Contact Lenses & COVID-19
It is very important that during the period of social isolation whilst you may not be able to access routine eye care you must take extra special care of your lenses and pay strict attention to good cleaning and hygiene practices.
Clean your lenses properly and ensure that you wash your hands before handling them or touching your eyes. Do not shower, swim in or over-wear your lenses.
You must not sleep in contact lenses ever unless that is part of your management plan. Sleeping in contact lenses unless it is part of your prescribed regime is one of the major contributors to serious eye disease.
If you have any questions on any of this, you can contact your local opticians as a good first point of contact for all general concerns about your eyes with many remaining open providing essential and urgent eye care during this time.
My routine follow-up appointment has been cancelled. Should I worry?
No. Routine follow ups are to ensure that your eyes remain healthy and that your lenses fit well. Although these checks are important, they can be safely deferred for a period of time. It is recommended that you keep in touch with your contact lens provider periodically during the period of social isolation.
I am running out of contact lenses or solutions. What should I do?
You should contact the organisation that prescribes your lenses and solutions. Most products will be available either in high street opticians, pharmacies or online.
My eye is red and sore. What should I do?
Over-wear of contact lenses and allergies can both cause these symptoms, but in these cases, the symptoms are usually in both eyes and usually the vision is not affected. Try taking a break from your lenses as this is often enough to alleviate some symptoms.
In the case of a new red and sore eye, or one which doesn’t get better after a break from contact lenses or a situation where your vision has deteriorated, it is important to discuss these symptoms with a professional. Please call your local optometrist, and failing this, call your local eye department.
I have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 with symptoms of the virus. Should I still wear my contact lenses?
Wherever possible, you should avoid contact lens wear if you have any viral infection since the eyes can be irritated and you are likely to be sleeping during the day. It is not thought that commonly COVID-19 causes conjunctivitis but the information on this is in its early stages.
Should I manage my contact lenses differently to avoid contracting COVID-19?
No. You should continue to practice good lens and hand hygiene and ensure you follow the recommended cleaning and storage advice. There is no need to replace your lenses more frequently than usual.
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