Contact Lenses and Swimming

Contact Lenses and Swimming

Myth: You can wear contact lenses while swimming as long as your eyes do not feel irritated. 

Fact: Although glasses are not ideal to swim with, contacts are also not the answer. Swimming with contacts can result in eye infections, irritation and potential sight threatening conditions such as a corneal ulcer. 

The FDA recommends that you do not expose contacts to any type of water: tap water; swimming pools; oceans; lakes; hot tubs and showers. All sorts of viruses and micro-organisms live in water. One of the most feared is acanthamoeba that attaches to your contact, causing corneal infection that can result in permanent vision loss or the need for a corneal transplant. 

Daily contact lens wearers have a bout a 1 in 100 chance of developing a serious lens related eye infection over 30 years of use. They have a 1 in 2000 chance of suffering significant vision loss as a result. 


Although contact lenses and LASIK are both very low risk, contacts wearers have a 10 times higher accumulated risk for sight threatening infections than patients choosing LASIK. 

The medical content provided is not intended to replace a consultation with a health care provider. 

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