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Boston Eye Group Recommends Good Hygiene with Your Contact Lenses Could Limit Your Risk of Coronavirus

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, reports suggest that the new outbreak of coronavirus can cause conjunctivitis and possibly be transmitted by aerosol or direct contact with the conjunctiva, the superficial skin layer covering the eye.

Contact lens wearers should take special precautions to avoid contracting the coronavirus. Touching the eyes while inserting contact lenses may provide a conduit for the virus to enter the body.

“Contact lens wear typically requires diligent hygiene to avoid serious eye infections but additional attention and measures should be taken in the current setting,” said Dr. Samir Melki, Chief Medical officer of the Boston Eye Group. “It is extremely important to limit your chances of infection by being extra careful with your contact lens protocol.”

To cut down on risk of transmission, individuals should avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Now that we know the Coronavirus may be transferred through the conjunctiva. It is very important for the population to be concerned with eye health, in particular, as it relates to contact lenses.

Dr. Li Wenliang, a Chinese ophthalmologist working in Wuhan, where the epidemic originated, was among the first to warn authorities about the outbreak last December. Subsequently, the eye doctor was infected by the coronavirus himself while treating a glaucoma patient and later died of the virus on Feb 7th.

“Cleaning and using contact lenses correctly is paramount to ensure that eyes are kept healthy and remain free from infections,” said Dr Melki. “Thorough hand washing prior to handling lenses and inserting them into one’s eyes is very important to reduce the risk of infection.”

If you have symptoms of conjunctivitis and have recently traveled to an at risk region for the coronavirus, Dr. Melki recommended discontinuing contact lens use and discussing your symptoms with a provider before coming to the office or hospital.

Boston Eye Group/Boston Laser is a multifaceted ophthalmology practice, with locations in Brookline, Wellesley, Medford, Wellesley, Andover, Lawrence, Norwood, West Roxbury, Norfolk and Milford, MA. Boston Eye Group offering a wide range of eye services. 617-277-4733. For media inquiry, please email

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