Apparently, the average person touches their face more than 20 times an hour* and half the time probably isn’t even aware they’re doing it. Safe to say, it’s a difficult challenge for everyone.
On top of that, glasses and contact lens wearers have the extra struggle of having to cope with physically wearing something on their faces or in their eyes and having to fit them on a regular basis.
So, we’ve asked our Clinical Services Director, Giles Edmonds to answer some questions that may be on your mind about trying to stay healthy when wearing glasses and lenses. We hope you’ll find the answers helpful in deciding what’s best to do and how to cope in these difficult times.
Will my normal glasses cleaning liquid help to protect my glasses from picking up the virus?
Just like washing your hands, it’s good practice to clean your glasses regularly. A glasses cleaning solution that contains a surfactant will help to remove surface microbes that may be of harm. Make sure you clean them thoroughly, not forgetting the nose pads and sides, and dry them with a clean glasses cleaning cloth.
Once your glasses are clean, keeping them that way can be tricky, especially if you take them on and off throughout the day. If you do have to place your glasses down on a surface, make sure you clean your glasses again before putting them back on.
When putting your glasses on or taking them off, it is almost impossible to do so without touching your face. Make sure your hands are clean before doing so by washing them with soap and water. If you’d like to see a demonstration of how this should be done, click on this link.
Can I help keep my glasses virus-free by using anti-bacterial hand sanitiser on them, will that do the job?
An anti-bacterial hand sanitiser will help to rid your glasses of potentially harmful surface particles, as it would your hands. But, do avoid contact with your glasses’ lenses, as some ingredients may affect the quality of the lens’ surface. It’s also likely to smear or leave streaks on your lenses unless properly rinsed and dried.
As anti-bacterial hand sanitisers are likely to contain alcohol, it’s important that you avoid contact with the eyes as it may cause irritation, To help avoid this, use a glasses cleaning liquid or a diluted pH neutral hand wash.
How often should I wash my glasses cleaning cloth and how should I do it?
With regular wiping, it doesn’t take long for a cleaning cloth to get a little dirty. The simplest way to keep it clean is to wash it in the washing machine on a 40 degree wash with your clothes. I tend to wash my cloth once a week or more frequently if needed. Overtime, and after frequent washes, your cloth may shrink a little, become less effective and need replacing.
Don’t forget to also check the cleanliness of your glasses case. This too can be carefully cleaned with a damp cloth, soaked in warm soapy water, then left to air dry.
If I run out of glasses cleaning liquid, can I use something else?
Yes you can. You can wash your glasses in warm diluted soapy water, a pH neutral washing up liquid is ideal. Make sure you rinse them thoroughly under running water and use a clean glasses cleaning cloth to dry to help avoid any smears or streaks on your lenses.
Should I watch out for any changing conditions of my eyes and sight that might mean I have contracted the Coronavirus?
Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is believed to occur in about 1-3% of people infected with the Coronavirus so you’re much more likely to have common signs and symptoms such as coughing and a fever.
If you have any other questions that you’d like answered about the best way to handle your glasses and contact lenses or any eye health related concerns you have, we’d be more than happy to help. Just click on this ‘ask an expert’ link and it will take you to the relevant part of our website so you can send us a message.
If you are planning to visit us, take a minute to read what we’re doing to help prevent the spread of the virus in our stores along with advice about who should avoid coming in to see us so we can help protect our customers and colleagues. You’ll find this information if you click this link.
* 2015 American Journal of Infection Control Study