Contact Lens Health Week: Say No To Water

August 23, 2023


Contact lenses offer freedom from eyeglasses, but they also come with specific care instructions.

One crucial rule: avoid water while wearing or handling your contacts.

Here’s why this guideline is so important:

1. Risk of Infection: Water, whether from the tap, shower, pool, or even a hot tub, can contain a multitude of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. When contact lenses come into contact with water, these harmful pathogens can attach to the lenses and lead to severe eye infections, such as Acanthamoeba keratitis.

2. Contaminated Water Sources: Even seemingly clean water sources can harbor bacteria. Tap water, for instance, can carry the microorganism responsible for causing eye infections. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep your lenses away from any water source.

3. Water Can Warp Lenses: Contact lenses are designed to maintain their shape on your eye. Water, however, can cause soft lenses to swell and change shape, leading to discomfort and blurred vision.

4. Reduced Disinfection: If your lenses come into contact with water, their disinfection becomes less effective. Water can dilute or neutralize the disinfecting solution, leaving your lenses inadequately cleaned and increasing the risk of eye infections.

5. Preserving Lens Integrity: Prolonged exposure to water can damage the structure of your contact lenses, making them less durable and prone to tearing.

To protect your eye health and ensure a comfortable contact lens experience, always adhere to the “no water” rule.

Instead, use the recommended disinfecting solution provided by your Optometrist for cleaning, rinsing, and storing your lenses.

If you need to swim or engage in water-related activities, wear waterproof goggles and remove your contact lenses beforehand.

Remember, preserving your eye health starts with proper contact lens care, and avoiding water is a critical part of that care routine.


In addition to owning and managing Ezekiel Eyes, Damon is a contact lens consultant to various research organisations. He regularly lectures and conducts workshops in contact lens practice throughout Australia, Asia and the United States. Damon graduated from the University of NSW with a Bachelor of Optometry in 1989. He is now married with two children and enjoys running, hockey, swimming, piano, travelling and trekking.

Damon’s professional associations include:
President of the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists
Practising Fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society
Fellow of the Cornea & Contact Lens Society of Australia
Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry
Member of Optometry Australia
Member of the Orthokeratology Society of Australia
Member of Alcon Australia advisory panel