With contact lenses in the sauna?

Sauna-goers with impaired vision know that wearing glasses is disadvantageous. Because in the relaxing sauna atmosphere, this type of visual aid is impairing. Especially with regard to the relaxing mood while bathing in the sauna. But for eyeglass wearers, contact lenses might well be a better choice in the sauna cabin.
Is it allowed to wear contact lenses in the sauna?

Is it allowed to wear contact lenses in the sauna?

With contact lenses in the sauna. You should pay attention to some things so that the eyes do not suffer any damage in the sauna room. The cornea of the eye is sensitive and reacts to the heat in the sauna. When contact lenses are worn, it is important to be extra careful. Whether wearing such lenses instead of glasses in the sauna is really a good idea depends entirely on the wearer.

Of course, many sauna-goers worry about this. After all, of the estimated more than 26 million regular sauna guests, quite a few wear glasses. Some of them find it quite easy to relax well even without visual aids. However, some would also like to be able to see through the sauna at all times and therefore do not want to do without their visual aids.

Good wearing comfort even with high humidity

Contact lenses offer decisive advantages over glasses in the sauna cabin. Glasses often fog up because of the change from cold to high temperatures. In addition to this unpleasant effect, the heat exposure also causes premature material wear. Acetate glasses can bend due to heat exposure, lose their stability and even become unusable. Anti-reflective lenses can develop streaks that cannot be removed even by complex cleaning procedures.

Contact lenses, on the other hand, are not affected by heat and remain unaffected by temperature changes. Dimensional stability is also ensured at high temperatures and fogging is practically impossible. Even with the high humidity in the steam sauna, contact lenses sit securely and do not fall out immediately.

Dried out lenses are a danger to the eyes

At first glance, such lenses, therefore, offer ideal conditions with freedom of movement and good vision. From a medical point of view, however, their use is not entirely harmless. It is certain that artificial eye lenses come into increased contact with water every time they are used in the sauna. And this is true regardless of what material the lenses are made of. Actually, contact lenses float in the so-called tear film.

The increased evaporation rate and the dry air in the sauna are not exactly conducive to this. Because tear fluid evaporates quickly. If heavy sweating is added to this, artificial lenses tend to dry out quickly. Pressing, unpleasant feelings are the result. These then often tempt the wearer to involuntarily rub the eyes.

Avoid water contact with the eyes as far as possible during sauna use

Even those who keep their eyes closed in the sauna cabin can do little to prevent this. Although the tear film would not evaporate so quickly in this case, significantly less oxygen reaches the eyes. For the supply of the cornea, in addition, for the suppleness of the lenses is sufficient, oxygen however essential. It could also be proven that this effect occurs with monthly lenses, just as with disposable or daily lenses.

Frequent contact with water could cause harmful microorganisms such as bacteria or amoebae to adhere to the lens surface. The protein environment of the tear film is considered an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. So-called acanthamoeba can become a real medical problem. This is because they have the potential to reach the interior of the eye via microcracks in the cornea.

Silicone hydrogel lenses are recommended for sauna bathing

With corresponding previous damage, this could even lead to a complete loss of vision. Lens wearers are therefore recommended to keep their eyes closed at all times when taking a sauna. This also applies to the use of the cold plunge pool. At first glance, artificial eye lenses and sauna use do not seem to be compatible. Nevertheless, the quality of today’s lenses makes good vision in the sauna possible when used responsibly.

In particular, artificial lenses made of silicone hydrogel are recommended for sauna use. It is worth asking your optician. Because many contact lens wearers often do not know exactly what material their artificial lenses are made of. Silicone hydrogel lenses defy the adverse sauna temperatures best. This is because they are water-binding and oxygen-permeable at the same time.

Daily disposable lenses are probably the best choice for use in the sauna room

Blinking a lot and drinking plenty of fluids can help combat eye dryness while in the sauna. Moisturizing eye drops can also be used, of course. Always protect the eyes from water when visiting the sauna is the top priority. Helpful for this purpose can also be swimming goggles. If possible, the lenses should not slip during the sauna visit. Involuntary rubbing of the eyes should be avoided.

Thorough lens hygiene is also essential when taking a sauna. At least after each sauna session, monthly disposable lenses should be disinfected and cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Who would like to spare itself these disinfection measures, however, should prefer daily lenses with the sauna bathing. Because these can be simply disposed of after the sauna stay.


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