With the UK being rapidly subsumed by snow and ice, and treacherous conditions leaving all but the bravest – or most foolish – motorists warming at home, it’s tempting to stick the kettle on and sit out the winter. After all, a few clicks on the internet and you’ll have enough supplies to last the harsh months. And for those of you who buy contact lenses online, things couldn’t be simpler, as you let the delivery companies deal with the hazardous roads and ice age conditions. But there are other dangers to think about in these chilly climes, other than falling over and looking foolish – what if my delivery freezes?
First, let’s talk about rigid lenses. Luckily for you – unless you’re out in the mountains somewhere – your lenses aren’t going to freeze onto your eyes, as the salt from your tears and warmth of your body sees to that. Leaving them in their solution over night outside, on the other hand, will probably see them frozen. At which point it’s probably tempting to check if the seal has broken, and check if you still have a set of sterile contact lenses. Online forums are always a useful place to turn in an hour of need, but in this case – even if the seal is unbroken – it’s best to ignore the advice of the communities online, and to not wear your now thawing contact lenses.
Soft lenses, on the other hand, are safer to wear. These might warp a little after being frozen, which will affect the clarity of your vision, but the chances of them actually damaging your eyes are negligible. Even if a soft lenses rips or gets damaged while you’re wearing it, the worst it will do is feel uncomfortable, so once your frozen contacts have defrosted – at room temperature, no microwaves please! – you can pop them in, and see if they’re warped. If they are warped, then you can always pick up some more contact lenses online. It’s best to check the packaging before taking the plunge, and, if you’re really not sure, ask an eye doctor. It’s better to be safe than sorry.