Wearing contact lenses in the cold

With review from CEENTA Optometrists Lisa Fox, OD (SouthPark) and Ron Melton, OD (SouthPark)

If you wear contact lenses, you might have had to deal with the frustration of them getting dry and blurry in cold weather. But you don’t have to grin and bear it. There are ways around this issue.

Why are my contact lenses drying out?

Cold weather leads to low humidity. Cold air can also dry out the tear film layer of your eyes. Contact lenses are kept moist by that layer of tears. As a result, your contact lenses can irritate your eyes and make your vision blurry.

Even if you’re inside where it’s warm, you might have the same problem because heaters also dry the air.

Wind can also dry out the surface of your contacts, which can cause additional irritation.

Can my contact lenses freeze to my eyes?

Contrary to myth, your contact lenses can’t freeze to your eyes, even in extreme temperatures. Your own body heat, which averages about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, keeps them warm.

What can I do to keep my contacts moist?

Drink more water. In the winter, people tend to drink less water than normal. However, the less water in your body, the fewer tears you produce. Also, don’t sit right next to a heater, no matter how chilly you may be. Running a humidifier can also reduce the dryness in your home. Rewetting drops or artificial tears can help lubricate and moisten your eyes. When you’re outside, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the wind.

And, of course, you can always swap out your contact lenses for glasses until it warms up.

Contact lenses at CEENTA

If you want contact lenses, come to CEENTA. One of our eye doctors will make sure your prescription is up to date, and a contact lens technician will discuss your options. No matter the temperature, we’ll have you seeing clearly.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointment online with any of our eye doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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