Coronavirus and Your Eyewear

The COVID-19 virus has had a profound effect on all our lives and how we address hygiene. Washing our hands thoroughly and often is crucial. Wearing a mask can help protect from inhaling the novel virus, especially when a person coughs or sneezes, and prevents touching the nose and mouth.

It is also important to note that eyewear could be considered as a protective measure during this time, and health experts suggest that eyewear can provide a screen from airborne COVID-19 droplets, preventing them from entering through the eye.

How to Disinfect Your Eyewear to Prevent Coronavirus?

Are you aware that our glasses (this includes the lenses and the frame) can potentially transfer viruses, such as COVID-19, to our eyes, nose, and mouth? This is because viruses as well as bacteria are easily transferred from our surroundings to our hands and then from our hands to our glasses. 

Research has shown that coronavirus can remain on glass surfaces for as long as 9 days. If we are not careful, we can easily touch our glasses then touch our eyes, nose, or mouth, thereby continuing the contagion cycle.

The danger is even higher for people with presbyopia, age-related farsightedness that generally affects those aged 40 and above. Those who are having Presbyopia and who wear reading glasses tend to put them on and take them off several times throughout the day. It is more worrisome since this age group is at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.

The good news is that disinfecting your glasses is easy! Let’s delve into ways you should and should not disinfect your lenses at home. 

SOAK EYEWEAR: Use mild hand wash and warm water to soak eyewear for 20 seconds at least once a day to ensure the nooks, crannies and hinges get cleaned. Rinse with water and gently blot dry with a soft towel.

NO PAPER TOWELS: To dry, do not use paper towels or tissue paper, sponges or rough paper products because they can scratch lenses. Use a soft cloth and avoid air drying glasses since it can leave a watery residue.

NO ALCOHOL OR BLEACH: The level of alcohol found in common sanitizers can damage glasses, so use mild unscented dish soap that does not contain lanolin (most do not). Don’t use hand soap because lanolin is a typical ingredient and most include oils that can remain on and smear lenses during cleaning.

OTHER CLEANING SOLUTIONS: While mild hand wash is optimal, moistened lens wipes and sprays made specifically for glasses are also effective for removing the virus and safe to use. However, ensure they do not contain more than 60% alcohol and do not use standard household disinfectant wipes as both can damage frames and lens coatings. Many computer screen cleaning solutions can be used too. Wipe all parts of your glasses including hinges, screws, lenses, and frames.