Coronavirus and eyes: Experts recommend wearing glasses instead of contacts to prevent COVID-19 spread

Health officials say refraining from touching the eyes, mouth and nose can prevent the spread of COVID-19, but should people do if contact with their eyes is a part of their morning routine?

From changing lenses in the morning to removing them at night, contact lens wearers touch their eyes more than the average person, experts say.

Dr. Sonal Tulsi with the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends switching to glasses if possible during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"Substituting glasses for lenses can decrease irritation and force you to pause before touching your eye," she said.

Those who continue to wear their contacts should follow proper hygiene procedures, like washing their hands thoroughly before handling.

Glasses -- even sunglasses -- can also protect the eyes from infected droplets that a sick person might spray when coughing, sneezing or talking.

Glasses won't provide protection though if the top, bottom, and sides are exposed, so safety goggles may be handy when in close contact with someone who may be infected.

And many glasses wearers know it's difficult to avoid adjusting their lenses during the day. If adjustments are needed, the AAO recommends using a tissue instead of fingers.

Those with dry eyes are encouraged to use moisturizing drops to avoid rubbing.

Click here for more from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.