Can Contact Lenses Freeze to Your Eyes?

In Salt Lake City, where ManagementPlus is located, winter has been far from what we are accustomed to. After a brief spell of cold and snow around Christmas, temperatures jumped way above normal and have stayed there ever since. But in other parts of the country, things have been quite different. Record snowfall and chilly temperatures have swept across the East Coast and Midwest. During this type of weather, people often have questions about how the cold reacts to their body. We’d to provide an answer to one of them that we have been asked often: can contact lenses freeze to my eye?

In 1982, a study done on behalf of the military found the answer. Knowing that military personnel are often asked to perform operations in colder climates, they decided to find out if contacts could be dangerous in these situations. They fitted rabbits with hard contact lenses and exposed them to temperatures of -20.02 degrees Fahrenheit with winds of 78 mph for three hours. With these two factors combined, the wind chill exceeded -90.04 degrees.

In 85% of the rabbits observed, no effects of the cold were seen in the contact lenses. The other rabbits showed mild superficial fluorescein staining in the cornea that cleared up within a few hours. Based off this study, researchers safely determined that contacts cannot freeze to your eye.

So while you might have to worry about slipping on the ice or icicles on your eyelashes during the next winter storm, you don’t have to fret about contacts freezing to your eyeballs.

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