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Ways to prevent transmitting HSV-1 from lips to eyes.

Resolved Question:

This question will hopefully reach Dr. Manish Malhotra:

I discussed my previous question to you also with another doctor and they actually finally answered me today and gave me a different response which has reintroduced the worry to me and I wanted your opinion since your an ophthalmologist and they were not. I will share below with you what they shared with me in hopes that you can shed some light on the subject for me and help me to know what to do with my future.

i have been reading up on the use of contact lenses for a person predisposed to cold sores.
I could infer that a person having cold sores could have a chance of getting herpes infection of the eye, but it doesn't mean that everyone having cold sores will get infection of the eye. its a chance.
Contact lenses can increase the risk of getting herpetic infection of the eye but its use is not contraindicated. It is to be surely avoided in case of an active cold sore infection or active herpetic eye infection.
Hence if its alright with you to not wear and you dont want to wear them, that would surely help in prevention but inspite the virus could still cause infection in the eye if it has to.

Category: Ophthalmologist

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Category: Ophthalmologist
 29 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at
I understand your concern.
Let me tell you one thing. Using contact lenses increase the chances of eye infections for almost all infections including herpes. But it is never that serious, or even the incidence of such cases is so low, we rather advise people to use contact lenses for their benefit.
I have gone thorugh the articles, and I will assure you, as long as you maintain your hygiene, it should not be a problem. Otherwise you can stop using them, and use glasses.

Patient replied :

Alright thank you! I knew the other day that you assured me contact lenses would be ok, but then I was speaking with a dermatologist and they hit me with both that statement and those two articles that I just shared with you and it caused me a scare and a concern when I read the articles and his response and I just wanted another opinion on it. And I didn't quite understand what he was saying also and was looking for an explanation.

He is right in saying there is a minor risk. Even if there is a 1 % chance, we can't ignore that.
But that is too small a risk for an intervention like stopping it altogether,

Patient replied :

So basically there is a risk there but not so much of a risk that I would need to stop with the contacts and only wear glasses? I'm not like playing Russian roulette or playing with fire with my health?

Yes, you should continue wearing lenses for greater health benefit.

Patient replied :

Thank you

Dr. Manish Malhotra
Category: Ophthalmologist
Fellowship: L. V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad
Fellow Pediatric Ophthalmology & Squint (L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad)
Medical School, Residency: MBBS, DOMS, FLVPEI, Nagpur university, 1995
Dr. Manish Malhotra and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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