Your health and well-being are our top priorities when visiting Mid Atlantic Eye Physicians. We know that the coronavirus has caused concerns for many of our patients and we want to highlight the precautions you should take if you wear contact lenses.
"The most important thing is the common-sense precautions that we all keep hearing like hand washing. This can significantly reduce your risk of getting infected, said Brian Chrichlow, Mid Atlantic Eye Physicians. "Additionally corrective lenses or sunglasses can shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets. but they don't provide 100% security. The virus can still reach your eyes from the exposed sides, tops, and bottoms of your glasses. If you're caring for a sick patient or potentially exposed person, safety goggles may offer a stronger defense."
The Academy of Ophthalmology also offers suggests contact lens wearers switch to glasses since they tend to touch their eyes more than the average person. Substituting glasses for contact lenses can decrease irritation and force you to pause before touching your eye
If you must continue to wear contact lenses, its advised that you consider these tips:
- Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a lint-free towel before handling your contacts.
- Minimize contact with water. Remove lenses before showering, swimming or entering a hot tub.
- Do not rinse or store your contacts in water (tap or sterile water).
- Do not put your lenses in your mouth to wet them.
- Do not use saline solution and rewetting drops to disinfect lenses. Neither is an effective or approved disinfectant.
- Follow your eye care professional's schedule for wearing and replacing your contacts.
- Use the "rub and rinse" method to clean your contacts. Rub your contact lenses with your fingers, then rinse them with solution before soaking. Use this method even if the solution you are using is a "no-rub" variety.
- Rinse the contact lens case with fresh solution — not water. Then leave the empty case open to air dry.
- Keep the contact lens case clean and replace it regularly, at least every three months. Lens cases can be a source of contamination and infection. Do not use cracked or damaged lens cases.
- Do not re-use old solution or "top off" the solution in your lens case.
- Do not transfer contact lens solution into smaller travel-size containers.
- Do not allow the tip of the solution bottle to touch any surface. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
- Never wear your lenses after storage for 30 or more days without disinfecting them again.
If you must touch your eyes for any reason — even to administer eye medicine — wash your hands first with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Then wash them again afterwards.
In addition to social distancing, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offers these suggestions to slow the spread of the novel Coronavirus/COVID-19
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- You should especially wash your hands before eating, after using the restroom, sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
- If you can't get to a sink, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face — particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- If you cough or sneeze, cover your face with your elbow or a tissue. If you use a tissue, throw it away promptly. Then go wash your hands.
- Avoid close contact with sick people. If you think someone has a respiratory infection, it's safest to stay 6 feet away.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces and items in your house, such as doorknobs and counter tops.