Should I wear contact lenses during the Coronavirus pandemic?

by | 15th April 2020

There has been recent guidance from the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that if people are healthy and practice safe hygiene habits there is no reason to stop wearing contact lenses.

I would therefore recommend too that it is reasonable to continue with contact lens wear if you are someone who has not had any issues with lens wear in the past.  Disposable contact lenses in particular have a low infection and complication rate.

If you have had issues with contact lens wear in the recent past such as infection, over-wear syndrome or sterile corneal infiltrates it would be sensible to consider changing over to spectacle wear during the pandemic.

If your eyes feel very dry, burning or are itchy and look red with the contact lenses this could pre-dispose to or be the early stages of infection or inflammation.  You should stop wearing contact lenses and revert to spectacles to avoid any potential visit to hospital.

If you do need to resort to glasses wear make sure they are of a reasonable fit.  The COVID-19 virus is often transmitted from hand to face and then to lungs.  If you are continually touching your face with your hands to get the glasses up your nose to the correct position there is a potential risk of increasing the risk of transferring the virus to the face.

It is still very important to follow the national guidelines on hand washing and this is important even with daily disposable lenses.  I would avoid wearing disposable lenses overnight for the time being as this also increases the risk of problems developing.

Stay safe and see well