Contact lens wear and Covid-19. Is it safe?

April 2, 2020

We have been receiving queries from our contact lens wearers regarding the safety of contact lens wear during this time. We are aware of myths and rumours circulating on social media but it is important we that we listen to evidence based information.

The strict hygiene regimes that we are following are exactly what all contact lens wearers should be doing anyway whenever they are handling their lenses -either insertion or removal.

So – is it safe to use contacts lenses during the Covid19 Pandemic? – and the official answer is YES!

Here are a few tips from Tauranga Eyecare to make sure you are wearing your contact lenses safely:

  1. Thoroughly wash your hands before inserting AND removing contact lenses – this may go without saying during a time like this, however it is so important that you wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds (remember Happy Birthday twice). Then dry your hands with a fresh paper towel to avoid germ spreading. But hey this is what you doing normally isn’t it?
  2. If you wear monthly contact lenses: clean your contact lens properly with the correct disinfectants –  please follow the instructions-fresh solution-do not top up your case.
  3. Cases-It’s also important not to get sentimental with your contact lens case;  it needs to be replaced with a new one at least every 3 months.
  4. If you wear daily contacts: dispose of these every day – do not repeat wear your daily contact lenses, as this can increase the risk of serious eye infections.
  5. Never sleep in your contact lenses – sleeping in contact lenses also significantly increases your chances of serious eye infections – some of which can cause irreversible vision loss!  Tauranga Eyecare do not recommend any form of extended wear modality.
  6. Stop wearing your contact lenses if you are sick  – If you do start to feel unwell or are suffering from an illness – get rid of your contacts and use your glasses, this is because with any illness the mucus and tears from your eyes carry the live virus. This advice follows at any time when you are unwell.

Your spectacle wear also needs to be thought about-it is important to clean and wipe your spectacles with a non-alcoholic wipe.