Well, To speak frankly. Every optician will probably say “No” for wearing contact lenses while surfing or swimming. Because there is still have a chance to get eyes infection.
But many contact-lenses-wearing surfers decided it’s worth the risk, from what they said you can actually wear it and enjoy surfing as every surfer do! But in only one condition – “Don’t let the water gets in your eyes”. Easier said than done, huh? Here are the tips and how to make it happen.
Could You Go Surfing with Contact Lens?
“A study of 61 contact lens wearing surfers, ages seventeen to sixty-three, reported that they surfed an average of six hours per week or 309 hours per year. Using an average of 309 surfing hours, our data shows that this “average” surfer would have one episode of general discomfort every 1.7 years.
This same surfer would experience a contact lens-induced abrasion while surfing once every eighteen years and succumb to an eye infection once every 29 years Our 61 surfers were in the water while wearing contact lenses for a total of 837 years, and there was not one report of vision loss.”
–*Research by Brett Simon, O.D., Kelsey Williams, O.D., and William Petersen, O.D.
5 Things You Must Do to Minimize The Risks
According to the research, it seems that surfing with contact lenses does appear to have a low risk of vision loss. However, It is never fully safe to swim with contact lenses and we cannot recommend you to do so.
But If surfing matters to your life and you decide it’s worth taking the risk. Here’s how to reduce the chance as much as possible.
1) You Must Wear Only Daily Disposable Contact Lenses
It’s the most important rule that you must never wear weekly or monthly contact lenses while surfing. Because bacteria and other toxic substances will grow and accumulate which leads to an eye infection.ฺ
Buying a daily one might cost a higher price but cheaper than a single medical expertise fee.
TIP: If you have no astigmatism or slightly, you might save cost by buying non-astigmatism lenses. It’s cheaper!!
2) Close Your Eyes Tightly Before Hits The Water
To avoid getting eyes itching and irritation, you need to get your eyes used to the waves in various situations. Starting from paddling through white water, turtle rolls, duck diving and getting off-board. Make sure you shut your eye before getting any contact.
Imagination would help you predict what happens during a blind eye and what you have to do after opening. Take your time to get used to it so you will be able to react instinctively, the lower eye contact, the lower chance of getting an infection.
3) Don’t Rub Your Eyes In Any Circumstance
It might be difficult not rubbing your eyes out there. Because there are so many factors to bring you a feeling to do that. Salty wind, ocean, sunshine. But you have to stop yourselves from doing it because you never know what things might get inside and scratch your eye while you rub it.
If you can’t stand or the itchy is too strong, make sure to get off water to check if there are any things abnormal happens to your eyes.
4) Beware of Polluted Water
If you’re the one who surfs near the city often, this is another point you have to be aware. Likes in many East Coast cities, the storm drains and sewers are not separated. Both the storm run-off and sewage runs through the same set of pipes.
Most official county advisories warn to wait 72 hours after a storm before entering the water.
You can check the water quality online through the EPA, Waterkeeper app or asking the locals. If there are any signs of contaminated water, don’t risk wearing it or you should better wait to surf another day. Those waves don’t worth enough for your eyes.
Here are some words from Paloma Aguirre, who is a program manager and the lead spokesperson on water quality issues for the San Diego-based environmental organization WiLDCOAST.
“post-rain ocean water can be contaminated with a variety of things, including but not limited to pesticides, urban runoff, and animal or human wastes, all of which are capable of causing illness.
Most official county advisories warn to avoid contact with the water for 72 hours after a heavy rain, a three-day buffer to allow the collective runoff to thin to healthy levels.
Also, government health departments advise avoiding contact with ocean water near storm drains, creeks and rivers, which collect the runoff and spill it out to sea.”
5) Take it off as soon as you have done
Normally a full day surf session might take about 12 hours, the sooner you do, the sooner you take it off. There’s no point to keep wearing The “MAYBE-contaminated” contact lens the rest of the night.
If you really have to wear it, it’s better to change the new one and also cleanse your eyes with saline to reduce the danger.
Additional Tips to be Safer
A Surf hat
Actually the surf hat is essential for any surfer. They are made from quick-dry and lightweight materials which gives you a perfect vision with a lot less glare and sunshine.
But for a contact-lens wearing surfer, it also works like an awning for your eyes which keeping the water off from your eyes. Covering you the direction you might not see.
With my personal experience, I have to say it works quite well. Not only the ability to keep waters aways but also the ability to keep my hair stick in place.
Which is surprisingly a life-changing! My surfing experience was so fun and smooth without a messy – look like seaweed – fringe that extremely annoying.
It keeps falling and blocks my vision every time I got hit with white waters. [I have tried to manbun it but trust me, it’s not last long. Wearing a hat is probably the best solution for medium-hair like me]
If you never tried, we suggest you try it once and you will enjoy surfing more!! Looking for the best options surfer hat? check this out: 2019 TOP TEN BEST SURFER HAT
The one and might be the best solution for those who suffered short-sighted. The Lasik surgeries. It sounds serious and dangerous but with today’s technology, it’s safer and easier than you thought [And also cheaper.
In my country you can have Lasik surgeries in the price of 2-3 surfboards] Imagine that you always see everything blurry and you struggle in sporting because of glasses, Doing this will be absolutely life-changing.
Everything becomes clear. The sea, waves, breaks, your surfer friend, the water drop. Any element becomes sharper. You can even open your eyes while duck diving!
But in order to change your life, you have to abstain your surf lust after the surgeries and follow the medical recommendation strictly. Some of those has been recommended to wait 3 months before doing some extreme sport and surfing.
If you want to have Lasik, you should have to consult the medical expertise to examine your eyes if your eyes are able to do it or you need another method to correct your eyes sights.
Surf Goggles Prescription
For any types of surfer that need more protection on your eyes, Surf Goggles might be one of the great options.
Because the surfer lives between sun and sea, our eyes are exposed to sunlight and saltwater that cause excessive eyes strain which may lead to pterygium called “Surfer’s eyes” Know more about: “Surfer’s eyes, A symptom every surfer should know ”
Especially for the contact lens wearing surfer, we don’t want the water getting in our eyes. By using this will let us concentrate on surfing and enjoy it more.
Most of it has been designed for water sport, so they can float and filter 100% of the ultraviolet. There are so many types and many styles to match your personality, you can even order the custom-made one to make it 100% what you need.
If you looking for one here’s a list that might help you decide: Top 10 Best Surfer sunglasses brand All the time! 
At the end. Even you can wear contact lenses and don’t let any drops get in your eyes but still, it’s not a fully safe. If you can’t live without surfing, Lasik surgeries might be the best option for us, the short-sighted surfer, to enjoy these feelings only surfer knows until the rest of our life. Stay Safe and see you in the water.
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