Coronavirus and Contact Lenses: Is this a Better Time for Eye Glasses?
By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on April 02, 2020
LASIK surgeon Andrew E. Holzman helps contact lens wearers enjoy clearer vision without the need for corrective lenses.
But with the coronavirus pandemic, it's important that people avoid touching their eyes. Accordingly, not wearing contacts may be beneficial in reducing the risk of infection. Here, we'll take a closer look at coronavirus, contact lenses, and how our Washington, DC, patients can keep themselves safe and healthy.
Coronavirus and Touching the Eyes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it may be possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the coronavirus on it and then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.
Although the CDC believes this is not the primary way the virus spreads, it is something for contact lens wearers to think about.
Is It Better to Wear Eye Glasses?
With the risk of contracting COVID-19 when touching the eyes, it may be beneficial to switch from contact lenses to eye glasses at this time.
Wearing eye glasses can help patients avoid touching the eyes, especially for contact lens wearers. There are currently no studies providing evidence that wearing eye glasses provides any protection from the coronavirus, but given that the virus may be contracted through the eyes it stands to reason that limiting touching the eyes may help reduce the risk of infection.
Contact Lens Tips
Wearing eye glasses as we wait for the situation with COVID-19 to pass may not be something every contact lens wearer wants to do. It is still safe to wear contacts as long as patients follow recommended guidelines for wearing contacts. This pandemic and fear of contracting and spreading the virus may be the last straw for some of you wearing contact lenses. It is very appropriate to consider switching to glasses if you are able to. It is also appropriate to consider the many benefits of having normal eyesight courtesy of Laser Vision Correction. Once the pandemic clears and we are once again able to reopen, please give us a call to schedule your free consultation. We are happy to discuss the many advantages that LASIK and PRK present over using contact lenses.
In the meantime, if you must wear contact lenses: It is of utmost importance to follow proper hygiene habits and proper contact lens care, such as:
- Thorough hand washing: Thorough hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Patients should wash their hands before touching contact lenses and placing or removing them from the eyes. The hands should be washed for at least twenty seconds with soap and warm water, making sure to wash all surfaces of the hands, including the nails.
- Avoid touching the eyes: Once contact lenses are placed, it's important to avoid touching the eyes, especially when in public or other areas where you may be exposed to coronavirus.
- Replace disposable lenses as necessary: Those who wear daily disposable lenses should wear their lenses as directed and replace as indicated.
- Properly care for reusable lenses: Reusable contact lenses should be cared for according to their instructions. For example, lenses should be stored in clean cases with non-expired contact lens solution.
- Stop wearing contact lenses if sick: It's generally advised not to wear contact lenses when sick and the same is true for those who contract COVID-19.
If you live in Washington, DC, or surrounding areas and would like more information about coronavirus and contact lenses, please contact us online or by phone at (703) 556-9155.