Myth 1: You can swim with contact lenses.
Reality: This is not recommended! The FDA warns that “there is a risk of eye infection from bacteria and other microorganisms in swimming pool water, hot tubs, lakes, and the ocean.” In short, contact lenses stay hydrated by absorbing the liquid they are exposed to, like contact lens solution and your tear film, which means that they also can absorb bacteria, chemicals and microorganisms contained in these liquids, with the risks of irritation and infections associated with it. For swimming, it is therefore preferable to remove your contact lenses or to wear waterproof swim goggles over contacts. If you swim a lot, you should consider looking into prescription swim goggles! If you still decide to wear contact lenses while swimming (at your own risk!), make sure to disinfect your contacts as soon as you get out of the water or wear disposable ones so that you can throw them away right after.
Myth 2: Putting in and removing your contacts hurts.
Reality: If you’ve ever accidentally poked your eye, you know how much it can hurt! But don’t worry, putting in and removing your contacts feels nothing like this as long as your hands are washed and your lenses are disinfected! It doesn’t hurt at all. You don’t technically touch the surface of your eye, only the surface of the lens. The lens, which has been soaking in a liquid that is designed not to irritate your eye, will feel like the equivalent of a soft rub to the back of your hand. (Give it a try!). It feels counter-intuitive to approach your finger to your eye, but the more you do it, the easier it gets!
Myth 3: Contact lenses fall out of your eyes
Today’s soft contact lenses are made to fit the surface of your eyes with such precision that it is improbable that they would fall out, even during intense exercise. That is why many people will choose to wear contact lenses over glasses for any activity that requires a lot of movement!
Myth 4: Your contact lens can get stuck behind your eye.
Reality: Here’s why it’s impossible. The inside of your eyelids is called the conjunctiva, which is also the name of the membrane that covers the white part of your eyes. They are the same tissue! Your conjunctiva folds back on itself and becomes the white tissue covering your eyes at the very top of your eyelids. So, there is no space for a contact lens to go all the way behind your eyeball! But it could, however, get stuck behind your eyelids. Don’t worry! It is easy to remove.
Myth 5: Contact lenses will fuse with your eyes if you wear them for too long
Reality: Contact lenses can’t physically fuse with your eyes! If you wear them for too long, they might feel “stuck,” which means they have dried-out and are just harder to remove. In this case, don’t try to force them out! You could pull a few cells from the surface of your eyes, ouch! Rinse your eye with multi-purpose contact lens solution, or use eye-drops to hydrate the lenses, and you’ll be able to remove them easily.