Can I shower while wearing contact lenses?
Anyone new to contact lenses will likely have a lot of questions as they get used to this addition to their daily life. Wearing contact lenses in the shower is inadvisable, both for the quality of the lenses themselves and for the wearer's eye health. Showering while wearing contact lenses is similar to swimming or sleeping with them in, and counts as one of the most common errors in proper lens care. Water and contact lenses should simply not come into contact with one another, as this eyewear should be kept hygienically clean at all times. Otherwise, there is a possibility that germs or chemicals such as chlorine from the water, or even from the shower head, will get behind the contact lens and infect the eye. In mild cases, this can lead to minor issues such as sore or itchy eyes. Worse problems include conjunctivitis which comes from a bacterial infection. In very rare, serious cases, conditions such as acanthamoeba, pseudomonas and E. coli infections can occur. In the worst case scenario, some of these can lead to blindness.
For most people, wearing contact lenses in the shower is something that happens by accident, rather than intentionally neglecting to remove them. If this happens, immediately close your eyes and carefully step out of the shower until you can remove the lenses correctly. If you notice any soreness or redness following the incident, get in touch with your optometrist as soon as possible. Also, remember to use your optometrist-recommended contact lens cleaning solution to sterilise the lenses before reapplying. In all cases, however, it is better to remove contact lenses before taking a shower or bath.