Advice on eyes, contact lenses and coronavirus COVID-19

Advice on eyes, contact lenses and coronavirus COVID-19

Thursday, 26 March 2020
Advice on eyes, contact lenses and coronavirus COVID-19

Is it safe to wear contact lenses during the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak? We take a look at what the experts are saying about coronavirus and wearing contact lenses, as well as how to minimise your chance of contracting the virus.

With the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeping across the UK and the rest of the world, a lot of misinformation and fake news about coronavirus and how it can be spread is circulating online. Some believe that wearing glasses instead of contact lenses will lower their chances of contracting the virus, but this isn’t true. Contact lens wearers are not more at risk of catching coronavirus than those who wear glasses.


What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

There are many different types of coronaviruses, some affect humans, and some affect animals. The most recent outbreak of coronavirus is referred to as COVID-19.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.”

It’s important to wash your hands regularly if you’ve come into close contact with the public or touched any surfaces outside. Simply washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds will dramatically decrease the risk of getting infections.

 

Contact lenses are still safe to wear during the coronavirus outbreak

Only look to reputable sources for information, such as the NHS, GOV.uk and World Health Organization websites. Eye care professionals Invision magazine said; "Contact lens wear is safe. Despite myths and misinformation that have arisen over the past 48 hours, contact lens wear remains a safe and highly effective form of vision correction for millions of people worldwide."

There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest wearing contact lenses will make you more at risk of contracting coronavirus. To ensure the safest and healthiest contact lens wearing experience, good hygiene must be followed at all times. You should thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water (and dry them with a lint-free towel) every time you insert or remove contact lenses.

Using the correct handwashing technique will stop bacteria from transferring to your eye, which could lead you to develop eye diseases. If you wear two weekly or monthly lenses, cleaning your contact lenses and lens case with fresh solution after every use will also help to keep your eyes healthy.



someone holding a contact lenses case in one hand and a pair of glasses in the other hand


Wearing glasses won't offer any more protection against coronavirus

The American Optometric Association have said; "Glasses are not proven to offer protection. There is no scientific evidence that wearing spectacles or glasses provides protection against COVID-19 or other viral transmissions." Amid fears of the contact needed to insert contact lenses, some have now assumed that contact lenses should be avoided, and glasses should be used instead, but this isn't based on any scientific understanding.

This virus is easily transmitted from person to person through contact with the surfaces the infected person has touched. The bacteria can stay on these surfaces for days if they aren’t cleaned, which is why it’s so important to wash your hands more regularly. You should also try not to touching your eyes, mouth, glasses and face in general.

 

Why is hand washing so important during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak?

Most germs that lead to infections are spread from person to person or picked up from dirty surfaces. Only a small number are airborne. Bacteria from this virus can remain on surfaces for a significant amount of time, which is why it’s so vital to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

There are many hand hygiene-related campaigns such as the Clean Hands Count Campaign created, by the CDC (Centres For Disease Control and Prevention), to address the topic of hand hygiene and encourage better practice both within the health profession and wider public.

Soap and water are best, but if you aren't anywhere near a sink, then hand sanitiser is a suitable alternative. According to research information collected by the CDC, teaching people about handwashing helps them, and their communities stay healthy. Frequent and thorough handwashing has been shown to:


Reduce the number of people who get sick with diarrhoea by 31%.

Reduce diarrhoea-related illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%.

Reduce respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%.


 

a diagram showing how to properly wash your hands


Hand washing and eye care

Always remember to wash your hands before you insert or remove your contact lenses.

If you don’t wash your hands while handling contact lenses, you risk transferring bacteria and debris to your eye, leading to infections. Dirt in your eye can also lead you to get conditions like blepharitis. In very rare occurrences, poor hand hygiene could also put you at risk of more serious conditions such as acanthamoeba keratitis. This may result in permanent visual impairment or blindness and is very difficult to treat.

 

You can still get your contact lenses from us

Your vision and eye health are important to us. You can still buy your contact lenses online at Feel Good Contacts. There's no need to leave the house to get your eye care essentials; we also offer free delivery on orders over £49.

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