Is It Safe to Wear Contact Lenses During Coronavirus Pandemic?

April 14, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is raising new healthcare questions by the minute.

The most common question optometrists are being asked by patients is whether or not wearing contact lenses is safe.

According to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contact lens wearers are more likely to touch their face than someone who wears glasses.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests that anyone who wears contact lenses switch to wearing glasses for the time being to help prevent the spread of respiratory virus.

"Contact lens wearers touch their eyes more than the average person," the AAO website reveals.

Dr. Sonal S. Tuli told TODAY that even when contact wearers aren’t putting their contacts in, they are more likely to touch their face.

“Consider wearing glasses more often, especially if you tend to touch your eyes a lot when your contacts are in,” adding, “Substituting glasses for lenses can decrease irritation and force you to pause before touching your eye.”

If wearing glasses instead of contacts isn’t an option, they advise following hygiene tips that include washing hands with soap and water, removing contacts before showering or swimming, using fresh solution, and storing them properly.

However, the CDC notes that there is “no evidence to suggest contact lens wearers are more at risk for acquiring COVID-19 than eyeglass wearers.”

The only upside to wearing glasses is that you minimize the risk of touching your face and create a barrier to the respiratory virus.

"Corrective lenses or sunglasses can shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets," the AAO said.

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