It’s Doctor Doig writing this Blog. I hope you are all doing well. I know all of us have been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic in some way, and I’m reaching out to share the most accurate information I have so you can feel reassured about your use of contact lenses in this “COVID-19 World”. I’ll try to be concise and brief, because I know that one of the greatest challenges with COVID-19 is information overload. Again, I want to clarify, and provide accurate information. I want to eliminate as much confusion as possible.
Here are the key “Take Home” points:
1. Contact Lens Wear is Safe
There is no evidence that contact lens wear should be avoided in healthy individuals, or that contact lens wearers are more at risk for COVID-19 infection than patients who wear eyeglasses. Also, there is no evidence that wearing contact lenses increases the risk of community spread of COVID-19.
2. Proper Hand Washing is Essential
By now, almost all of us have heard that we should not touch our faces. Still, when we insert or remove our contact lenses, we must touch our faces. Wash your hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and warm water before insertion and removal of your contact lenses.
To be even more certain that your hands are clean, trim your nails. This is one of the most common places bacteria and Coronavirus hide. When you wash your hands, spend a few moments cleaning under your nails. Hand sanitizer must be washed away with warm soapy water BEFORE inserting, removing or handling contact lenses.
3. Proper Contact Lens Hygiene is Essential
If you use daily disposable single use contact lenses, you do not have to worry about cleaning your contact lenses. COVID-19 will not get to you from your contact lenses, but it might get to your contact lenses from you. Simply discard them daily and you’ll be perfectly safe, just wash your hands well before handling them. If your contact lenses are replaced every two weeks or monthly, they must be cleaned appropriately at the end of each day of wear. Follow the instructions we gave you when we dispensed your contact lens care system to you.
If you use your contact lens care system properly, it will make your lenses safe, more comfortable, clearer, and it will help them stay that way through the entire two week or one-month replacement period. Again, COVID-19 will not get to you from your contact lenses, but it might get to your contact lenses from you. (See my comments on hand washing in point number 2)
4. If you are sick, discontinue your contact lens wear
Eye Care Professionals unanimously agree that there is risk to your vision if you wear contact lenses when you are sick. This is true for COVID-19 as for other types of illness. If you are healthy, and follow the wear schedule, replacement and cleaning recommendations we gave you when we dispensed your contact lenses to you, then I am confident that you do not need to stop wearing your contact lenses unless you are sick.
Even though Doig Optometry is closed for non-emergency eye exams, you can still order your contact lenses from Doig Optometry when you need more. Even if you are not a patient of Doig Optometry, we can help, especially during this Pandemic. If your Optometrist is closed, simply call Doig Optometry at 403-333-3353 and you will be connected to Doctor Doig. Together, we’ll determine the best way to help keep you in contact lenses while maintaining your connection to your current eye care provider.
hen they arrive at Doig Optometry, your contact lens order is inspected and verified, and then the packaging is cleaned with alcohol before we dispense them to you. When you pick them up, park at the curb outside our door, and call the clinic. We will bring them out to your car for you, so we can further minimize risk. Now that the weather is warmer, and your contact lenses won’t freeze, we can even arrange free shipping to your home. (Note that we can’t sterilize the packaging for orders that are not shipped to our office)
Stay well, and call Doig Optometry if you have any vision problem during the Pandemic. All my calls are forwarded to my cell phone and you will be put through to me directly. We’ll discuss the issue and decide how to manage it together. If it is needed urgently, we’ll arrange to meet at the clinic.