Wearing Contact Lenses in Hot Tubs & Saunas

Wearing Contact Lenses in Hot Tubs & Saunas

The best option is to simply remove your contact lenses prior to getting into the hot tub or sauna.

Hot Tubs or Jacuzzi’s and Contact Lens Wear

The water in a hot tub or Jacuzzi contains chlorine which is used to sanitize the water, killing bacteria.  Chlorine if it gets into your eyes can sting and if you are wearing contact lenses the chlorine molecule is small enough to embed itself within the soft contact lens material and cause all sorts of havoc, if left in.

Hot tubs, and more so Jacuzzis splash water as they bubble away and you soak down into them relaxing, however if water splashes into you eyes it can contain harmful micro-organisms such as Acanthamoeba.  The Acanthamoeba organism can live quite happily within the space between your soft contact lens and your eye.  Even if you take your contacts out and disinfect them between use this organism is resistant and will survive and can result in an infection of the cornea which can cause vision loss.

Saunas and Contact Lens Wear

The main issue with Saunas is the heat as it can dehydrate not only your contact lenses but your eyes.  When a contact lens becomes dehydrated it changes shape and this can result in your prescription power changing, your lens not fitting and more importantly it can affect the flow of oxygen to the cornea.  Saunas are also breeding grounds for bacteria so if you see mould around the Sauna best to just steer clear.

Protecting Your Eyes and Contact Lenses in the Sauna and Hot Tub

If you must wear your contact lenses in these environments there are a couple of things you can do to protect your eyes and contact lenses.  In the hot tub wear firm fitting goggles or a daily disposable contact lens that you can remove and throw away when you get out.

In the Sauna a daily disposable contact lens is the best option which should be removed and replaced with a new pair when you get out.  If wearing monthly or two weekly lenses make sure you add some lubricating drops as soon as you get out and them soak overnight in a disinfectant solution. Never sleep in your contact lenses after you’ve been in the sauna, even if they are extended wear lenses.

If you’re thinking spectacles are an option for the hot tub or Sauna, think again as the heat and steam can affect the coatings on your lenses.


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