Summer is finally here and spending your days outside is a top priority. If you are a contact lens wearer though there are some things that you should know and do when outside in order to better protect your lenses and eyes. We’ve put together some helpful tips to keep both you and your eyes happy and comfortable this summer.
1. Wear goggles while swimming. While this seems like a no brainer, it’s really important to remember and a lot of people don’t realize the risks. If you open your eyes under water while wearing contact lenses, your lenses could potentially float right out of your eyes! Also, contact lenses can pick up bacteria and chemicals from the pool water, regardless of how much chlorine is in the water. You definitely don’t want to ruin your fun day in the sun, so don’t forget to wear swimming goggles!
2. Wear UV protecting sunglasses. Not only do they keep the sun out of your eyes, and make you look stylish while doing so, they also prevent debris from blowing into your eyes and contacts while helping to prevent dryness due to blowing wind.
3. Always wear water-proof or sweat-proof sunscreen on your face. Whether you’re working out, swimming, or spending time outside during the summer, you want to make sure that the sunscreen you’re using on your face won’t drip into your eyes and bother your contacts. Keep in mind though it’s also good to wear water-proof or sweat-proof sunscreen on the rest of your body so that if you touch or rub your face it won’t run into your eyes either. Whenever you dry off your face after getting it wet or sweating, make sure you use a clean dry towel and pat, not wipe, your face to remove excess water in order to prevent sunscreen from being rubbed into your eyes.
4. Make sure your contacts are UV blocking. Ask your doctor about contacts that are a Class 1, such as Acuvue Oasys. This is the highest protection available in contacts and they block up to 96% of UVA and 100% of UVB rays. These contacts are not a replacement for sunglasses, but they will help with added protection.
5. Keep your face and eyes out of directly blowing air. This goes for all the ways we keep cool during the summer. From air conditioning to fans to a cool breeze on a hot day, blowing air can cause your contacts to dry out and also propel any harmful or irritating particles in the air. When in the car make sure that the vents are pointed away from your face. In addition, when running, make sure you keep your head slightly tilted down. It’s always good to keep eye drops readily available though, in case you do end up with dry eyes from all outdoor activities in the summer months.