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Coronavirus Updates

In early March, the American Academy of Ophthalmology released guidelines related to coronavirus and eye safety, including a recommendation for those who wear contact lenses to consider switching to glasses during the pandemic.

However, according to a new study published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, there is no evidence to suggest that individuals increase their risk of contracting COVID-19 by wearing contacts as opposed to glasses.

In the original guidelines from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, they acknowledged the lack of evidence on the subject, but emphasized that contact lens wearers may touch their eyes more than the average person. Because coronavirus can likely spread through the eyes — via touch or infected respiratory particles in the air — more frequent touching of the eyes could increase the risk of infection. The guidelines also suggested that glasses might add a layer of protection for the wearer by shielding the eyes from virus particles in the air.

Instead of avoiding contact lenses entirely, the authors of this new study in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye advise people who wear contacts to focus on good hygiene habits such as regular hand-washing.

According to a press release about the study, the takeaways are:

  • Individuals can continue wearing contact lenses
  • Good hygiene habits are key
  • Regular eyeglasses and spectacles do not protect against the virus
  • Unwashed hands should stay away from the face
  • Temporarily stop wearing contact lenses if you are sick

Similarly, on April 8th, the CDC released guidance on coronavirus and contact lenses that did not recommend contact wearers to switch to glasses.

Read more about the study.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Antoni Ribas, former president of the American Association for Cancer Research and professor of medicine at UCLA, and Anna Plym, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HealthDay Nows and other videos on our YouTube channel.

HD Live! Videos

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with:

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Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

UPDATE 1/26/21: Since our HD Live! interview with CEO Andrei Doroshin, the Philadelphia Health Department has severed its ties with the organization. The nonprofit has changed its status to a for-profit entity.

Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a look at Philly Fighting Covid, a nonprofit organization run by graduate students from Drexel University that aims to help with mass COVID-19 vaccination in Philadelphia.

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Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center and an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and one of the physicians on the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. David Shulkin, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, ex-CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and an accomplished healthcare executive, and Dr. Joel Zivot, anesthesiologist and clinician at Emory University Hospital ICU.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Anthony Fauci about the latest on COVID-19, including the vaccines, the infection rates and the future.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, American Heart Association President-Elect, for a summary of the highlights of the AHA Scientific Sessions 2020.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.