Originating from Finland, sauna rooms today have made their way in gyms and spas around the world. They have become a favorite pastime for many whether they are on holiday in a resort, or having a spa day after a tiring week at work.
However, for people who require vision correction to see properly, relaxing in a sauna can prove to be challenging. This is because wearing prescription glasses inside a sauna is strictly forbidden as it can prove to be extremely dangerous.
An alternative for prescription glasses can be contact lens but they too can pose serious safety risks and thus, should be avoided.
Why Can You Not Wear Glasses in A Sauna?
The major reasons why eye specialists are strictly against wearing glasses inside a sauna is due to the high temperature and moisture content inside the sauna rooms.
The negative impact these harsh conditions of the sauna have on glasses is discussed in detail below:
1. Glasses and High Temperature inside the Sauna
On average, a sauna room is heated to between 70° to 100° Celsius or 158° to 212° Fahrenheit. This is more than double the temperature the of the hottest day of the year in your town and can result in your glasses becoming extremely hot, especially if they have metal frames.
The metal can heat up at a much faster rate than other materials due to their high thermal conductivity and can even burn your skin.
Moreover, a lot of glasses today also offer a wide variety of lens coatings, each with its own specific properties. These coatings range from light reduction to anti reflective and scratch resistance.
The high temperatures inside the sauna can risk the efficiency of the coatings and can thus, permanently damage your glasses. Various layers of the lens can even expand due to the heat and once this happens, it is beyond repair
2. High Moisture Content inside the Sauna
If you are using a traditional sauna, the risk of your glasses coming in contact with steam and moisture is extremely high. This can be very dangerous as most eye specialists believe that the biggest risk to your glasses and eyes comes from moisture and water.
The bacteria found in the steam of traditional saunas can get attached to the lens of your glasses and even enter your eye, causing eye infection.
In addition to this, your glasses can get foggy due to the steam building up on them and turning into moisture. This can disrupt your vision inside the sauna.
Can You Use Contact Lens Inside the Sauna?
Contact lens can be an alternative to prescription glasses inside a sauna. However, most eye specialists advise against wearing them for the sake of your safety as there are a few potentially serious risks using them in sauna conditions.
The risks are listed below:
1. Risk of Drying Out
The dry air inside the sauna, especially infrared saunas, can make the lens extremely dry and stiff.
This can lead to irritation, blurry vision and reduced airflow to your eyes. This can negatively affect the health of your eye and result in long term problems.
2. Risk of Losing the Lens
As mentioned above, the lens can get extremely stiff inside the sauna due to the dry air. This can result in them losing the grip of your eye and falling off.
3. Risk of Constantly rubbing your eye
Dried up lenses can cause discomfort and irritation, increasing the urge to rub your eye constantly. This can cause the lens to break and its broken pieces to spread across the cornea, causing further damage to your eye.
Moreover, the constant rubbing can also lead to a condition called Keratoconus in which your cornea changes its shape and your vision gets blurry.
4. Risk of Infection
The most serious risk, however, is the risk of getting an infection. In traditional saunas, there is a high risk of your lens and eyes coming in contact with moisture and steam.
This can cause the bacteria found in the steam to get attached to your lens and enter your eye, potentially resulting in an eye infection.
What is the Safest Option to Use Inside a Sauna?
If you suffer from poor eyesight and require vision correction at all times, the safest option to use inside a sauna are disposable lenses or water-tight swimming goggles.
Disposable lens is an extremely feasible and convenient option. They can be discarded after being used once. Thus, if you lose them inside the sauna, you do not have to worry much as they can be easily replaced.
In addition to this, one of the biggest risk that comes with using lens and glasses is bacteria getting attached to the lens and entering your eye, resulting in infection.
With disposable lens, this risk is eliminated as they prevent the accumulation and bacteria and other harmful microorganisms on their surface.
Water-tight swimming goggles can also be used instead of glasses and contact lens. They also come with prescription lenses if needed for vision correction.
Moreover, as the name suggests, they are water-tight and thus, prevent steam or moisture from coming in contact with your eyes and eliminates the risk of eye infection.
You also do not have to fear losing them in the sauna or them breaking due to the dry air inside the sauna.
Wearing prescription glasses or any kind of glasses inside a sauna is strictly forbidden as they can cause permanent damage to your eye as well as the glasses in the form eye infection and damaged lens coating.
In addition to this, the metal frames of the glasses can also heat up due to the high temperature inside the sauna and burn your skin.
An alternative to glasses can be contact lens but many eye specialists advise against them as they too can potentially risk the safety of your eye by coming in contact with the bacteria and other harmful microorganisms present in the steam.
The safest option to use inside a sauna if you have severely poor vision is disposable lenses or water tight goggles as they prevent the accumulation of bacteria and are also easily replaceable if lost or broken.
Hi People! My name is Monica Khemsurov, and I am the founder of SaunaSavant. I am Finnish, a professional swimmer, and a lifelong sauna & spa enthusiast. In this blog, I will share my insights, suggestions, and recommendations on everything related to saunas and indoor living. Please let me know (through the contact box) if you have any feedback. Cheers!