Showering and Contact Lenses

One of the best things about wearing extended-wear contact lenses is just how easy they are to take care of.  I love the fact that you get to pretend that you are a person with 20/20 vision for whatever length of time you have the contacts inserted.

Assuming you are a person who appreciates good hygiene, this will also mean you’ll need to shower with your lenses in your eyes.  This is an interesting proposition because it is generally not recommended that you shower or swim while wearing contacts.

So what should you do?

Most optometrists will tell you to just keep your eyes closed and try not to let water get into your eyes while wearing your lenses.  Though manufacturers of these types of lenses have created them in such a way that water doesn’t harm them, there are still some slight eye health concerns about exposing your contact lenses to tap water.

If you don’t wear extended-wear lenses and you have the option of taking your contacts out before showering (or delaying putting them in until after your shower) than do that instead.

Other Challenges:

Feeling Stuck

Another possible challenge of wearing contacts in the shower is how your eyes will feel when you get out.  If you like to take a really hot shower, like I do, then you may find yourself with red and dried out eyes.  Your contacts may not sit comfortably until you can restore some moisture to your eyeballs.  To do this, you’ll just need to use some saline solution or, better yet, some special lubricating drops that are made for your specific type of contact lenses.

If you are irritated to the point where you need to remove the lenses, be sure to lubricate the eye first.  This will also help if you happen to “lose” your contact in your eye because it’s gotten to dry.  With some additional lubrication and a lot of blinking, you should be able to move the lens back into place for easy extraction.  Just try to avoid rubbing hard on your eye in the mean time.


Another downside of showering with lenses…soap.  If you do happen to get some shampoo or cleanser of any kind in there, you may want to remove your lenses and disinfect them overnight.  Or, at a minimum, you may need to clean them if you feel like the soap has put any kind of residue or film on your lens.

Ask your closest America’s Best optometrist if your lenses are ok to shower in and if he or she has any particular recommendations for you!

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1 Response

  1. allie says:

    Its not about soap or heat or damage to the lenses, just one drop of water coming in contact with lenses can carry Acanthamoeba leading to nasty eye infections.

    I was never told why not to wear them in the shower either and had no idea it was in tap water. You can be lucky for a while and there’s no harm done but its a matter of time so it’s best to be careful.

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