Can contact lenses and solution freeze?
Winter and sub-zero temperatures are not an obstacle to wearing contact lenses. With a few tips, you will be able to enjoy them in the cold season as well.
You probably want to know if contact lenses can freeze in extremely cold temperatures?
They can’t. Common hydrogel contact lenses (38% of
hydration) won’t freeze in your eyes. Snow and frost won’t hurt them and you
don’t have to worry that they will change their qualities due to the cold. The
temperature of the cornea and tears is about
35°C which means the lens is warm enough even when it’s –10°C outside.
If you put lenses dipped in a solution in a freezer, the solution will freeze
around –15°C. However, the frozen solution protects the lens from damage and
contacts thus show no signs of change in quality after defrosting.
Without a solution, lenses can freeze but they will probably dry out first.
We would definitely recommend you avoid such experiments and if you decide to keep a defrosted lens, you should have it checked by a specialist with a magnifying device.
What about solutions?
A solution freezes at around –10°C. If your solution freezes while you are on a holiday or in a car, be careful. Frost can spoil its contents and lower its disinfecting qualities.
How to prevent freezing?
We recommend keeping solutions at room temperature as per the information
leaflets or packaging. Extreme cold can alter or impair the solution and thus
lower its effects which could lead to insufficient cleaning of your contacts.
However, temperatures around –10°C can only damage the solution after
several hours. So if you travel with lenses and a solution but don’t expose
them to long cold journeys every day, you don’t have to worry.
You should also keep lens storage in mind.
Lenses in a solution shouldn’t be exposed to extreme temperatures. Pay attention when travelling or while in the mountains.
Wearing contact lenses could be a bit inconvenient in a strong wind while outside in freezing temperatures for a long time or with frequently changing temperatures when you go from cold weather to overheated shops. In such cases, lenses might be uncomfortable and your eyes could feel dry.
Moisturising eye drops will help you with this and will make contact lens wearing more pleasant. Some of them are:
In winter, even when it’s not sunny, make sure to wear sunglasses that will protect your eyes from strong
wind. Then, if it does get sunny, you will do them a double favour because UV
radiation is as intensive in winter as it is in summer, especially in the
There are several ways to enjoy winter in contact lenses. If you are not sure or need an advice, seek your optician or ask Lentiamo.co.uk.