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COVID-19 and Contact Lenses- Are They Safe?

The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommends avoiding touching your face to prevent COVID-19… but what about those who wear contacts? Is it safe? We’ve got all of the answers to your worries.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can enter the body through the mouth, nose, and eyes, leaving contact wearers wondering if it’s safe to continue wearing contacts. “I don’t think the issue is so much the contact lenses as it is hand hygiene before inserting or taking out the contact lenses. You certainly want to wash, and you don’t want to use an alcohol-based hand rub because you’ll feel it in your eye. But wash your hands well before inserting and taking them out,” says Dr. Poland in an article by Mayo Clinic.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) reinforces that contact lenses are a safe and effective form of vision correction. They recommend the following to ensure proper wear and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Contact lens wearers should always practice good hygiene practices and frequent washing of the hands
  • One should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before the insertion and removal of contacts
  • Do NOT touch your eyes, or face, without washing your hands first
  • Use proper disinfecting contact solutions such as OPTI-FREE Puremoist and Biotrue.

Overall, contact wearers should not worry about wearing lenses during this time. However, they should remain vigilant and careful when inserting, removing, or adjusting contact lenses throughout the day. Rubbing or touching your eyes without washing your hands puts you at a higher risk of infection. ALWAYS wash your hands first!