Contact lens wear and COVID-19 infection risk
Am I at increased of COVID-19 because i wear contact lenses?
There is no evidence of an increased risk of COVID-19 infection in contact lens wearers. While COVID-19 is new, previous outbreaks of coronavirus, including SARS, did not see an increased risk of infection for contact lens wearers. It can safely be assumed that the risk of catching COVID 19 through contact lens use is low.
Limited access to medical care during the pandemic means scrupulous contact lens care
However, contact lens wearers must be mindful of the limited access to medical services during the pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most optometrists and ophthalmologists offices are closed, limiting access to eye care services. If you have an eye problem during COVID-19, you may not be able to see an eye doctor, so the best thing you can do is maintain perfect contact lens hygiene and not create a medical problem for yourself.
Poor contact lens heigene can interrupt self-isolation and burden the emergency room
In addition, during the pandemic you should limit the need to leave self-isolation. This means you should not put yourself in a position to need medical care for preventable problems related to your contact lens wear. If you find yourself in need of medical care due to an eye problem, contact your optometrist before going to the Emergency Room because hospital resources may be in greater demand than normal. Many optometrists, who closed for routine care, will see emergency patients. For example, Perspective Optometry is closed at the moment but we have a staff member answering the phones and triaging patients so that emergencies are seen in the office if necessary and consultations with patients may be given over the telephone or over a secure video examination platform online.
Practice perfect contact lens hygiene during COVID-19
For these reasons, it is critically important for all contact lens wearers to follow struct lens hygiene and cleaning protocols. This is generally the same care and hygiene you should always follow but with some extra precautions during COVID-19:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and dry them with a paper towel before inserting contact lenses and before removing them.
- Properly clean contact lenses daily using rub and rinse and use the correct case for reusable contacts and clean your case every day.
- Reduce or eliminate sleeping in your contact lenses.
- Consider moving to daily disposable contact lenses.
- Avoid touching your face and eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- If you are unwell, especially if you have cold and flue symptoms, don't wear contact lenses at all.
During COVID-19 know if you are at higher risk of a contact lens related infection
Bearn in mind that contact lens related infections are very rare. However some people are more at risk than others. The following are factors that put you at higher risk of an infection and you should be extra careful during the pandemic to make sure you are not unnecessarily burdening the medical system with a preventable infection:
- younger age;
- an eye infection in the past;
- higher prescription;
- overnight contact lens wear;
- blepharitis diagnosis;
- use of reusable contacts (as opposed to daily disposables); and
- poor lens storage and case hygiene.
Daily disposables are the best choice for COVID-19 pandemic contact lens wear
Studies show that eye infections are lowest among daily disposable lens wearers. This means that daily disposables are the ideal pandemic contact lens. If you are not currently wearing daily disposables, you should consult with us to find out if they are suitable for you. Even if you switch back to reusable contacts after the pandemic, many contact lens wearers keep a supply of daily disposables to wear on vacation or during sports activities.
Which multifocal daily disposable contact lenses for presbyopia work best?
What are Multifocal Contact Lenses for Prespyopia?
People with presbyopia need vision corretion at near and at a distance. They need help focusing at different distances, which is why lenses for presbyopic patients are called multifocal lenses. What are the best contact lenses for people with presbyopia? Daily disposables is the answer. They offer the best results for comfort, health and safety. However, there are a variety of daily disposables on the market. In this post, we compare their performance.
What are multifocal contact lenses?
Multifocal lenses treat presbyopia. Presbyopia is a condition that most people get around 40 years of age and it results in the need for reading glasses. Some presbyopic people require vision correction for both reading and distance vision. If they wear eye-glasses, the will have multifocal lenses inserted into the frames - these are called progressive lenses. Multifocal contact lenses are like the progressive lenses of the contact lens world. They are multifocal in that they have multiple focus points: they focus both at near for reading vision and at far for distance vision.
Has there been a scientific study on daily disposable lens performance?
Yes, there has. A 2018 study published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science entitled Visual Performance of Daily-disposable Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses: a Randomized, Double Blind, Clinical Trial. The study compared the performance of the following daily disposable multifocal contacts:
- 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal,
- BioTrue ONEday for Presbyopia, and
- Dailies AquaComfort Plus Multifocal
How good is BioTrue ONE day for Presbyopia?
The study found that BioTrue ONEday for Presbyopia was better at distance vision than near vision. It performed better at distance vision that 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal.
But 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal was better tat near vision than BioTrue ONEday for Presbyopia. In fact, of the three tested brands, BioTrue was rated lowest in near vision clarity, near vision ghosting and near vision clarity.
How good is 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal?
1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal did well in near vision but it rated worst of the three tested brands on distance clarity, distance ghosting and driving vision. With respect to stereovision, or 3D vision and depth perception, 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal did better than BioTrue.
How good is AquaComfort Plus Multifocal
Dailies AquaComfort Plus Multifocal did reasonably well at both distance and near vision.
Which are the best Multifocal contacts for you?
The answer depends on your lifestyle and activities. If you do a lot of driving, you should avoid 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal because of its poor distance vision performance. However, if you do a lot of near work, especially work where depth perception is important, you might do better with BioTrue. For reasonable performance at distance and near, Aquacomfort is a good bet.
Keep in mind that the study we looked at for this blog post only compared three brands of multifocal contact lenses. Others are available. Your doctor's clinical experience in evaluating patient satisfaction and eye health with a wide range of contact lenses is a critical wealth of knowledge that you need when choosing a contact lens. In addition, the study did not evaluate the impact of the brands on the health of the surface of the eye or comfort and eye dryness. These are important factors in choosing your contacts and you should talk to your optometrist about them.