If you’ve ever visited a sauna or steam room, you know that visibility can be limited. Those who wear contact lenses or glasses might be worried about whether or not they’ll be able to see at all. There are also a few restrictions and limitations posed by different companies, so let’s dive into the details.
Glasses usually have issues with fogging inside a steam room and saunas temperatures can be high enough to melt protective coatings on the lenses. Contact lenses will quickly dry out inside saunas and can cause eye irritation and other problems as a result. It is usually best to avoid bringing glasses or contacts inside a sauna or steam room.
Throughout this article, you will learn the following information about wearing glass and contacts in saunas and steam rooms:
- How to protect your eyes and lenses
- How to properly deal with contacts and glasses in a sauna or steam room
- Whether or not you’re allowed to do it
Can You Wear Glasses in the Sauna?
Wearing glasses in the sauna might seem like a harmless activity. Unfortunately, this mistake can end up costing you quite a bit of money.
In general, you will want to avoid wearing glasses inside the sauna.
Modern glasses lenses come with protective coatings to prevent glaring, scratches, and UV penetration. When they’re exposed to incredibly high temperatures, such as the 150°F to 195°F (66°C to 91°C) range described by Healthline, the coating can melt or warp.
A warped coat can change the way you see through the glasses. You’ll be forced to buy a new pair. This issue is rare, but why risk ruining a good pair of glasses if you don’t have to?
Will My Glasses Fog Up in the Sauna?
One of the first things that you will notice when you step into a steam room is that your glasses will fog up, but that’s not the case with saunas. Instead of using moisture, saunas use dry heat to warm up the environment. Hot rocks and heaters are two of the most popular sources.
Without moisture in the air, there is not much that can cause you glasses to get too foggy. That being said, perspiration and deep breathing from a filled sauna can lead to semi-fogged glasses. It won’t be too intense, but it can limit your visibility.
How to Wear Glasses in the Sauna
If you are determined to wear glasses in a sauna despite the warnings, try to wear a pair that doesn’t have any special coatings. Without anything other than the glass lenses, you’ll be able to relax, knowing that your investment isn’t being ruined.
Remember that a sauna is almost always a place of relaxation. Some people use it to lose bodyweight through intentional dehydration, but it’s usually just somewhere that you can close your eyes and kickback.
If you’re not looking around the room, leave your glasses in the car or a gym locker.
Can You Wear Glasses in a Steam Room?
Unlike saunas, steam rooms usually only get up to about 110°F (43.3°C), according to Healthline. The temperature isn’t enough to ruin your glasses. Many people live in climates that often exceed such temperatures, but they’re never as humid as a steam room.
The biggest challenge you’ll face when wearing glasses in a steam room is that they’re inevitably going to fog up. Some steam rooms are so humid that you won’t be able to see one foot in front of you from the moment you walk in. The good news is that everyone’s visibility is limited in a steam room.
In short, you can wear your glasses if you want, they won’t be damaged. However, it’s pointless since they’ll be fogged and useless in a matter of seconds. You’re better off leaving them in their case until you’re ready to leave the steam room.
Can You Wear Contact Lenses in the Sauna?
As you read above, saunas exceed natural temperatures found anywhere that’s habitable by humans. Therefore, contact lenses aren’t designed to withstand such heat. Alensa points out that the high temperatures can dry out your contact lenses relatively quickly.
This process of removing moisture from the lenses can ruin them in a matter of minutes once you are inside the sauna. You’ll also likely experience severe eye irritation since they’re already limiting the oxygen supply to your eyes and they will draw up and away from your eyeballs, sitting uncomfortably.
If you keep your eyes closed the entire time, you can get away with wearing them. But what’s the point of keeping your contacts in if you’re not going to use them for their designed purpose? Instead, pack along a case and saline solution to store them before you hop into the sauna. Once you’re ready to leave, wash your hands and put them back into your eyes.
Is It Safe to Wear Contact Lenses in the Sauna?
It is not only a bad idea to wear your contacts in a sauna, but it can also be quite dangerous. Contact Lens goes on to state that saunas often harbor plenty of bacteria. Once your oxygen-deprived corneas are exposed to the bacteria, they’ll start to itch. You’ll be inviting an infection, sadly.
The good news is that you can wear a pair of eye protectors to keep your contacts in. Wink-Ease Disposable Eye Protection offers a simple solution that you can check out here – unfortunately you are going to end up looking a little bit like a space alien if you wear them. All you have to do is fold the shields, put one over each eye, and toss them in the trash when you’re done using them.
This method allows you to keep your contacts in without having to go through the replacement process.
Can You Wear Contact Lenses in a Steam Room?
While steam rooms are as harmful to contact lenses, they can still present a problem: bacteria. Anywhere that’s warm, moist, and dark is asking for bacteria to grow. All of these factors are present in a steam room. Even though they’re maintained regularly, it’s safe to assume that bacteria will still manage to find a way into your lenses.
Another issue is that steam rooms can cause eye irritation for those who are wearing contacts. If you’ve ever gotten smoke in your lenses, then you know how quickly it can turn into a bad situation. Since contacts cover your cornea, they’ll trap the heat, moisture, and bacteria underneath for long periods of time.
If you are about to throw away your contacts, or you are headed home to take them out this might not be a huge deal. If you still have to get along with your day, however, then plan on bringing a new pair just in case or at least some quality eye drops made for contact wearers.
Why Are Contact Lenses Prohibited in Some Steam Rooms?
Some steam rooms have a set of rules that prohibit people from wearing their contact lenses. Although they’re not going to check each customer, it’s more of a warning to keep you safe (and it covers the company in the event of a lawsuit).
The primary reason for this restriction is that contact lenses tend to dry out or warp. As mentioned above, they’re also susceptible to bacteria. Either way, your lenses will be ruined, and your eyes will get irritated or potentially infected.
Note: Even if the company doesn’t prohibit contact lenses, do your best to remove them or cover them with the aforementioned recommended eye protectors.
Contact lenses and glasses are an obvious necessity for many people, but they have no place in a steam room or sauna. In addition to the fact that you don’t need them due to limited visibility in these rooms, you’ll be doing yourself an extreme disservice by wearing them.
Here is a quick rundown of the post:
- Saunas and steam rooms can fog and warp the protective coating on your glasses.
- They can also warp and dry out your contact lenses.
- Wear eye protection to prevent damage to your contacts or store them in their case.