There is a general misconception about contact lens use that they should not be worn when around a campfire or BBQ. Many people think that heat can melt contacts in the eyes. This is nothing more than an urban legend or rumour. The only way to melt contact lenses Australia is to set them afire. They cannot melt due to exposure to hot weather or normal heat. This guide sheds light on this misconception and attempts to dispel it.
Contact Lenses & Heat
Modern contact lenses are made using hydrogel. The material has a much higher melting point compared to the human body. All contacts are sterilised at temperatures greater than 120°C before being packed. This is done to destroy any pathogens. As long as your body can stand the heat, your contact lenses shouldn’t have any issues.
Even if you stare into the fire for a few minutes, it is not going to melt your lenses. Ever before the lenses can melt, your skin will have to burn. If your contacts can melt just by standing close to a BBQ, then you should have already experienced the same as you always spend your time close to kitchen stoves and heaters and it cannot be fixed like you fix your recliner. There should have been tens of millions of such incidents, as there are over 125 million contact wearers globally. However, you don’t hear anything as such in the news.
Contact Lenses Meeting Regulations
If contact lenses were melting due to heat and damaging eyes, they would have been removed from the market by the TGA and FDA many years ago. These authorities have a fact sheet of recommendations and warnings related to cleaning and care, and about exposing the lens to water or swimming. However, there are no warnings about heat. Most of these recommendations are related to:
- Eye irritation
- Proper lens care
At the temperatures at which contact lenses can melt, the eye and skin would have burnt away much before. Contact lenses are worn by welders without any issues. The heat produced by a BBQ is nowhere near the temperatures that welders are exposed to.
Wearing Contact Lenses Properly
Instead of taking these rumours seriously, you should be careful about choosing the right lenses such as proclear contact lenses and wearing them properly. You should avoid wearing them for too long, especially beyond the prescribed duration. Wearing them for too long can cause the area between the eye and lens to dry up.
When there is a lack of adequate tear moisture, it can make it difficult to remove the lens out of the eye. This can create a sensation that the lens has got stuck to the eye. Using eye drops can help you lubricate the lenses and remove them with ease like you are doing it on your couch.
So, it is a myth that contact lenses can be melted by standing near heat. There are many contact lens wearers that spend long durations in hot environments without any issues. All you have to do is to take precautions similar to protecting your skin and staying away from direct heat.