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Switching to glasses from contact lenses may stop you from touching your face 5/6/2020

Up until recently, it had been common to use contact lenses as an alternative to glasses, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has recommended that we opt for the use of glasses.

The reason the academy suggests the change is because wearing glasses not only creates a barrier between your eyes and the rest of the world, but also prevents you from touching your face. When a person touches his or her face, especially the nose and mouth, he or she is at risk of getting COVID-19.

By wearing contact lens you're not only constantly touching your eyes by putting on and removing your lenses, but you're also touching your face.

A study by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  found that one third of contact lens users were not compliant with proper hygiene practices, such as washing their hands, when putting on and taking out their contact lenses. This lack of hygiene has contributed to three outbreaks of eye disease in recent years.

Infectious diseases expert Dr. William Schaffner, in an interview with CNN news portal, commented that theoretically it´s possible that coronavirus can enter through the eye, but still there is no evidence of this, so it is highly unlikely that coronavirus can be obtained through the eye.

What is likely to happen is that COVID-19 can cause conjunctivitis, a highly infectious condition, where the conjunctiva, a transparent thin layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid, gets inflamated.

Symptoms may include tearing, itching or burning, blurred vision, red or "pink" in the whites of the eye, pus, mucus and a yellow discharge that can crusts over the eyelashes.

In a CNN article, it was noted that reports from China and around the world that 1% to 3% of patients with COVID-19 also had conjunctivitis. This in turn is concerning because coronavirus can be spread by touching fluid from an infected person's eyes, or from objects that person has touched which then carry the fluid.

Although conjunctivitis may be one of the many signs of COVID-19, it is not exclusive to COVID-19, it is just one of the many viruses that can cause this condition, and there are many other reasons why this condition may appear, such as allergies or other viruses.

Therefore, it is necessary to be on alert about the presence of these COVID-19 symptoms, and follow the general safety measures needed to take care of your health. Remember that to reduce the risk of getting infected you have to constantly be washing your hands, maintaining a social distance, avoid touching your face and rubbing your eyes.

 

Source:

Eye Care During the Coronavirus Pandemic. (2020). From The American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Show Me the Science: Data Behind Contact Lens Wear and Care Recommendations. (2020). From The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Switching to glasses from contact lenses may stop you from touching your face. (2020). From CNN.

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