COVID-19 Contact Lens Tips
With the Coronavirus pandemic completely changing the way we live our lives, there has been a sudden outbreak in worries regarding contact lenses and the transmission of the virus.
Within this guide, we will be answering some popular questions regarding contact lens wear and Coronavirus. We will also take you through some safety tips to ensure maximum levels of hygiene.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I At Risk Of Catching Coronavirus If I Wear Contact Lenses?
The College of Optometrists has confirmed that it's safe to wear contact lenses during this pandemic. There has been absolutely no evidence to suggest that inserting and wearing the lenses will result in a higher risk of catching the virus. However, to be on the safe side, you should thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water when inserting and removing the lenses. Later on in this guide, we will run you through the exact precautions you should take to ensure a safe and hygienic experience.
Should I Wear Gloves When Handling Lenses?
There’s no need to wear gloves when inserting/removing/cleaning your lenses, just as long as you wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling. Wearing gloves won’t make much difference to your safety and you’ll probably find yourself struggling to get a good grip on the lenses.
Why Am I Allowed To Insert Lenses If I’m Not Meant To Touch My Face?
While you should keep face touching at a minimum, it is perfectly safe to do so providing that you thoroughly wash your hands before and after. Silicone Hydrogel contact lenses are typically inserted when at home (eg: a safe and clean environment), meaning that inserting your lenses with clean hands is absolutely fine.
I Haven’t Been Feeling Very Well - Should I Still Wear Lenses?
Whether you’ve got the common cold or have been showing symptoms of COVID-19, it’s strongly advised to avoid wearing lenses until your symptoms are gone. Wearing contact lenses won’t prevent you from getting better, but you may find that they feel uncomfortable, especially if you have been suffering with dry or itchy eyes.
Should I Change My Lens Cleaning Routine?
There’s absolutely no need to change your current lens cleaning routine, providing that you already follow the correct requirements. Just ensure that your hands are as clean as possible before handling/cleaning the lenses.
QUESTIONS REGARDING TYPES OF LENSES
What’s Better To Wear During Coronavirus - Dailies or Monthlies?
Providing that you follow the care instructions carefully and wash your hands when inserting/removing the lenses, both daily contact lenses and monthlies are perfectly safe to wear. However, if you’re travelling, we recommend taking daily contact lenses with you so that you can guarantee a safe experience. Daily lenses tend to be slightly more hygienic due to being thrown away after one use.
Is It Still Okay To Wear Monthly Lenses?
You can continue to wear your monthly contact lenses, providing that you keep up with their strict cleaning requirements every single day. As always, follow the instructions for the lenses carefully, ensuring that your lenses are always clean and stored in their solution when not in use.
How To Guarantee Safety While Using Contact Lenses During Covid-19
Pandemic or no pandemic, good hygiene should always be on your mind when handling contact lenses. The following section will provide you with all the information needed to ensure that you have the safest experience possible.
Inserting And Removing The Lenses
Try to avoid inserting and removing your contact lenses in public places. Instead, do it in the comfort of your own home, preferably in a clean bathroom. Before you insert or remove the lenses, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Scrub particularly well around your thumbs and fingertips - these are the areas which collect the most bacteria.
Once your hands are clean and dry, insert/remove your lenses as you normally would, acting quickly but cautiously.
Cleaning The Lenses
Just as you would normally, dispose of your daily lenses after use and stick to your current cleaning routine for monthly lenses. There’s absolutely no need to change your current cleaning routine as it’s already very thorough. Just ensure that your hands are clean before and after cleaning the lenses.
When To Take Your Lenses Out
As a general rule of thumb, if you experience any type of ongoing discomfort with your contact lenses, they should be taken out immediately. If any of the following instances apply to you, consider washing your hands thoroughly and removing the lenses.
- You are very aware of the lenses in your eyes - they don’t feel natural at all
- Your eyes have become red and/or itchy
- Your vision has become blurred and/or foggy
- You are experiencing symptoms of sickness
If any of the above problems persist and distract you from day-to-day life, take a trip to your optician to discuss alternative lens brands.
So - there you have it! The most popular queries regarding contact lens wear and Coronavirus, answered. As you can see, you don’t really need to change much about your routine other than being extra vigilant when washing your hands. Here’s a quick summary of everything discussed in this guide:
- Keep unwashed hands away from your face at all times
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your lenses (pay extra attention to your fingertips and thumbs!)
- Follow the correct care instructions for your lenses
- Never re-insert daily disposable lenses (throw them away as soon as you remove them)
- If unwell, stop wearing lenses until your symptoms ease
Helpful Resources For Further Information
For further peace of mind during the Coronavirus pandemic, take a look at the following links. This list of resources will provide you with all the information needed to continue staying safe and healthy.
- World Health Organisation - Advice on washing your hands
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention - How to protect yourself
- British Contact Lens Association - Advice for contact lens wearers
If you need extra guidance, get in touch with your eye care specialist. You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any worries or needs regarding contact lenses.