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Is it acceptable to swim or shower wearing contact lenses? Is it appropriate to rinse gas permeable or scleral contact lenses with water? What does the literature say?

A study by Zimmerman, et al. examined behaviors and knowledge related to water exposure in soft contact lens and gas permeable lens wearers.¹ The Contact Lens Risk Survey and health behavior questions were completed online by soft (1056) and gas permeable (85) contact lens wearers from 20 to 76 years of age. The participants were asked questions about exposing contact lenses to water and comprehension of associated risks with these behaviors.

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Melissa Barnett OD, FAAO, FSLS
Dr. Melissa Barnett is a Principal Optometrist at the UC Davis Eye Center in Sacramento. She is an internationally recognized key opinion leader, specializing in anterior segment disease and specialty contact lenses. Dr. Barnett lectures and publishes extensively on topics including dry eye, anterior segment disease, contact lenses and creating a healthy balance between work and home life for women in optometry. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Diplomate of the American Board of Certification in Medical Optometry (ABCMO) and serves on the Board of American Optometric Association (AOA) Cornea and Contact Lens Council, Women of Vision (WOV), Gas Permeable Lens Institute (GPLI), Ocular Surface Society of Optometry (OSSO) is Immediate Past President of The Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS). Dr. Barnett is a spokesperson for the California Optometric Association and a guest lecturer for the STAPLE program. She was awarded The Theia Award for Excellence for Mentoring by Women in Optometry (WO) in 2016.