Science and Sense in Contact Lens Wear

Published March 17, 2020

Dear Academy members:
The American Academy of Optometry recognizes the worry of all members during this COVID-19 pandemic. As health care providers, our job is to know the science and to speak and act in ways that live that science.
Lately there has been misleading information in the press, regarding the use of contact lenses during the COVID-19 spread.
The research literature is clear. To prevent contact lens infections of all kinds: bacterial, viral, and fungal, contact lens wearers must:
  1. Wash hands thoroughly, at least 20 seconds, with soap and water, and dry hands completely.
  2. Use daily disposable contact lenses if possible.
  3. If solutions are required, use them appropriately. Specifically, do not top-up or re-use solutions.
  4. Replace cases monthly or more frequently. Rinse, wipe, and air dry contact lens cases every day.
  5. Do not wear contact lenses when you are ill.
Practitioners must also follow strict contact lens hygiene within the office.
  1. Do not reuse contact lens cases in office.
  2. Do not reuse trial contact lenses without a proper disinfection. Refer to the AAO CCLRT disinfection procedures.
Barbara Caffery, OD, PhD, FAAO