COVID-19 and Contact Lens Wear

Over the past few weeks there has been some misinformation spread about contact lens wear during this pandemic caused by COVID-19.  At the present time, there is no evidence to suggest an increased risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease known as COVID-19, through contact lens wear.


The Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia (CCLSA) recently issued a statement on this matter as follows:


“For decades contact lens practitioners have advised thorough, correct hand-washing and strict hygiene practices for contact lens wearers in order to decrease the risk of eye infections.  There is however a history of a significant degree of non-compliance with proper hygiene techniques among contact lens wearers, and the general public at large.  Now more than ever it is critically important for a contact lens wearer to pay great attention to proper hygiene and for practitioners to strongly reinforce sound practices.  Contact lens wear is a safe activity with low rates of infections or other serious complications, despite poor compliance with safe practices.


Contact lenses, solutions and eye drops (where applicable) should be used, worn and replaced as prescribed by your eye care practitioner and according to manufacturer recommendations and expiry dates. Storage case hygiene and care practices should be followed for reusable lenses.


Practitioners have long advised against the wear of contact lenses if a wearer is unwell. This applies in particular to any signs or symptoms of colds and flu, respiratory tract infections, red sore eyes, discharge and so on. Basically, if someone is feeling unwell, they should terminate contact lens wear. For healthy individuals, normal contact lens wear can be maintained.”