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20/03/2020

If you are a contact lens user, these days more than ever, complying quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), you must make a correct use of them. As the eyes are an entry area for microorganisms, you should know the first recommendation for home confinement days is to prioritize wearing glasses. If you have glasses, do not wear contact lenses, unless for others circumstances, you depend entirely on contact lenses.

Now, if you are still going to use contact lenses, you should follow some impeccable hygiene guidelines, since its manipulation with a hand that is not properly sanitized can mean the spread of any virus. These guidelines change slightly depending on whether your lenses are for single use (daily wear soft lenses) or if they are for long-term use (extended wear soft lenses and rigid lenses), since the latter require extra cleaning and maintenance.

Steps to follow:

  1. Disinfect the surface on which you will manipulate your contact lenses.
  2. Thoroughly clean hands with soap and water for 40 seconds.
  3. Clean the contact lenses, only if they are not daily wear. In this case, we will add the following steps according to your contact lens type:
Extended wear softl contact lenses 
  • Clean with alcohol based soap.
  • Rinse with a buffered salt solution.
  • Disinfect with peroxide or povidone-iodine-based maintenance solution.
Rigid lenses
  • Clean with alcohol based soap.
  • Rinse with a buffered salt solution.
  • Use a specific conditioning or preservative solution for cleaning rigid lenses.
  • Once a week, you should also perform a protein cleaning.

 

If you do not use any of these types of contact lenses for a few days, cleaning is recommended every 3 days, since maintenance liquids lose their disinfection efficacy during this period.

4. Put the contact lenses on or replace them carefully, without touching any other objects during the process.

As you can see, due to the little manipulation that they require and because they do not need maintenance, in the current circumstances of a coronavirus pandemic, if we cannot wear glasses, the most recommended lenses are soft lenses for daily use. In any case, your contactologist will always assess the best option for your case and indicate what specific products you can use to clean your lenses.

Eloi Rodríguez and Alba Domingo, Contact Lenses Department at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre