Re: your Feb. 13 article, â€śCold comfortâ€?:
In this article, various methods of dealing with the common cold were discussed, and Dr. Woodson Merrell of Columbia University, who has worked diligently to integrate alternative methods into mainstream medical treatment, made the suggestion that â€ścontact lens wearers might want to switch to glasses during cold and flu seasonâ€? as they may transmit viruses to their eyes and thus infect themselves when handling their lenses.
If the goal of healthy contact lens wearers is to avoid contamination of lenses by viruses and bacteria in the environment, the best method is for them to wash their hands, clean their lenses with the recommended solutions and, very importantly, clean the contact lens case. Many studies have show that the storage case is the leading source of contact lens contamination.
Even with proper instruction, many patients who would never dream of eating off a dirty plate that has been sitting in the bathroom all week will remove their lenses from a case with visible dirt and place the lenses on their eyes.
Even with millions of contact lens wearers, I know of no studies that show they contract cold or flu viruses at a higher rate than non-wearers, even though that may be the case. Contact lens wear is not without risk, but proper care reduces that risk to a very acceptable level. Just as we accept the risk of driving by wearing seat belts, contact lens wearers can accept the risks by washing their hands, cleaning their lenses and washing their storage cases. There is no reason for a normal, healthy individual to stop wearing their lenses.
â€” Richard L. Anderson, O.D. Camarillo Optometry, Camarillo