Save Your Contact Lenses for After the Pandemic

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When a singular virus is ravaging the entire globe, we'll take any port in the storm to protect ourselves, in any way that we can. This can involve big lifestyle changes, like social distancing and self-quarantine, but it can also come down to little things. One group of doctors has a small suggestion that could pay some dividends.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology — the physicians who take care of the eye, rather than vision — has just released a recommendation about keeping yourself safe from coronavirus. While we don't have any evidence yet that COVID-19 has transmitted through the eyes, the AAO says that the act of putting in your contact lenses may open up more dangers than you'd like to deal with amid a pandemic. In particular, the experts note that one symptom of coronavirus infection is pinkeye, or conjunctivitis. Going to get it checked out might use up resources at medical centers, or expose you to further infection.

Furthermore, even if you're washing your hands thoroughly with soap for the required 20 seconds, touching your eyeball every day just might not be worth it right now, especially if you're caring for a sick person or working an essential job. Wearing glasses presents a barrier to your face, if an incomplete one, but anything that gets you to pause before rubbing your eyes or touching your face (a great way to get sick or transmit infection) is a plus. It might change how you look in a Zoom conference, but wearing your glasses could play a small part in flattening the curve.