6 Amazing facts you didn’t know about contact lenses and the weather
1. The sun will not melt your contact lenses - nor will the BBQ
Despite some urban myths, your lenses will not 'melt' in hot weather or under hot environments i.e BBQing or welding.
One potential side effect of warmer weather is that your lenses may dry out more quickly. In this case, rewetting drops are often the best way to deal with the moisture levels. ... Cold weather conditions, however, are generally fine for wearing contact lenses.
2. UV light and contact lenses
Most contact lenses have UV protection.
Contact lenses alone cannot provide 100% UVA and UVB protection, you still need to wear wrap around sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat for that.Remember UV rays are not just a problem in the summer, UV rays reflect of all surfaces in fact upto 90% off of snow, up to 30% off water and 25% off sand!
3. You can wear your contact lenses in the rain
Although we are frequently reminded not to wear our contact lenses in the shower, swimming pool, jacuzzi etc wearing them in the rain posses no risk.
One of the reasons contact lenses are so popular is because they will not become smeared with water droplets in the rain or fog up in cold weather. In rain and snow, your eyes will react in very much the same way during whether with or without contact lenses.
4. Your contact lenses will not freeze on your eyes in the winter
Winter can be a tough season for our health, body and eyes with cold, dry temperatures, heavy winds and harmful UV rays reflecting off of snow and ice.Eyes need moisture, especially so in winter, outside the humidity is lower and indoors we turn up the heat, so it’s not uncommon to suffer dry eyes, we find having a few vials of comfort drops at home and work can work wonders.
Winter's cold, dry air might irritate your contacts, but you don’t need to worry about them freezing or sticking to your eye, contact lenses have been exposed to minus 90 Fahrenheit temperatures and 78 mph winds with no freezing.
5. Skiing and contact lenses
Contact lenses are a great option for skiers, they fit comfortably under your ski goggles and do not mist up or get damaged should you fall, and as mentioned above you don’t have to worry about them freezing to your eyes.
Skiing can pose a risk to your eyes whether you wear contact lenses or glasses as the UV rays reflecting off of the snow and ice can cause photokeratitis (snowblindness) in which case you need to stop wearing your contact lenses until it heals. If you suffer, pain, swelling, light sensitivity, distorted colours and or temporary loss of vision, contact an eye care professional for advice and treatment.
6. Hay fever and contact lenses
OK not strictly a weather condition but hey, the pollen count is affected by the weather which directly affects your contact lenses.
Hay fever sufferers can have a hard time with contact lenses when a full blown hay fever mode
Antihistamine can help whether topical or oral,both work to block the release of histamine, which causes many of the symptoms.
There a few steps you can take to help reduce symptoms
Use Air Conditioning: Keep windows in your home and car closed
Avoid outdoor activities such as mowing the lawn or gardening
Wash your hands, face and hair often to rid them of pollen
Don't rub your eyes
Use cold compresses to sooth your eyes
If you wear soft contact lenses, don't wear them if you're using medicinal eye drops
One of the most effective ways of reducing hay fever symptoms is to reduce your exposure to the irritant, check out or great high pollen calendar.
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 20 Nov 2018, Last modified: 4 Mar 2020