Doctors warn contact lens wearers higher risk for COVID-19

Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 8:44 PM CDT
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If you wear contact lenses, doctors warn you are at a higher risk of catching COVID-19.

"Anyone who wears contact lenses has a 16 percent higher risk than the average people not wearing contacts," said Dr. Agnes Tran.

Dr. Agnes Tran is the owner of Queen City Eye Care in Springfield. Dr. Tran says because of the coronavirus outbreak it is best to review your cleaning habits when it comes to your contact lenses

"So if they were to clean them with regular multi-purpose which is advisable but I feel like we need an added layer of protection like peroxide," said Dr. Tran

Dr. Tran says to leave the contacts in the solution overnight. But, she says people should not just pour in a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and mixes it with their solution.

"You do not want to buy a pure peroxide, 3% over the counter, these are made for contact lenses, and they will say hydrogen peroxide for lenses and that's what you would want to grab," said Dr. Tran.

While Dr. Tran is not prohibiting her patients from wearing contact lessens, she is encouraging them to use glasses as an alternative right now.

"If you tend to your eyes, they are getting dry, and you stay in and you're going to rub your eyes and you're going to be touching your eyes more, its best to take a break from contacts, its okay to do that," said Dr. Tran.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology said several reports suggest the virus can cause pink eye. Dr. Tran says only a small percentage will develop this symptom if they have coronavirus.

"I would say that if you feel like you have symptoms like let's say you have redness or your eyes are really bothering you, I wouldn't think right away, I would think okay my eyes are bothering me, I am going to remove every irritant that I can and if I am wearing contact lenses, we are going to remove them, " said Dr. Tran.

Dr. Tran says if the cleaning is too much or you feel overwhelmed, she recommends contacting your eye doctor for an alternate solution.

"And maybe consider something easier like dailies which you don't have to clean at all, you can just wear them for the day and then before you go to sleep you just ditch them and then start all over again," said Dr. Tran.