COVID-19 and Contact Lenses

One thing is certain – We don’t know much about COVID-19

It is unfortunate that nearly every headline I read in the news revolves around the novel COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world. It is on everyone’s mind and people are looking for answers. Whether right or wrong you’ll find answers to questions like: how the virus started; how much fluids one should drink to prevent infection; whether to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen; and what treatments are effective. In just a short matter of time, some of these answers have already been proven wrong. Now I’ll admit that for the longest time, while news reported the COVID-19 virus spreading thru china and into Italy, the only thing I was following closely was the stock market. It wasn’t until at a staff meeting that a co-worker cited news that wearing contact lenses could iAcuvue Oasys with Transitionsncrease a person’s risk for COVID-19. I didn’t believe that to be true, nor did I want to, but I didn’t have any evidence to support my belief either. Can I claim to have a professional opinion – writing 3 blog posts has to count for something, eh?

Contact lens wear is safe

COVID-19 update

Then it came, like an answer to my prayers. I received a newsletter from the Canadian Association of Optometrists, the countries largest membership of optometrists. In the newsletter was an article titled COVID-19 and contact lens wear: what do eye care practitioners and patients need to know?, published by a Karen Walsh, a clinical scientist at the University of Waterloo (Canada). In the article were statements from the world’s leading contact lens experts. One of the experts was Dr. Lyndon Jones, a clinic professor and director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education at the University of Waterloo. So what did the world’s best contact lens researchers conclude:

  • Contact lens wear is safe.
  • Washing your hands is essential whether wearing contact lenses or spectacles. Contact lens wearers should wash and dry their hands before insertion or removal of their lenses.
  • Disinfect contact lenses. Contact lenses should either be disposed of at the end of the day (absolute best option), or regularly disinfected.
  • Disinfect your spectacles. The virus can live on certain materials for days, so keep your glasses clean too. Rember that you are often touching them with grimy hands.
  • Discontinue contact lens wear if you are sick.
  • Spectacles are not proven safer.
  • Dr. Pimple Popper
    Recognize this TV show? If you have a mask like this, then you’ll be safe!

     

What Has Past Research Taught Us?

Interestingly, and older study published also found that individuals who purchased contact lenses from the internet were at a greater risk to develop serious infection.

Final Thoughts

I feel a lot of uncertainty in this difficult time, but I’m thankful that Canada has incredible forward-thinking scientists that are fast to dispel myths about eyecare. If my blog has taught you anything, I hope that it was to wash  your hands regularly and purchase your contact lenses from your eye doctor 🙂

Follow the links to learn more about my clinic’s contact lens services, including orthokeratology and myopia control.

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