PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - During this health crisis, we are all being more mindful about our daily routines, including avoiding touching our face with unwashed hands.

But you may be wondering how that affects contact lens wearers.

Derek Louie, a clinical associate professor at the OHSU Casey Eye Institute, says it is safe to wear contact lenses right now.

“There is no study and there’s no indication that the current COVID-19 virus is any worse in patients who wear contact lenses, and I’ve not read any reports that say contact lenses have been the vector or mode of transmission for infection for a patient,” Louie said.

The American Optometric Association says on its website that contact lenses themselves will not give you COVID-19. That being said, it’s critical to practice proper hand washing and good hygiene right now.

“Replacing your contact lenses, certainly washing your hands very well and drying them before you’re touching your face or applying lenses onto your eyes, and ensuring that you have proper contact lens hygiene,” Louie said.

It’s also possible you’re noticing your eyes more right now because of the nicer weather, which means some of us are battling allergies.

Louie says you should follow what the recommendations have always been for itchy, watery eyes. Glasses are fine, but so are more frequently replaced lenses, like daily disposable contacts.

And if you feel sick, don’t wear your contacts.

“Certainly, I’d caution all of our patients to be, again, a little bit more conservative with respect to their contact lens wear," Louie said. "And just be more mindful of all those different symptoms which, again, they should already be aware."

The American Optometric Association says on its website that glasses are not proven to offer protection against COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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