Love (Your Eyes) in the Time of the Coronavirus

The coronavirus and its associated symptoms, known as Covid-19, is making international headlines! Nearly every continent has been affected, with one of the hardest-hit being the United States. With an increasing number of infected persons and deaths, Americans are well-advised to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from being infected.  

For people who wear contact lenses and eyeglasses, the risks may be higher and stricter observance of safety precautions is strongly recommended. Initial studies point out that the coronavirus transmits through the eyes, nose, and mouth. This transmission usually happens by touching infected surfaces and inhaling droplets. Indeed, loving your eyes and protecting them is a must in the time of Covid-19! 

Here are the essential preventive measures to remember.  

Step Up Your Hand Hygiene 

Of course, proper hand hygiene is a must when handling contact lenses and eyeglasses, as well as in touching your eyes for any reason.  You should thoroughly wash, rinse and dry your hands before handling your contact lenses. The main reason is that pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, can be easily transmitted from your hands to your eyes.  Proper hygiene is a piece of advice that your Costco cannot overemphasize!  

But due to the risks of Covid-19, you have to step up your game. It would be best if you washed your hands more often than in previous times, particularly in these instances: 

  • Before entering your home after being out for errands, work, and other chores
  • Before and after eating
  • Before and after managing food
  • After using the toilet
  • After sneezing, coughing, and blowing your nose
  • Before and after handling contact lenses 

You may be unable to wash your hands with soap and water at all times. You can use alcohol or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. You must pour a generous amount into the palm of your hand and vigorously rub all areas of your hand for at least 20 seconds, as is the case when using soap and water.  

Mind Your Contact Lenses 

You may think of it as an unnecessary expense to replace your old contact lenses. But if you want your eyes to be safe and healthy, you should change them according to your optometrist’s advice. It would help if you had a spare pair of contact lenses, as the optometrist’s clinic may have limited hours nowadays.  

Other dos and don’ts that you should remember to reduce your risks of contracting the coronavirus through your eyes as well as your nose and mouth. 

  • Do use a fresh solution in cleansing your contact lenses. 
  • Do tell your optometrist if you have issues with your contact lenses and eyesight. 
  • Don’t insert, touch, and handle your lenses with unclean hands or fingers. 
  • Don’t put tap water, saliva, and other fluids on your lenses and eyeglasses since these can carry the virus. For eyeglasses, disinfecting tissue paper soaked in alcohol is a good idea.  

Most important, you should avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible. Your hands can pick up the virus on contaminated surfaces and, thus, transfer it to your body via these orifices. 

If possible, you may want to wear protective eyewear even when you’re already wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses, along with a face mask. The more protection you have and the more care you adopt, the better your chances of not contracting the coronavirus.