“Will contact lenses melt with heat?’, people often wonder. This is probably due to numerous stories circulating the internet about contact lenses melting with heat. whether it is true or not, we don’t really know for sure. Despite the “dangers” that can possibly occur when contact lenses and heat come together, contact lenses are still the preferred choice for round-the-clock, continuous clear vision.
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Rumour Has It – The Story Behind Melting Contact Lenses
Quite some time ago, this particular story went viral and caught the attention of many. It was about this girl whose contact lenses melted while she was barbecuing her food. This caused her to go permanently blind.
Now, no one knows for sure if there is any truth to this but it did scare more than 125 million contact lenses users, worldwide. It could be possible that this blindness was caused by something else that is not related to the barbecue but this story did make most people take extra precaution when they come in contact with extreme heat – be it through cooking, at campfires, and so on.
So, Will Contact Lenses Melt with heat? Is This a Truth or Myth?
Let’s clear the air once and for all – staring directly at a high heat surface for a short period of time WILL NOT cause contact lenses to melt. Yup, it’s a MYTH, you guys! If this was the case, household electrical appliances such as the stove, clothes steamer, hair dryer, or other ordinary heat sources would probably give the same effect. That would be hazardous, no?
According to some, contact lenses can still be worn when in a high heat environment. This makes it possible to stare at a burning flame for at least a few minutes. Will it melt in your eyes? Hopefully this will put your worries at ease – in environments with extreme heat, contact lenses can never melt in your eyes. This may come as a surprise to most but in certain clinics, it is a normal practice for contact lenses to be sterilised in boiling water. This should be a good enough clue that proves how contact lenses can withstand the heat.
Contact lenses are also specially designed to withstand high temperatures. So, if it ever does melt (knock on wood), the brand of your contact lenses could be in question.
Sure, people in general enjoy their occasional barbecues and hot pot meals. Due to the heat, there is a high chance that smoke will get into your eyes as well. This is why it is good for contact lenses users to be aware of the consequences that come with facing heat directly.
Risks of Wearing Contact Lenses in a High Heat Environment
According to research, cumulated UV light exposure that includes UVA and UVB rays is one of the main causes of intense damage to the eye. This exposure can result in harmful eye conditions such as cataracts, as well as corneal and conjunctival lens damage. If you would like to know more about UV light exposure to the eyes, this article may be useful.
Even though contact lenses may not melt in high heat but it can still cause irritation to a certain degree. In places like a spa or steam sauna, the steam would cause sweat to stream into the eyes and affect the contact lenses. This could possibly cause an eye infection.
Try Avoiding These Risks
Dry eyes is one of the risks of wearing contact lenses in a high heat environment. High temperatures and smoke from heat or burning sources in your surrounding can cause the moisture in your eyes or contact lenses to dry up quicker. This can cause it to be stiffer and stickier to the surface of your eyes. Dried out contact lenses will ultimately lead to discomfort and cause pain. When faced with such situations, the best thing to do is to apply refresh eye drops catered specially for contact lenses. To ensure that your eyes stay moist, either avoid heat elements or always have your eye drops ready. Click here to read about Eye Drops with Contact Lenses.
Torn contact lenses
Torn contact lenses is also a possible risk. When your eyes are dry, you tend to rub it even more due to irritation and discomfort. The more you rub your eyes, the more likely your contact lenses will tear easily. As mentioned, dry contact lenses tend to go stiff due to the lack of moisture. If you remove the contact lenses during this instance, it will fold and crinkle. Ultimately, it will tear apart due to the inflexibility of the contact lenses’ surface.
Safety Measures You Can Take
The best way to prevent from getting dry eyes, eye irritation or infection, is by being mindful and extra cautious when you are wearing contact lenses.
Perhaps, these tips could help you out. If you have plans to go out for a barbecue or hot pot meal, try using glasses instead. You could either wear it throughout your outing or bring it as a spare. When you are done, you can switch back to contact lenses when you feel like it. Although it sounds a tad troublesome, trust us, it will save you from eye discomfort and it is a good safety habit to practice.
On another note, if your contact lenses are bothering you, it would be best take them out right away. When our eyes are uncomfortable or experiencing irritation, we tend to ignore it. It might not seem like such a big deal but this does not mean that you should endure it. To be safe, just remove it and clean it with your contact lenses solution. Bonus tip – it is always a good idea to carry a travel sized bottle around.
Contact lenses are safe to use and it can be beneficial if used correctly. We hope that this post has helped debunk the whole ‘contact lenses can melt’ myth. However, if you are ever feeling unsure of certain issues related to your eyes, feel free to consult your preferred eye specialist.
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