Many patients have been wondering if it is safe to wear their contact lenses during the COVID-19 crisis. As with most answers during this time, the information is fluid and changing at a rapid pace. Here is what we know:
1. COVID-19 is NOT transmitted through tears.
This means that it is highly unlikely that contact lens wear in and of itself will increase your risk of COVID-19 (Science Daily). As always, washing your hands before handling & placing your contacts in your eye is of absolute necessity, especially during this time. Limit how often you are touching your face, not only for contact lens insertion and removal, but all day.
For patients who are not in daily lenses - make sure you are changing your solution EVERY DAY and cleaning your lens case at least once a week. Do not re-use the same solution and do not use old case!
2. Bacterial Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) & COVID-19
There is some indication that bacterial conjunctivitis could be a symptom of COVID-19. We ALWAYS advise to not wear your contacts if your eyes are red, sore or have any discharge. Again, with COVID-19 so prevalent, you must be vigilant in your contact lens habits! If your eye is not white and bright - do NOT put a contact lens in.
3. Contact Lens Over-Wearers and Abusers - now is the time to remember what your eye doctor said.
You really do not want to have a preventable eye emergency at this time. Most clinics (like ours) are seeing urgent, sight threatening matters in office only. Everyone needs to be doing all that they can to reduce any strain on our healthcare system. It is always recommended to wear your glasses as often as possible and do NOT sleep in your contact lenses (we don't care who told you this was a good idea - it's not, ever.)
4. Eyeglass wearers - you aren't off the hook!
Touching your face (adjusting your glasses, readers that are on and off...) can increase your risk of developing COVID-19. Make sure you are paying attention to where your glasses are and how often you are touching them. Most frames and lenses can be washed in warm soapy water and dried with a lintless cloth. Please do not use alcohol or harsh cleaners - this will most like damage your lenses and frames.
5. You have tested positive or are likely to have COVID-19
If you have been personally affected by COVID-19 it is recommended you cease ALL contact lens wear until your symptoms have resolved.
The biggest things we can do to protect ourselves and our community are:
WASH YOUR HANDS
DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE
Delivery service, contact-less pick ups and curbside pick up are being offered at most/all essential services in Sault Ste. Marie. PLEASE take advantage of these services when possible. Protect yourselves & the essential workers who are supporting our city.
We are excited to have our online store up & running - free delivery for all contact lens orders or you can choose to pick up at the office at a designated time (contact-less of course).
We are here for you - if you have any eye emergencies please call the clinic at 705-759-1985. The voicemail is checked Monday-Friday. Or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.