Cold or Flu: What Should You Do With Your Contact Lenses?

Contacts when sickTis the season for sniffling, blowing, coughing, aching and all the other miserable symptoms that accompany colds and the flu.  I have one word for this time of year: Yuck.

I’m no doctor, but I’ve observed there are two types of people when it comes to dealing with sickness.  There are those that soldier on, carrying on regular work and activities while pretending that their heads aren’t throbbing and noses aren’t red.

Then there are others who more graciously take the knock out.  They sleep and down the chicken soup until they are back to normal.

But here’s the big question if you wear contact lenses:

Should you wear your lenses when you are sick?

No!

You see no matter what type of sick person you are, it’s best to leave your contact lenses out when you are battling a bug.  This was news to me honestly.  I’ve got four little children and I’m that sick person that tries to function as normal.  And, for me, normal means wearing my contacts!

Yet, when I heard the reasons to leave them out, I was convinced.  It seems when your body is sick your normal tear production slows down and your eyes may feel a little drier than usual.  And, everyone knows that dry eyes and contacts are not a fun combination.   Aside from discomfort, without enough moisture your contacts could scratch your eyes. Plus, those over-the-counter cold and flu meds may help your symptoms, but they’ll likely make your eyes feel drier than the Sahara.

If you wear extended wear contact lenses, take them out, clean and disinfect them, and give your eyes a break until you are feeling better.  If they happen to be weekly disposable lenses, some doctors even recommend opening a new pair just to be safe.

The good news is you don’t have to leave your lenses out until the last sniffle is gone. But, if you do have to wear your lenses before you are back to 100%, get some good quality eye drops from your eye doctor so you can be more comfortable.

Been a while since you needed your glasses and not sure where those fashion frames from last year are hiding? Well, then maybe it’s time for a new pair.  Eye care professionals agree you should always have a back-up pair of glasses in your current prescription.  Check out our full catalog of great fashion frames here if it’s time for you to update!

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