Contact lens wearers warned to switch to glasses to prevent coronavirus

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Do you wear contact lenses? You may want to switch to eyeglasses amid the coronavirus pandemic, experts warn.

In a statement released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, officials said doing so may lessen the urge to touch your eyes.

According to the CDC, although the virus is mainly spread through respiratory droplets via a cough or sneeze or by touching a contaminated surface or object then touching your face, it can also spread through the eyes.

“When a sick person coughs or talks, virus particles can spray from their mouth or nose into another person’s face,” according to the AAO. “You’re most likely to inhale these droplets through your mouth or nose, but they can also enter through your eyes. You can also become infected by touching something that has the virus on it – like a table or doorknob – and then touching your eyes.”

Dr. Sonal Tuli, a spokesperson for AAO, advised contact lens wearers to consider wearing glasses more often if you tend to touch your eyes often when your contact lenses are in.

“Substituting glasses for lenses can decrease irritation and force you to pause before touching your eyes,” Tuli said.

Wearing glasses may also help add a layer of protection from respiratory droplets of an infected person.

If you can’t switch to glasses, there are other tips you can follow, such as thoroughly washing your hands before handling your contact lenses, and trying to minimize your contact with water like in the shower or while swimming.

It’s also recommended you follow your doctor’s orders for wearing and disposing of your contact lenses and to keep the nozzle of your contact lens solution from touching any surfaces.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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