The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has issued advice on swimming
with contact lenses in response to recent media interest.
The BCLA’s advice for contact lens wearers is to not wear contact lenses for swimming – or in hot tubs or whilst showering or participating in water sports – unless wearing tight-fitting goggles over the top. After swimming – or if lenses are removed and stored whilst swimming – contact lenses should be cleaned and disinfected in fresh solution before putting them back on the eyes.
The BCLA recommendation is that regular swimmers talk to their eyecare practitioner about being fitted with daily disposable lenses for use with goggles whilst swimming. Wearers of daily disposable contact lenses should always discard them immediately after swimming.
BCLA President, Dr Catharine Chisholm, commented: “Thankfully it is extremely rare for someone to develop an eye infection as a result of their lenses coming into contact with water -– and even less common for this to result in a loss of vision. However, infections of the cornea can be very serious and are most commonly associated with patients not following the instructions for lens care and wear given to them by their eyecare practitioner (ECP).
“The BCLA advises all ECPs to revisit optimum lens care habits with patients at each lens aftercare visit, and has recently produced a ‘Checklist for healthy contact lens wear’ for practitioners to complete and issue to their contact lens patients at each six-month check-up.”