Do Contact Lenses Increase Risk Of COVID-19 Infection?

Contact lenses are very helpful to many people since they can correct a range of vision problems and even provide a more aesthetic option than eyeglasses. However, in this day and age when everyone fears for their safety from the coronavirus, contact lens wearers are advised to switch to eyeglasses. Here’s why.

If you are thinking that contact lenses can harbor the coronavirus, then you better hold that thought. Contact lenses cannot spread the deadly virus. Instead, their use could actually cause wearers to get infected by the coronavirus.

The use of contact lenses tends to cause itching and irritation. An uncomfortable feeling in the eyes would inevitably lead one to rub them with their hands. Since touching of the face, including the mouth, nose and eyes, is strongly discouraged amid the COVID-19 crisis, doing so due to contact lenses could become a big problem.

Hands that are contaminated with the virus could lead to an infection once the contact lens wearer uses them to rub their eyes. The eyes are connected to the nose, so this is one way of letting the coronavirus penetrate the respiratory system easily, board-certified internist Michael W. Smith, MD, said.

Smith is also a contact lens user who rarely wears glasses. However, he said that it is now more important to make choices that aren’t putting other people, especially our loved ones, at risk.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recently issued a statement recommending contact lens wearers to switch to glasses during the pandemic. As per the professional association, doing so not only helps prevent people from touching their faces, but it also gives them another layer of protection against the virus.

Eyeglasses apparently provide protection to a bigger area on the face. They can shield the eyes from contaminated droplets that are spreading in the air. But it’s important to point out that corrective glasses are not as efficient as safety goggles when it comes to providing protection against the virus.

If you decide to stick to wearing contact lenses during the pandemic, experts recommend washing your hands thoroughly before putting the lenses on and after taking them out. When you have the urge to rub your eye, they recommend using a tissue instead of your hands.

Contact Lens Contact lenses may create a better home for certain microbes, including some known to cause infection, in the eye. Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

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