An optometrist named John Dreyer has shared some important advice regarding eye care. According to Dreyer, it is crucial to avoid wearing contact lenses while swimming, even in a chlorine pool. He explained that although chlorine can kill most germs, it may not eliminate all of them. This means that bacteria can be absorbed into the contacts, potentially causing damage to the eyes. In some extreme cases, this can lead to corneal ulcers.

Dreyer also cautioned against assuming that darker sunglasses provide better protection. He stated that dark sunglasses without UV ray blocking capabilities can actually harm the eyes more than not wearing sunglasses at all. The dark lenses cause the pupils to dilate wider, allowing more sunlight to enter. To ensure proper eye protection, Dreyer recommended choosing sunglasses labeled as “100 percent UV protection.”

Additionally, Dreyer highlighted the importance of protecting the eyes from excessive sunlight and heat. He explained that prolonged exposure can result in a condition called photokeratis, which causes temporary but painful damage to the cornea and conjunctiva. Symptoms include pain, headaches, light sensitivity, and temporary vision loss. However, these symptoms can be minimized with proper UV protection.

On a lighter note, Dreyer reassured contact lens wearers that they don’t need to worry about their lenses melting while cooking on a barbecue. He explained that contact lenses undergo a disinfection process called autoclaving during manufacturing, which involves boiling them at a temperature of approximately 121°C. Therefore, they can withstand high temperatures without melting. However, Dreyer did mention that the smoke from a barbecue could lead to teary eyes, increasing the risk of contact lenses falling out.

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