Should I Keep Wearing Contact Lenses During COVID-19?

Should I keep wearing my contact lenses during COVID-19?

FAQs about eye health during COVID-19

One of the frequently asked questions we’ve received during the stay-at-home order in Kansas City has been about contact lens use. More specifically, “Should I keep wearing contact lenses during COVID-19?” To correct any misinformation that may be circulating, we want to provide you with the most recent updates for eye health and safety. 

When it comes to contact lens use, the American Optometric Association (AOA), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), and your Discover Vision optometrists want to reiterate that contact lenses are still safe to wear as prescribed by your eye doctor.  The AOA and AAO are not recommending for people who are healthy to stop contact lens use.  

However, during this time, it is more important than ever to practice good contact lens and hand hygiene.  It is imperative to wash your hands before and after use, take your contact lenses out at night, and dispose of them properly if they are daily lenses.  Practicing good hygiene, contact lens use is still acceptable.   

Here are four tips to keep in mind to ensure proper contact lens use:

  1. Contact lenses should be prescribed by your optometrist. It is important to only wear contact lenses that have been properly fitted and prescribed by your eye doctor.  Wearing lenses without a prescription, or using them beyond the instructions from the manufacturer can lead to infection and injury.
  2. Wash your hands before and after putting in your contact lenses.Any time you put in or take out your contacts, you should wash your hands both before and after.  You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again – use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and dry your hands with a paper towel.  Avoid touching your face, your eyes, and your contacts if you have not washed your hands.
  3. Dispose or disinfect. If you wear daily contact lenses, they should be disposed of each evening.  For those who wear two-week to monthly lenses, you should clean and disinfect your contact lenses as recommended by a name brand solution manufacturer for best results.
  4. If you are sick, discontinue contact lens wear. Both the AOA and AAO stress that if you feel sick, have flu-like symptoms or red/irritated eyes, you should discontinue contact lens wear, dispose of that pair of lenses and wear your glasses. If you need a copy of your glasses prescription, please reach out to our team.  

Another related question has been whether you should stop wearing contact lenses and switch to eyeglasses to provide more protection.  According to the AOA, there is no scientific evidence that wearing glasses provides protection against the coronavirus or other illnesses.   

If you currently wear bi-weekly or monthly contact lenses but would like to switch to dailies, your eye doctor can help.  Many patients prefer daily contact lenses because they can be disposed of at the end of every day.  In the future when normal operations resume, we can work to get you into daily disposables, if you are interested in a more convenient lens.    

If you would like to order a larger supply of contact lenses to get you through this time, please click here or call our office at 816-478-1230.  

Again, for those who are healthy and exercise proper hand washing and contact lens hygiene, you can continue to wear your contact lenses.  

For the latest updates from our team during COVID-19, please click here for our updates page.

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