesn’t make you immune to all eye problems.

Issues like allergies, dry eye syndrome, or even a poorly fitting lens can still cause trouble. So, regular check-ups remain crucial whether your lenses are for daily wear or extended use.

Want to keep enjoying the ease of contact lenses and still maintain clear vision with healthy eyes over time? Remember not to miss your eye exams. They’re just as crucial as daily lens cleaning and timely replacements. Remember, your eyes are counting on you.

FAQs in Relation to Contact Lenses in Water

What can I use if I have no contact solution?

If you’re out of lens solution, try to get some as soon as possible. In a pinch, use saline or rewetting drops. Never resort to water.

What happens if you put contact lenses in water?

Contact lenses and water don’t mix well. Water can change their shape and let harmful bacteria stick around, which could lead to eye infections.

Can I put my contacts in the water for one night?

Storing your contacts in water, even overnight, is risky because it exposes them to dangerous and harmful germs that may harm your eyes.

Can I store contact lenses without a solution?

Avoid doing this whenever possible. If there’s no option but to leave the lenses dry, replace them with a fresh pair of stored contacts before wearing them again.

Let’s face it: we’ve all been tempted to keep our contact lenses in water. But now you know better. Contact lenses and water don’t mix well. Your best defense? Use proper contact solution for storage and cleaning, not just any liquid that’s handy. If swimming or showering with contacts is unavoidable, be mindful of the risks involved, such as chlorine exposure. Always practice good hygiene when handling your lenses. Last but not least—don’t forget those regular check-ups with your eye doctor!

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