Wearing contact lenses while playing sports

Medically reviewed by Tina Patel, Contact Lens Optician at Feel Good Contacts.

Wearing contact lenses while playing sports

Unlike glasses, contact lenses while playing sports give freedom, comfort, and enhanced performance. Whether you're a professional athlete or having fun with friends playing football, tennis or cricket, your eyesight can make or break the game plan.

According to the BCLA, “As with any choice of vision correction, it's important to consider the pros and cons and to discuss these with your eyecare practitioner. Potential concerns for the athlete are dry eye symptoms, visual disturbances (glare and haloes) and complications from trauma”.

In this article, we will discuss the safety associated with playing sports while wearing contact lenses, the benefits and types of lenses for different physical activities.

Is it safe to wear contact lenses while playing sports?

Wearing contact lenses for sports can be completely safe, as long as you keep your lenses clean and follow the advice given by your optician. Glasses, on the other hand, can slip off your nose or break whilst playing any sports. Contact lenses, on the other hand, are unlikely to fall out of your eyes whilst playing sports or taking part in any physical activity and can be a safer option.

Benefits of wearing contact lenses for sports

Wearing lenses while playing sports is a great idea. Many prefer to wear contact lenses over glasses for the following reasons:

  • Lenses offer complete freedom. Glasses could slip off during any physical activity or get damaged
  • Wider field of vision compared to glasses that can restrict the visual field
  • Contact lenses do not fog up in different temperatures
  • Fewer reflections are noticed while wearing contact lenses

What type of contact lenses are best for sports?

The type of contact lenses you wear could impact your performance during sporting activities. Daily disposable contact lenses are a great choice as they are convenient and can be thrown away once you’ve finished.

If daily contact lenses are not suitable for your prescription, then soft monthly lenses or two weekly contact lenses are also a good option.

Please note that rigid gas-permeable lenses, also known as hard contact lenses, should be avoided while playing sports.

Can I wear contact lenses for water sports?

Contact lenses should be avoided during water sports and swimming, as harmful organisms can cause sight threatening infections such as Acanthamoeba Keratitis.

Contact lenses for winter sports

Unlike wearing glasses, contact lenses won’t fog up during winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Wearing contact lenses also means you have a wider field of vision compared to glasses. It is important to wear UV protecting sunglasses or goggles whilst participating in outdoor sporting activities to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Skiing winter sports

We recommend consulting your optician when considering the best contact lenses for you while playing sports. The right pair of lenses will allow you to confidently step onto the field, knowing your eyes are well-protected and optimised for peak sporting performance.

Disclaimer: The advice in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace medical care or an in-person check-up. Please check with an eyecare professional before purchasing any products or remedies. For information on our article review process, please refer to our Editorial Policy.

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