Klinika Svjetlost

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Svjetlost is the leading ophthalmology Clinic in the Southeastern Europe, offering complete ophthalmic services.

Are there advantages in using glasses instead of contact lenses during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Are there advantages in using glasses instead of contact lenses during the COVID-19 pandemic?
There is no data indicating asymptomatic people should avoid wearing contact lenses or being at bigger risk in regards to people wearing glasses.

How is Covid-19 connected to our eyes?

Our eyes are an essential link in the chain of prevention and spread of the new coronavirus.  Because the virus manifests itself through other tissues and organs, not only the respiratory system, there is also early scientific evidence that the virus may be present in the eye and infect conjunctival tissue.  Patients infected with the virus may in some cases show symptoms such as conjunctivitis, which manifests as redness of the joint accompanied by discomfort.  Also, it is known so far that eye mucosa is one of the possible pathways for the virus to enter the human body.
 

Using contact lenses / eyeglasses during the pandemic

Wearing contact lenses by itself carries certain risks with regard to the use of glasses, which we have already written about before. (https://svjetlost.hr/blog/znate-li-koji-su-rizici-nosenja-kontaktnih-leca/4952).
It’s very important to follow the rules regarding hand hygiene and the ones regarding using contact lenses (regular lens replacement as instructed by the manufacturer, hygiene of the lens cartridge).

It’s necessary to thoroughly wash and dry hands every time before handling contact lenses. Hands are to be washed with warm water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds, especially after being outside of the house, after coughing, sneezing, etc…

Does this mean that you should stop wearing contact lenses during the pandemic?
There is no data indicating asymptomatic people should avoid wearing contact lenses or being at bigger risk in regards to people wearing glasses.

Nevertheless, if there are symptoms of cold, flu or Covid-19 present, it’s recommended to avoid wearing contact lenses.
So, if you have cold/flu/ Covid-19 symptoms, we recommend to avoid wearing contact lenses until 24h after having any symptoms and use glasses instead!
 

Why glasses take precedence over contact lenses in the current period?

Glasses create contact barrier and somewhat stop eventual drop spreading of the virus in the eye. Also, this barrier is our reminder to at least for s moment think about hand hygiene before we rub eyes with our fingers. We do however warn that they're not protective medium because drops can still breach outside the glass edges! Besides, don't forget to disinfect glasses because the virus stays on firm surfaces between several hours and several days.
 

Reminder:

- Don’t forget keeping regular hand hygiene, avoid face and eye touching
- Take regular care of contact lens hygiene
- If you’re using contact lenses, replace them with glasses in case of first cold, flu or Covid-19 symptoms
- Regularly disinfect your glasses