During the coronavirus epidemic, patients had various questions about eye health and precautions to be taken. Bulgaria Varna University Medical Faculty Head of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Department, Ophthalmology Specialist Prof. Dr. Christina Grupcheva shared important information and suggestions about the use of contact lenses and glasses during the pandemic process.
1. It is safe to wear contact lenses during the pandemic process. There is no scientific evidence to show that the risk of being infected with coronavirus increases with the use of contact lenses. The contact lens (soft or hard) is a safe tool for correcting vision defects when all standard protective measures and instructions for use are properly followed.
There is no evidence in the literature showing that contact lens wearers touch their eyes more frequently than non-users. In fact, the evidence shows the opposite, as eye care professionals often warn their patients to avoid touching and rubbing their eyes before the pandemic. All over the world, eye care professionals inform and warn contact lens wearers about hygiene at all times and under all conditions. As a result, many contact lens wearers will be the most attentive group in eye care during the pandemic process as they develop hygiene habits.
2. If you wear contact lenses and your eyes do not have any health problems, you can continue to wear contact lenses during the pandemic, you do not need to switch to glasses. Contact lenses provide a clear and wide field of view. However, many contact lens wearers have emergency glasses. Switching to glasses with this condition can affect their vision quality and cause them to touch their faces frequently to correct the frame. Wearing glasses with a mask causes the lenses to fog up, which may require more frequent cleaning of the glasses.
3. In case of illness, if you wear contact lenses, wear glasses until they heal. This applies not only to suspicion or symptoms of Covid-19, but also to symptoms associated with conjunctivitis or other causes of red-eye. It is important that contact lens wearers have good vision, contact lenses are comfortable, and their eyes stay white. If your contact lens does not meet one or more of these conditions, you should stop using contact lenses and consult an eye care professional and follow their advice carefully.
Patients diagnosed with viral respiratory infections such as coronavirus should also stop using contact lenses immediately. Because with the weakening of the immune system, the possibility of developing a bacterial infection increases. This can predispose to eye problems such as microbial keratitis (an eye disease that can cause blindness if left untreated).
4. If we talk about infections in general, daily disposable lenses are safer as they pose less risk of infection. However, there is no evidence yet that one type of contact lens is better and safer than another.
5. If you wear contact lenses, clean them with lens solution immediately after removing them. If you wear disposable lenses daily, simply throw them away after use.
6. If you wear glasses, wash them three or four times a day with soap and water. Hygiene is a very important issue especially during the pandemic period. During this period, care should be taken to clean the occasional glasses and reading glasses. Since these glasses are not used continuously, more attention should be paid to hygiene conditions, especially during the pandemic process. During this process, the glasses should be properly stored and never left on dirty surfaces.
Prof. Dr. Special contact lens user guide for the pandemic process from Christina Grupcheva
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before putting on and taking off your contact lenses. Careful and thorough washing with soap and water is the best practice of hand hygiene and should be included in contact lens wear.
- Use a clean contact lens case and be sure to change it every month.
- Use fresh, all-purpose contact lens solution and store your lenses according to their instructions.
- Apply the lens directly to the surface of the eye without touching your eyelid with the tip of your index finger.
- To avoid the possibility of transmitting any infection, wrap the lens in a clean napkin and dispose of it.
- Strictly follow the recommendations on the packaging regarding the lifetime of contact lenses.
- Use daily disposable lenses, if possible, in consultation with your ophthalmologist.
- If the lens is dropped on an unclean surface, discard it immediately if it is a daily disposable lens, or disinfect it by soaking it in solution for at least four hours if it is a reusable lens.
- If you have any questions about lens use and care, be sure to consult an ophthalmologist.