Wearing Contact Lenses During the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 13, 2020 Phantasm Darkstar 0 Comment(s)

During this COVID-19 pandemic, you may have wondered, "Is it safe to wear contact lenses?" We have always been informed that we should avoid touching our faces, especially our eyes during this pandemic. Wearing face shields are also helpful in protecting yourself from acquiring the virus (prevention of droplet transmission), so I thought that "I should avoid wearing contact lenses, and wearing eyeglasses would be better." If you thought of the same thing, then we are both wrong. 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence to suggest contact lens wearers are more at risk for acquiring COVID-19 than eyeglass wearers. Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert, with Mayo Clinic, says it is safe for people to continue wearing contact lenses as long as they remain diligent about washing their hands. The American Optometric Association is also reinforcing that contact lenses are safe when proper care is taken and they are properly worn. Contact lenses will not give someone COVID-19, they added.  
Here are 5 facts you need to know about contact lens wear and coronavirus:
1. You can keep wearing your contact lenses. There is currently no scientific evidence that contact lens wearers have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 compared with eyeglass wearers.
2. Good hygiene habits are critical. Thorough hand washing and drying are essential, as well as properly wearing and caring for contact lenses, ensuring good contact lens case hygiene, and regularly cleaning glasses with soap and water. These habits can help you stay healthy and out of your doctor's office or hospital.
3. Regular glasses do not provide protection. No scientific evidence supports rumors that everyday glasses offer protection against COVID-19.
4. Keep unwashed hands away from your face. Whether you wear contact lenses, glasses, or require no vision correction at all, avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes with unwashed hands.
5. If you are sick, temporarily stop. Contact lens wearers who are ill should temporarily revert to wearing glasses. You can resume use with fresh new contact lenses and lens cases once you return to full health.
For better eye and contact lens care, check out these products from Alcon:
Whether or not we are in quarantine, long exposure to digital gadgets causes dry eyes. The Systane Ultra lubricant eye drops are clinically proven to deliver extended protection and high-performance dry eye symptom relief. 
OPTI-FREE® Puremoist® is a multi-purpose contact lens solution made with Polyquad® and Aldox® that get rid of microorganisms that can cause eye infections. It is also made with HydraGlyde® Moisture Matrix that surrounds your lenses with a cushion of moisture, that provides all-day comfort and creates a barrier that reduces deposits and debris. This is also the number 1 doctor-recommended multi-purpose solution.   
According to the CDC, hydrogen peroxide-based systems for cleaning, disinfecting, and storing contact lenses should be effective against the virus that causes COVID-19. Alcon’s AOSEPT PLUS ® with HydraGlyde® features the HydraGlyde® Moisture Matrix for added comfort, as well as the added strength of hydrogen peroxide. It deeply cleans lenses while also carrying away deposits and debris and lifting protein from lenses. This triple-action cleaning is the gold standard in contact lens care. AOSEPT PLUS ® with HydraGlyde® is a great solution for cleaning, disinfecting, neutralizing, and preserving all types of contact lenses, including all soft lenses, hard lenses, ortho-K, and color lenses. The AOSEPT PLUS ® with HydraGlyde® is for the intense cleaning of your contact lenses. Do not use this as a regular contact lens solution because this will sting your eyes. You need to wait for the peroxide to become neutralized.  
To learn more, please check out this demonstration video that I made for AOSEPT PLUS® with HydraGlyde® Moisture Matrix:
When going outside, we put our masks on, so it's mainly our eyes which are seen by people. For natural, vibrant, fresh-looking eyes, check out these contact lenses:
Freshlook One-Day Color. These are 1-day disposable contact lenses, and a box contains five (5) pairs. This is the most recommended type of lenses because it is the most hygienic. You always wear fresh ones, then throw it away after wearing them. 
Freshlook Colorblends. This is a monthly contact lens, and a box contains a pair. If you find the one-day lenses quite expensive because you wear them very often, about more than three times a week, the Alcon team recommends this. The recommended use for Freshlook Colorblends would be a maximum of 8-10 hours a day.
For a more breathable contact lens, the Air Optix Colors is recommended. It is also a monthly contact lens, which can be worn for long hours, up to 18 hours a day. A box also contains a pair. 
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about wearing contact lenses:
Is it true contact lenses can get stuck on your eye or lost behind your eyes? No, it is impossible for a lens to move behind the eye. Contact lenses are very safe and are designed to stay in place on your eyes. Millions of people wear them every day without problems. You might even find it under your eyelid if you have rubbed your eye and dislodged the lens from its correct position.
Is it okay if I fall asleep for just a short nap while wearing my contact lenses? No, it’s better not to sleep in contact lenses at all. If you’re worried about this, Alcon can offer you extended wear lenses if you wish to wear them when sleeping.
Can I wear contact lenses if I have astigmatism? Yes, you can! Alcons offer several different lenses specifically for people with astigmatism.
Can I re-use my daily disposable lenses if they are still comfortable? No. Daily disposables are designed for single-use only and must be discarded in the trash can after each wear.
Can I wear my monthly lenses for more than a month? No. The comfort and performance of the lenses will be affected if the life of your lenses is extended beyond the recommended replacement schedule. You also may compromise your eye health. Always replace lenses according to the schedule recommended by your Eye Care Practitioner (ECP).
Can I wear makeup with contact lenses? Yes, you can. Insert contact lenses before applying makeup and remove your lenses before washing off makeup.

Sharing with you some selfies. I'm wearing the Freshlook Colorblends in Gray color. 
Disclaimer: prior to this blog post, I attended a webinar on contact lens safety in the time of COVID-19 by Alcon, which was lead by a doctor. Most of the things I shared in this blog post are based on the things that I have learned in the webinar. I also did my own online research to add more information. If you have more questions, please contact your doctor or ECP.

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