Contact Lenses & Covid 19

We are still getting asked a lot of questions regarding wearing contact lenses and covid 19 so we thought we would answer the main ones in this blog post.

Should I Stop Wearing Contacts For The Time Being?

There is no need to stop wearing your contact lenses during this time. However, it is highly advisable that you take extra time and thoroughly wash your hands just before putting in your contact lenses with soap and water. Make sure to pay extra attention to the tops of your fingers and thumbs that are used to put your contact lenses in. As you will have been advised by your optician it is best to avoid wearing your contact lenses if you feel ill, especially if you have the flu, a cold or covid 19. Only start wearing your contact lenses again after you have waited 24-48 hours after your symptoms have disappeared.

Should I Switch To Wearing Glasses?

Although glasses offer some protection from infected droplets in the air from entering the eye there isn’t any evidence to say glasses offer protection from catching Covid 19 or other viral diseases. An advantage of substituting glasses for your contact lenses is usually it can decrease irritation and force you to pause before touching your eye which will stop contaminated fingers from infecting the eye. If you do decide to wear glasses you should make sure to wash them with soap and water to ensure they are thoroughly clean. The main takeaway from whether you decide to continue to wear contact lenses or glasses is maintaining good contact lens hygiene or making sure you wash your glasses in addition to avoiding touching or rubbing your nose, mouth and especially your eyes.

How Do I Safely Handle My Contact Lenses?

Inserting Your Contact Lenses

If you have reusable lenses then it is very important to store and clean them using the solutions recommended by your optician. Even though it has always been recommended to wash your hands before inserting your contact lenses, it is advised that extra time and care be taken during this time.

Should I Use Hand Sanitiser Beforehand? 

Since the majority of hand sanitisers contain alcohol it is recommended that these be avoided due to the risk of the alcohol being transferred from your fingers to your contact lenses, causing you irritation and potentially causing eye redness. The safest thing to do is to just use soap and water and make sure you thoroughly clean your hands taking extra care of the fingertips and thumbs.

Should I Wear Gloves When Inserting My Contacts?

We would recommend you stay clear of gloves due to the fact they can make handling and inserting contact lenses very difficult. Also if the gloves are not disposed of straight away and are used multiple times there could be a risk of contamination.

Should I Store My Contact Lenses Any Differently? 

The advice on how to store contact lenses hasn’t changed and you should continue to store your contacts by following your optician’s advice and the contact lenses instructions provided. Make sure to never clean or store your contact lenses with tap water and always use the recommended solutions.

If I Wear Monthly Contact Lenses Should I Switch To Daily Ones?

There is no evidence to suggest wearing reusable contact lenses is any worse than wearing daily disposable ones. Whether you wear the monthly ones or the daily ones you will still have to insert and remove them daily. Again as per the majority of answers above the key is to make sure you wash your hands properly before inserting or removing your contact lenses.

If I Start Experiencing Dry Eye Should I Stop Using Eye Drops To Prevent Touching My Face?

Some people who wear contact lenses are prone to getting dry eye. The main symptoms are usually eye grittiness/soreness, red eyes, blurry vision or watery eyes. It sounds weird but watery eyes are actually a symptom of dry eye so if you experience this condition it’s important to keep the eyes moisturised with eye drops.

If you are using drops for dry eye you should continue to do so to prevent eye irritation which could inadvertently make you touch your face even more, just make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before each application.