Are Contact Lenses Safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Posted by: Georgia Center for Sight
As the current health crisis continues to evolve, there is no shortage of information and rumors circulating about what could increase your risk of becoming infected… or worsen your symptoms. Some experts have warned against the use of contact lenses and have said that it may worsen your Coronavirus symptoms. In response, the American Optometric Association (AOA) and doctors of optometry want to reinforce that contact lenses are a safe and effective form of vision correction for millions of people. During this unpredictable time, Georgia Center for Sight urges you to listen to the guidance of credible ophthalmology experts, and heed this advice regarding contact lenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, we want to emphasize that contact lenses will not give you COVID-19. However, contact lens users should practice their normal hygiene precautions when handling lenses at this time. As with anything else you would put in your body, we recommend that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before inserting your lenses. Then, dry your hands on a fresh clean towel or unused paper towel. If the previous hand-washer did not wash for the appropriate amount of time, and then used a towel, you do not want to use that towel after them.
Similarly, do not take out your contact lenses with unwashed hands. Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with infected hands can guarantee you an unpleasant time if you have been in contact with a sick individual.
Another way to prevent the spread of Coronavirus while continuing to wear contacts is to disinfect contact lenses or dispose of them when necessary. Contact lens wearers should either dispose of their daily disposable lenses each evening or regularly disinfect their monthly and two-week lenses according to instructions from the manufacturer and one’s doctor of optometry.
Another misconception around COVID-19 holds that glasses can somehow protect your eyes from the viral particles. In reality, there is no scientific evidence that wearing spectacles or glasses provides protection against COVID-19 or other viral transmissions.
The American Optometric Association recommends that a sick individual, whether they are infected with Coronavirus or the common cold/flu, discontinue their use of contact lenses. By following the advice of professionals and not the media, you can keep yourself safe while continuing your prescribed form of lens wear. At Georgia Center for Sight, we are here to talk if you need to speak with a professional about any of your optometric needs at (800) 287-2519. Stay healthy and stay indoors!