Massachusetts Cornea Specialist Says Avoid Contact Lenses for Swimming
PR Log - Mar 29, 2012 - “Some patients-and even some eye care professionals-tend to be a little lax when it comes to directing contact lens wearers to avoid wearing their contacts while swimming-or even in the shower-and especially in hot tubs or spas,” said Dr. Chang. “Contact lenses really shouldn’t be worn for swimming, taking showers, in bath tubs or in hot tubs as there is plenty of research and clinical experience that tells us that it poses unnecessary safety risks to patients.”
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that contact lenses not be exposed to any form of water. Although rare, a sight-threatening eye complication of wearing contact lenses around water, called Acanthamoeba Keratitis is caused by an organism present in all forms of impure water. “We know that Acanthamoeba, as well as some other potentially harmful types of bacteria found in water, can stick to the surface of contact lenses and cause an infection of the cornea,” said Dr. Chang. Experts agree that wearing contact lenses is really quite safe when they are properly fitted, properly cared for and when wearers follow some general rules for good hygiene including:
>Always insert your contact lenses after showering. >If lenses are being worn while you shower, be sure to keep your eyes closed. >If you accidently wear your contact lenses while in the bathtub or hot tub, avoid getting water splashed into your eyes. >If your eyes are exposed to water, instill a lubricating drop to help loosen the lens on the eye, remove the lens with clean, dry hands, then clean and disinfect the lens, or discard it. >Never sleep in a lens that has been exposed to water, without first cleaning and disinfecting it. >If lenses were removed prior to getting in a hot tub, they must be properly cleaned and disinfected before being re-inserted.
“If you follow some simple guidelines you can have a very safe contact lens wearing experience. For some patients, the water restrictions, such as not wearing contacts for swimming, bath tubs and showering, that are part of your daily routine, are a real hassle. I find that for these patients, having a discussion about LASIK as a vision correction option may be a welcome solution,” said Dr. Chang.
D'Ambrosio Eye Care is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Boston and central Massachusetts area including Acton, Athol, Berlin, Bolton, Boylston, Boxborough, Chelmsford, Clinton, Concord, Fitchburg, Gardner, Greenfield, Groton, Harvard, Hudson, Lancaster, Leominster, Lexington, Littleton, Lowell, Lunenburg, Marlborough, Milford, Shelburne Falls, Shirley, Sterling, Stow, Sudbury, Templeton, Westminster, Westborough, Winchendon and Worcester, Massachusetts.
Staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes, age related macular degeneration, diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services.