To our fellow eye care colleagues:
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges to eye care practitioners. First and foremost was the mandated closure—or at least reduced capacity—of most practices, affecting your ability to care for your patients and run your businesses. Then, media reports began to surface that called into question the safety of contact lens wear during the pandemic, even suggesting that wearers switch to spectacles at this time. Although these reports were based only on opinion—with claims being made without any scientific or medical facts to back them up—they were widely carried by mainstream media, spreading misinformation to wearers across the country.
Thankfully, these claims were swiftly challenged with new research and guidance. We want you to know that CooperVision has done and continues to do everything we can to make sure you and your patients have accurate information regarding contact lens wear and COVID-19. Our professional, medical, and clinical affairs team has partnered with professional associations around the world, representatives from the contact lens industry, and some of the world’s most respected experts in contact lenses and eye health to share important guidance about the safe wearing of contact lenses during the pandemic.
New research published on April 10 concluded there is no increased risk of contracting COVID-19 for contact lens wearers compared with eyeglasses wearers. Your patients can continue wearing their contact lenses if they are healthy. This position is supported by guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has also been endorsed by the American Optometric Association (AOA), American Academy of Optometry, the Contact Lens Institute, and others. We were also invited to author a letter to the editor in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, the Journal of the British Contact Lens Association, discussing the importance of credible information about contact lens wear during the pandemic.
As you’re aware—and as has been reinforced many times from public health authorities—thorough handwashing is essential for everyone, especially before handling contact lenses. It is more important than ever to remind patients of proper hygiene practices to help protect their eye health, so we have developed an online resource center to help you do just that. Included in the CooperVision COVID-19 Practitioner Resources page are social media assets and web banners that you can use to remind your patients about contact lens safety, as well as many other support programs available from CooperVision.
Millions of people around the world need contact lenses and, in many cases, they’re essential for their jobs. This includes front-line healthcare professionals and emergency responders who are working day and night fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Through our work with practitioners like you, we’re incredibly proud to be able to help them and so many others enjoy the gift of clear, corrected vision with contact lenses each day.
As always, thank you for your partnership, and for all that you do.
Gary Orsborn, OD, Vice President Global Professional, Medical & Clinical Affairs
Michele Andrews, OD, Senior Director, North America Professional & Academic Affairs