Contact Lenses Advice During COVID-19
Hygiene is more important than ever when wearing eye contact lenses during the current COVID-19 pandemic. There is no need to switch from contact lenses to glasses, so long as you follow some specific steps.
- A dry area
When inserting or removing contact lenses, make sure the surrounding surface is as dry as possible. Best to do this via your bedside table or some other area outside the bathroom. Bacteria thrives in a damp or watery environment, so you’d be best engaging with it away from any such an environment. It would be highly annoying if your lens dropped into the sink while you were fiddling about with it!
- Wash hands
You’re probably sick of this obvious advice by now, but it can’t be repeated enough. An antibacterial soap combined with warm water is the best line of defence against contamination. You can even pick up a virus from a single fibre on a single item of clothing. Don’t risk it getting into your eyes.
Daily disposable lenses might not be the best choice for the environment, but they could save your life. There is less to worry about in terms of cleaning; you might consider gradually increasing from weekly to two-weeklies to monthlies over time, hopefully when the crisis subsides.
- Eye contact
It’s best to limit contact with your eyes as much as possible by checking the lens is the right way round before you begin to insert it. The edges should be facing upwards, a bit like a miniature bowl when on the end of your finger, which will save you time and contact with your eyes. When touching the solution bottle make sure you wash your hands before and after. You can’t be too careful.
- Eye drops
Take care that the tip of the bottle doesn’t touch the eye. You should hold it about an inch over the eye, so that the drop doesn’t make any contact. Only touch the bottle with a pair of dry hands that have recently been washed with soap and warm water.
- Never share
At the risk of stating the obvious, you shouldn’t share contact lenses, even with someone in your own household. You might be an asymptomatic carrier, and there is also the fact that your prescriptive lenses have been designed uniquely for you.
If daily disposable contact lenses (order online ) aren’t for you, make sure you’re doubly vigilant when disinfecting your reusable lenses. With clean hands rinse the lens for half a minute on each side, then place into a clean case. The soaking time is about 4 to 6 hours for most solution types.
- Keep a clean case
Not only the contact lens but the case should be thoroughly cleaned with solution. Ensure that any detritus is removed, allowing it to air dry. Don’t use soap or disinfectant, which may damage your eyes; only solution.
- An asset not a liability
You may be thinking what a hassle it is; all this cleansing and meticulous preparation with invisible bits of silicone hydrogel. But they’re actually an asset, blocking one more avenue by which this wretched virus seeks to make entry. Even with a mask that covers the mouth, this airborne virus can enter in through uncovered eyes. And with glasses, you’ll be touching your face more often, wiping them down and increasing the risk.
Just as we need to reduce person to person contact and increase social distancing, at least for the time being, we also need to treat our contact lenses with the respect they deserve, seeing them as vital visual aids which can actually help us in the fight against COVID-19.