• By EYE Q India
  • June 5, 2024
Eye care tips

As summer temperatures soar and heatwaves become more frequent, taking extra precautions is essential for everyone’s health and well-being, especially for those who wear contact lenses. During extreme heat, contact lens users face an increased risk of eye irritation, discomfort, and potential complications. Here’s what causes these issues:

Tear Film Dryness

Heat and low humidity cause the tear film to evaporate more quickly. Contact lenses, which act as sponges, absorb moisture from the eyes. When eyes are already dry due to heatwave conditions, the lenses can become excessively dehydrated, leading to redness, stinging, blurred vision, and a heightened risk of eye infections. Dehydration, a common side effect of heat exposure, can further exacerbate dryness.

Protein Buildup

High temperatures can result in the denaturation and accumulation of proteins in the tear film on contact lenses, potentially leading to eye infections or damage to the cornea. This buildup of proteins can result in lenses feeling gritty and uncomfortable, and it can even impair vision.

UV Exposure

Intense sunlight during heatwaves increases exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, potentially causing long-term eye damage such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea). Since contact lenses do not provide complete UV protection, taking precautions is essential:

  • Maintain Hydration: Ensure adequate hydration to prevent dryness and discomfort in the eyes, particularly when outdoors or engaging in physical activities.
  • Manage Wear Time: Reduce the duration of contact lens wear during heatwaves to minimize eye strain, discomfort, and the risk of infections. Take regular breaks to alleviate any discomfort.
  • Utilize Moisturizing Drops: Keep contact lenses hydrated with lubricating drops, especially in hot and dry conditions, to prevent irritation.
  • Minimize Outdoor Exposure: Limit outdoor activities during peak heat hours and shield the eyes with UV-protective sunglasses to safeguard against harmful UV rays, wind, and dust.
  • Adopt Hygienic Practices: Maintain proper hand hygiene before handling contact lenses, and adhere to recommended cleaning and disinfecting routines to prevent bacterial buildup.
  • Consider Disposable Options: Using daily disposable lenses ensures a fresh pair each day, reducing the risk of eye infections and discomfort during heatwaves.
  • Heed Symptoms: Pay attention to any signs of discomfort, redness, or vision disturbances while wearing contact lenses in hot weather. Promptly remove them and seek professional advice if symptoms persist.