If you’re someone who wears contact lenses, they’re a big part of your everyday eye health. Whether you are wearing them all day or only need to wear them for shorter periods of time, proper contact lens care is key to helping to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.
Because they are stored in liquid, it’s possible that contact lenses could freeze while stored in solution. Contact lenses will not freeze in your eyes, though. The temperature of your body will regulate the contact lenses so they will not freeze when they are worn on your eyes.
Contact lenses are made of a soft plastic that on its own, will not freeze, but will harden if not cared for properly. There are many different types of contact lenses, but each will need to be cared for in the same ways.
Your contact lenses, when not in your eyes, sit in a solution which is mainly made up of water, and cleaning and disinfecting ingredients. This solution can be frozen if left in extreme conditions. Canada can have very extreme weather, especially in the winter time. If your contacts are left inside a vehicle or outdoors during the extreme cold, your contact lenses can freeze inside the solution.
Is it Safe to Wear Contact Lenses After They Have Been Frozen?
Sometimes our contact lenses are exposed to conditions that are not ideal. When contact lenses get shipped or transported all over the world, they can sometimes be frozen in the solution that they are in. This is something that can happen during the colder, winter months.
After your contact lenses have been frozen, once they have been left at room temperature to thaw, they are safe to use again. To make sure that there is nothing that has gotten stuck to the lens, it is best to make sure that you change the liquid and clean them before you use them again.
Things to Remember When Dealing with Frozen Contacts
Having your contact lenses frozen can happen to anyone. Living in Ontario, you are subject to some of the more extreme winter conditions that happen in Canada. If your contact lenses have been frozen, don’t worry, you will still be able to use them. There are some things to remember when dealing with lenses that have been frozen:
- Make sure that your lenses are completely thawed before you attempt to put them back in. If there is any ice still on the lens, it can ruin the contacts as well as scratch your eyeball.
- To help your lenses thaw faster, open up the container. This will allow the air to get to the solution and reduce the thaw time.
- Do not attempt to speed up the process with artificial heat. The use of a hair dryer or radiator can warp the shape of the lens. By doing this, if it is then reinserted on to your eye, could cause damage to the eyeball.
- Hot water is not good to use to speed up thaw time. This can change the shape and structure of the lens.
- Do not shake the container during the thawing process. If there are still little bits of ice within the container, this could scratch the lens. You might not be able to see these small scratches, but it can then damage your eye when you go to use your contact lenses again.
- Remember to always throw out the solution that was frozen. Replace with new solution and clean the lenses before you put them back in.
If you are using disposable contact lenses, or you do not feel safe putting your contacts in after they have been frozen, you can always speak to your eye doctor and they can help decide the best course of action.
How Should I Care for My Contact Lenses?
There is a lot of care and cleaning involved when it comes to your contact lenses. Even if your lenses have been frozen and you continue to use them, you will still need to care for them as you normally would. Your lenses need to be cleaned properly before every use. There are some things to remember when caring for you contact lenses:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before putting your contacts in.
- Always read the instructions for your cleaning solution.
- Replace your contact lens case every 3 months.
Here For Your Contact Lens Needs
Your contact lenses are an important part of your vision care. If you have questions concerning your contact lenses, the doctors at Whitby Family Eyecare are here to help. Book an appointment today to speak to one of our doctors about any questions or concerns you might have.