What you need to know about Covid-19 and your eyes today.
Posted: Mar 23, 2020 11:31 AM PT | Last updated Mar 23, 2020
Are contact lenses safe to wear during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The short answer is yes. It is safe to wear contacts during the COVID-19 pandemic as long as you are not experiencing any cold or flu symptoms.
Before putting your contact lenses in your eyes, the most important things are to wash your hands with soap and warm water, and dry your hands with an unused paper towel.
If you use monthly or biweekly replacement contact lenses, it is ideal to use a hydrogen peroxide based contact lens solution to store and clean your contact lenses. Make sure to store them for a minimum of 6 hours in such a solution or refer to the solution instructions package for further specification.
Remember to dispose your contact lenses at the correct replacement frequency. The replacement period is from the date you opened the new pack of lenses, regardless of how many days over the month or two weeks that you wore the contact lenses.
If your eyes get irritated or red, then remove your contact lenses immediately.
Should you wear contact lenses if you have the cold or flu?
You should NOT wear contact lenses if you have the cold or flu. It is recommended that contact lens wear be discontinued during a cold or flu. If you wear monthly or biweekly disposable contact lenses, it is ideal to dispose of the contact lenses you are currently wearing and start a fresh pair of contact lenses when your cold or flu resolves.
Should you disinfect spectacles and sunglasses?
Spectacles and sunglasses are on your face, it is important to clean them regularly. With COVID-19, cleaning them daily can be beneficial. A simple way to clean your glasses is with warm water and a mild dish soap, making sure to clean all areas of the frame, nose pads and the lenses. Then dry your frames with a clean, and soft (non-abrasive) towel. After that, you can further clean your lenses with a lens cleaner spray and lens cloth.
Can COVID-19 affect the eyes?
Several reports suggest COVID-19 can cause conjunctivitis (pink eye). However, there have been very few documented cases. Several reports suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by aerosol contact with the conjunctiva (the tissue lining the inside of the eyelid and the white part of the eye). This is another reason why it is important to frequently wash your hands with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
For more information read the following article from the American Academy of Ophthalmology https://www.aao.org/headline/alert-important-coronavirus-context