Are Contact Lenses Unsafe During Coronavirus Pandemic?

You have probably heard from others to wear eyeglasses for now instead of contact lenses because of the higher risks of getting infected. But, should you really be worried about wearing your contact lenses during this pandemic?

There is a group of eye doctors that say contact lenses pose a higher likelihood of spreading coronavirus. Eyeglasses, on the other hand, provides an additional layer of protection against respiratory droplets entering the eye. However, another group of eye doctors opposes this idea. They claim that they see no enough evidence that shows lenses are not safe.

Are Contact Lenses Unsafe During Coronavirus Pandemic

Why Contact Lens May Be a Risk

Some believe that people who wear contact lenses tend to touch their eyes more than a typical person. Since touching any mucous membrane such as the eyes, nose, or mouth with infected objects may transmit the virus, they believe that contact lenses may promote infection.

This is why Dr. Sonal, an opthalmologist advises the public to try switching to eyeglasses if you know you are prone to touching your eyes with contact lenses. Eyeglasses can decrease irritation and may become an additional protective layer before your hands and respiratory droplets can reach your eye.

Are Contact Lenses Unsafe During Coronavirus Pandemic

How to Be Safe While Wearing Contact Lenses

During these times, everything you touch must be properly sanitized. Optimal health at all times is a must. This includes your eyeglasses and contact lenses. Ophthalmologists say that even the most basic precautions can save your life.

For people who wear contact lens, the AAO provides these safety guidelines:

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Using soap and water, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and dry with a clean towel or tissue before and after touching your contact lens. If there is no soap and water available, a hand sanitizer or alcohol may do.
  • Sanitize contact lenses correctly. Dispose of daily contact lenses every after use. For longer use lenses, have a regular schedule of cleaning. Use proper disinfectants that are made for the delicate materials of contact lenses. Do not use saline solution and rewetting drops to disinfect your contacts because these are not effective or approved disinfectants.
  • Stop wearing lenses if you are sick. Following the recommendations for other medical conditions and illness, those who are sick or feel ill with cold or flu-like symptoms should discontinue contact lens wear.

Not just with contact lenses, you should also take extra precautions in wearing eyeglasses. Coronavirus can linger on hard surfaces for hours such as your eyeglasses which can be transmitted from your hands to your face then to your eyes, nose, or mouth. Hence, eyeglasses should be sanitized regularly especially for people who remove or touch their eyeglasses frequently.

SEE RELATED: How to Care for Your Eyes During Coronavirus

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