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Avoiding touching your face is tricky when it comes to eyewear

We are all aware of the advice from the NHS to help stop the spread of Coronavirus and protect ourselves and others. Staying away from public places, avoiding travel unless necessary, washing hands regularly.

But for those of us who wear spectacles or contact lenses it can be very difficult to avoid touching our faces.

On average we touch our faces almost 300 times per day. Think back to the past 15 minutes, how many times have you touched your face? You probably don't even remember because you do it out of habit - we all do! Are you touching your face as you read this? If you're wearing spectacles or contact lenses, you'll struggle even more to stop touching your face. Touching your face can greatly increase the risk of infection from many viruses, but especially Coronavirus. Your eyes and mouth are areas where viruses can enter the body extremely easily, all it takes is touching them with a finger that already carries an infection.

Contact lens wearers

The most important thing here is to ensure your hands are as clean as possible when you are inserting or removing your lenses. Pay careful attention to your fingertips and thumbs, as they touch the lenses more.  There's no need to stop wearing your lenses at a time like this, just use clean hands.

How to wash your hands properly

Once you have washed your hands thoroughly with soap and water, try to dry them with a clean paper towel. If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol. However, be careful not to get any sanitiser in your eyes as this could irritate your eyes.

Continue to use drops if you usually do to help lubricate the eyes, otherwise you might end up rubbing your eyes more frequently.

Anybody experiencing Coronavrius symptoms are advised to stop wearing their contact lenses until 24hs after their symptoms have ceased.

Spectacle wearers

Keep your specs as clean as possible, it's all too easy to forget that your specs can pick up germs just the same as any other surface. We all remove our specs occasionally throughout the day - think about where you place your specs when you remove them. Are your hands clean? Is the surface clean? It is not certain how long the virus that causes Covid-19 survives on surfaces. Studies suggest that Coronavirus may persist on surfaces for a few hours or even up to several days*. Try to remember to give your specs a clean every time you wash your hands... which should be frequently.

How to clean your spectacles properly

Use a quality solution and carefully clean the sides and the nose pads where germs can easily build up. Use a clean cloth to dry your specs and of course ensure you have clean hands all the while you do this. Avoid using anti-bac hand sanitiser on your lenses as this could damage some coatings.

*Source: World Health Organisation

We hope you keep safe during these tough times and just remember these simple rules as advised by the NHS:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  2. Only leave the house if you have to
  3. Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  4. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  5. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  6. Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
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