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There have been several media reports relating to the safety of contact lens use in contracting COVID-19. We would advise the following:

It is safe to continue to use your contact lenses as normal if you do not have COVID-19 or any of the associated symptoms: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. However, it is good general advice to reduce your wearing time if you do not need to wear your lenses and can manage with your glasses, as may be the case if you are at home more. When you wear your lenses make sure that you always practise good contact lens hygiene and wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your lenses.

We have seen no evidence to suggest that wearing contact lenses increases your chances of contracting COVID-19 but, if you are ill, we recommend you stop wearing contact lenses until you are better again. This applies to all infectious illnesses such as the common cold and flu, as well as COVID-19. If you are in the same household as a person with symptoms of COVID19, you may wish to stop wearing your contact lenses wear until everyone in your household is well.

Daniel Hardiman-McCartney, Clinical Adviser, College of Optometrists.

March 27, 2020