Given the recent declaration of a pandemic by the WHO, three contact lens experts have weighed in on the misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and glasses and contact lens wear. A few of their points are below.
- Contact Lens Wear is Safe. Despite myths and misinformation that have arisen over the past 48 hours, contact lens wear remains a safe and highly effective form of vision correction for millions of people worldwide.
- Proper Hand Washing is Essential. When using contact lenses or spectacles, careful and thorough hand washing with soap and water, followed by hand drying with clean paper towels is paramount. For contact lens wearers, this should occur before every insertion and removal.
- Disinfect Contact Lenses. Contact lens wearers should either dispose of their daily disposable lenses each evening, or regularly disinfect their monthly and 2-week lenses according to manufacturer and eye care professional instructions.
- Disinfect Spectacles. Some viruses such as COVID-19 can remain on hard surfaces for hours to days, which can be transferred to spectacles wearers’ fingers and faces. This especially holds true for presbyopes (people generally over the age of 40), as most require reading glasses and may be putting them on and taking them off of their faces multiple times a day. This age group appears to be among the more vulnerable population for developing COVID-19, compared with contact lens wearers, who are typically younger.
- Discontinue Lens Wear Only if Sick. Ceasing contact lens wear when sick is advised, consistent with guidance for other types of illness.
- Spectacles are Not Proven to Offer Protection. There is no scientific evidence that wearing spectacles or glasses provide protection against COVID-19 or other viral transmissions.
WHAT YOUR PATIENT MIGHT ASK YOU
I'm quarantined but I have an eye problem. Do you use telemedicine?
If you're interested in adding this to your practice, the AOA has an upcoming webinar on Medicare Telehealth Services, which will include billing and coding specifics. Related: If you have a patient with suspect COVID-19, here’s a link to the CDC's guidance for healthcare professionals.
SOCIAL MEDIA ROUNDUP
I never thought we would be raffling off hand sanitizer, but here we are. If you want to win the last remaining containers of hand sanitizers in the country (or a $100 Amazon gift card, your choice), take this survey!
See you next week!