The Relationship Between COVID-19 and Contact Lenses



As you may be aware, the most common form of transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus is through droplets emitted from one’s mouth onto surfaces and into the air, where others will then ingest these particles.


But this isn’t the only way in which the virus can be spread. As we continue to learn more about the way in which the virus is transmitted, attention is brought to other parts of the body, including our eyes.


Eyewear is an important part of everyday life – without glasses or contacts, many would be unable to function and complete even the simplest of tasks. Our eyes are vital, and in the context of this pandemic, ensuring their safety becomes yet another facet of our lives.


With regards to eye health, then, the question becomes: can contact lenses be vectors for COVID-19 transmission?

The short answer is yes.


How COVID-19 can affect your eyes

The longer answer is a bit more nuanced, however.


While transmission through ocular channels is rare, recent research shows that it can still happen and can lead to a form of conjunctivitis (an inflammation of the white of the eye) also known as pink eye that lasts between 10-20 days. Sometimes, the eye’s cornea can also be affected, leading to a condition known as keratoconjunctivitis, which can be medically treated.


The best way to prevent this situation from happening, however, is to ensure that you take the proper steps to make sure that your eyes do not come into contact with unclean hands when undertaking daily tasks like putting in and taking out your contact lenses.


Proper precautions are important

The best precaution to take to ensure that your eyes remain free of bacteria and disease with regards to contact lens placement/removal is to properly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before applying and removing your lenses.


This has the benefit of ensuring that your hands, which may have come into contact with infected surfaces throughout the day, are clean enough to interact with your lenses.


Minimize the risk of your eyes and hands coming into contact by ensuring you avoid rubbing your eyes, as tempting as it may sometimes be (due to you needing to adjust your contact lenses, seasonal allergies, or because your eyes are irritated). These tips can have enormous health benefits beyond those related to the pandemic.


Proper hygiene measures have demonstrable results with regards to minimizing the spread of infections and disease and leads to an improved level of overall health, and these measure extend to everyone – not just those who use contact lenses.


Minimize your risks, thanks to LASIK

As anyone who uses them can tell you, contact lenses can also be cumbersome to deal with. Thankfully, we offer an alternative to daily contact lens wear.


One of the best ways to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through contact lens use is to opt for laser vision correction. Laser procedures are designed to lighten the burden of the hassles associated with glasses and contact lenses, like putting in and taking out contact lenses. Go ahead and book a consultation today to explore your options and simplify your day-to-day.


This post originally appeared on LASIK MD.