Research shows SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is transmitted through person-to-person contact, airborne droplets, or contact with contaminated surfaces. Researchers have also found the presence of Covid 19 markers in the conjunctiva and corneal epithelial cells of the eyes. This supports the theory that the ocular surface could be a secondary site of infection following the respiratory tract, or possibly even as the initial entry point. Infection of the ocular surface cells could lead to the eye being an important carrier of the virus.
With that said, I doctor Diana Ciobanu, O.D., your Optometrist, encourage you and your family do the following to protect your health:
Wear a face mask and goggles, or glasses in public places
Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes & face
If you are a health care worker, first responder, or in contact with someone who has or recently had Covid 19, a face shield is recommended
Here are some answers to your questions about your eye health and vision during this Pandemic.
Is it safe to wear contacts?
Yes, as of now and the most sanitary option is daily contacts.
The cardinal rule for staying healthy is to frequently wash your hands. The eyes are an entry point for germs, including viruses, which makes washing your hands immediately before handling contacts especially important. This will also help keep the silicone hydrogel clean and free of unwelcome particles, like skin oils, dust, and harmful bacteria. The American Optometric Association recommends that you scrub your hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and water for at least twenty seconds. This should occur before every contact lens insertion and removal. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol.
How do you clean your glasses?
COVID-19 can live on hard surfaces for 1-3 days. To sanitize glasses, fill a spray bottle with 3/4 alcohol (70% ethyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol), 1/4 water, and 2-3 drops of dish soap. Apply the solution and wipe any part of the frames that touch your face. This solution is only recommended for glasses without anti-reflective coating and not plastic lenses, as the alcohol can strip off the coating.
For most frames, adding a drop of soap to the surface and rubbing with your fingers will do a substantial job of removing any bacteria. Be sure to wash your hands first (to remove any oil) and don’t forget the nose pads.
To dry, shake off excess water and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Be mindful that using your shirt or paper could scratch the lenses. Microfibers can sometimes leave particles so if you don’t have a cloth, use a compressed air duster instead (like the one for your keyboard).
Is it safe to wear eyelash extensions?
It’s currently unclear but why risk it? Bacteria can live on hair and lashes for short amounts of time. Stick to mascara for now and be sure to sanitize your brushes and applicators regularly.
How do you clean makeup applicators?
Easy! Fill a spray bottle with 3/4 rubbing alcohol and 1/4 water, then apply to any brushes before every application. You can also use gentle shampoo periodically. Simply squirt a bit into a cup of warm water, then soak your sponges in the bubbly solution. Squeeze and rinse until the water runs clear. For brushes, swirl the tips in the water and shampoo, then in the palm of your hand to work up a lather. Next, run the bristles under warm water until there is no more product. Finally, lay all of your brushes and sponges flat on a clean cloth to dry.
If you have any further questions about COVID-19 may affect your eye health or lifestyle, please feel free to give us a call at the office.
Thank you and be well!
Dr. Diana Ciobanu OD