The coronavirus (CoV), scientifically referred to as SARS-CoV-2, which causes the COVID 19 disease has posed the biggest global challenge in modern history. Although research is still ongoing, we currently know that the disease is mainly transmitted through contact with the eyes, nose and mouth. So, what does this mean for a person who uses contact lenses? Are people who wear contact lenses at greater risk? What can you do to protect yourself?
According to the Contact Lens Journal, there is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that you are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 if you wear contact lenses as opposed to wearing standard prescription spectacles – or any viral infection. However, there is consensus by all medical practitioners that everyone should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with their hands regardless. So, how can you protect yourself as a person who wears contact lenses?
Essential Guidelines for People Who Wear Contact Lenses during COVID-19
- Thoroughly wash your hands with an alcohol-based detergent before fitting contact lenses
- Always wash your hands with an alcohol-based detergent when fitting or removing contact lenses between one eye and the other one.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after finishing the fitting procedure
- Wash your hands thoroughly after removing contact lenses
- You can also use disposable latex gloves when applying and removing contact lenses and immediately discard them
- Apply and remove contact lenses on a disposable towel and discard it immediately
- Use disposable contact lenses and discard them immediately after the wear period if possible
- Be wary not to touch your mouth and nose when applying or removing contact lenses
- Observe the expiration dates of contact lenses and act accordingly
- Routinely disinfect contact lenses using our cleaning solutions or hydrogen peroxide solution
- Do not use multipurpose saline or preservative solutions
- Frequently change the contact lenses container solution
- Use enzymatic tablets to perform cleaning once a week to deter the adhesion of mucoprotein deposits
- If you use artificial tears, opt for single-dose products
- Suspend the use of contact lenses in case of eye redness or any symptoms such as cough, fever, absence of smell and taste, muscle pain and others.
Note that the virus can also be deposited on the surface of glasses when used in a contaminated environment. Therefore, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your glasses and often wash them with liquid neutral soap from a non-contact dispenser while being careful not to damage the lenses.
While the risk of ocular transmission of COVID-19 is minimal, everyone who wears contact lenses needs to take all necessary precautions to avoid the possibility of infection. We are a major provider of contact lenses in Kitchener. To learn more about how to protect yourself and your loved ones during these uncertain times, contact us anytime.