[CONTACT LENS WEAR DURING THE COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2) ERA].Harefuah. 2021 Feb; 160(2):68-72.H
The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) or coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a single-strand RNA virus that first began spreading in December 2019 and evolved to a global pandemic within a few months. It's transmission is primarily through direct contact of the virus with mucous membranes which possess angiotensin-converting enzyme) ACE2(. Ocular manifestations of COVID-19 are extremely rare and there is only evidence of low quantities of ACE2 in ocular tissue. Yet both the environment of the contact lens practice and the wearing of contact lenses present high potential risk of inadvertent infection. The data to date suggests no evidence of contracting COVID-19 through contact lenses and very little data supporting the possibility of coronavirus adherence to the ocular surface. To minimize opportunity for infection, practitioners may decide to delay non-essential visits. When they do examine, clinicians should wear personal protective gear as well as protective shields on equipment and include a thorough disinfecting of surfaces and equipment protocol between each examination. Patients should be reminded about the importance of appropriate contact lens hygene, namely hand washing with soap and water, drying with single use paper prior and after handling of lenses, proper disinfection and replacement of lenses and cases. Patients should not wear lenses when feeling ill and should be advised to consciously refrain from face touching to avoid unintentional contamination. This article reviews the information available to date related to contact lens wearers and their caregivers during this still-evolving crisis.