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Why Do You Need to Protect Your Eyes during COVID-19

By , | April 03, 2020

With the onset of the Coronavirus epidemic, we are asked to refrain from touching our eyes, nose and mouth especially when we have not washed our hands. Why is this? Our eyes have mucous membranes (membranes that line various cavities in the body) which are most susceptible to the transmission of the virus.


With the onset of the Coronavirus epidemic, we are asked to refrain from touching our eyes, nose and mouth especially when we have not washed our hands. Why is this?

Our eyes have mucous membranes (membranes that line various cavities in the body) which are most susceptible to the transmission of the virus.

 

How is the new coronavirus related to your eyes?

Patients who have contracted the new coronavirus may have ocular symptoms. 

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane covering the eyeball. It is often referred to as “pink eye.” Conjunctivitis often presents as an infected/red, “wet and weepy” eye. 

Viral conjunctivitis is known to present with upper respiratory infections (colds, flus, etc.) and may be a symptom of the COVID-19 virus. A recent study of hospitals across China found “conjunctival congestion” or red, infected eyes in nine out of 1,099 patients (0.8%) with a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus. 

According to studies, both the occurrence of conjunctivitis and the risk of transmission of the coronavirus through tears is low.

Even though the relationship between the transmission of the coronavirus and your eyes is complicated, a Peking University respiratory specialist, Wang Guangfa believes he contracted COVID-19 when he came into contact with patients at health clinics in China. Wang reported that his left eye became inflamed afterward, followed by a fever and a buildup of mucus in his nose and throat. He subsequently was diagnosed with the new coronavirus. According to the South China Morning Post , Wang thinks the virus entered his left eye because he wasn’t wearing protective eyewear. In Wang’s situation, respiratory droplets from an infected person might have reached his eyes or other mucous membranes.

At the end of the day, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Everyone is advised to protect their eyes. Wear protective goggles if you are a healthcare worker and for the general public, make sure to avoid touching your eyes especially when you are not sure you have clean hands.

These tips may also help:

If you wear contact lenses, switch to glasses for a while.

Those who wear contact lens touch their eyes more than the average person. Substituting glasses for lenses can decrease irritation and force you to pause before touching your eye. If you continue wearing contact lenses, follow the contact lens care tips to limit your chances of infection.

Wearing glasses may add a layer of protection.

Corrective lenses or sunglasses will help shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets although they don’t provide 100% security. The virus can still reach your eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms of your glasses. Safety goggles may offer a stronger defense if you’re caring for a sick patient or potentially exposed person.

Stock up on eye medicine prescriptions if you can.

Experts advise patients to stock up on critical medications, so that you'll have enough to get by if you are quarantined or if supplies become limited during an outbreak. 

Avoid rubbing your eyes.

While it can be hard to break this natural habit, doing so will lower your risk of infection. If you feel an urge to itch or rub your eye or even to adjust your glasses, use a tissue instead of your fingers. Dry eyes can lead to more rubbing, so consider adding moisturizing drops to your eye routine. If you must touch your eyes for any reason — even to administer eye medicine — wash your hands first with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Then wash them again afterwards.

 

Should you experience any COVID symptom, follow the COVID guideline, contact your doctor, or go to your nearest COVID facility.

The Medical City Eye and Vision Institute – Eye Center

2nd Floor, Podium Building, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City

Tel. No. 8-988-1000 ext. 6252

 


 

Sources:

Reference: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/coronavirus-covid19-eye-infection-pinkeye

https://www.aao.org/headline/alert-important-coronavirus-context

https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/coronavirus-and-your-eyes/



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Why Do You Need to Protect Your Eyes during COVID-19

By ,

April 03, 2020


With the onset of the Coronavirus epidemic, we are asked to refrain from touching our eyes, nose and mouth especially when we have not washed our hands. Why is this? Our eyes have mucous membranes (membranes that line various cavities in the body) which are most susceptible to the transmission of the virus.

With the onset of the Coronavirus epidemic, we are asked to refrain from touching our eyes, nose and mouth especially when we have not washed our hands. Why is this?

Our eyes have mucous membranes (membranes that line various cavities in the body) which are most susceptible to the transmission of the virus.

 

How is the new coronavirus related to your eyes?

Patients who have contracted the new coronavirus may have ocular symptoms. 

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane covering the eyeball. It is often referred to as “pink eye.” Conjunctivitis often presents as an infected/red, “wet and weepy” eye. 

Viral conjunctivitis is known to present with upper respiratory infections (colds, flus, etc.) and may be a symptom of the COVID-19 virus. A recent study of hospitals across China found “conjunctival congestion” or red, infected eyes in nine out of 1,099 patients (0.8%) with a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus. 

According to studies, both the occurrence of conjunctivitis and the risk of transmission of the coronavirus through tears is low.

Even though the relationship between the transmission of the coronavirus and your eyes is complicated, a Peking University respiratory specialist, Wang Guangfa believes he contracted COVID-19 when he came into contact with patients at health clinics in China. Wang reported that his left eye became inflamed afterward, followed by a fever and a buildup of mucus in his nose and throat. He subsequently was diagnosed with the new coronavirus. According to the South China Morning Post , Wang thinks the virus entered his left eye because he wasn’t wearing protective eyewear. In Wang’s situation, respiratory droplets from an infected person might have reached his eyes or other mucous membranes.

At the end of the day, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Everyone is advised to protect their eyes. Wear protective goggles if you are a healthcare worker and for the general public, make sure to avoid touching your eyes especially when you are not sure you have clean hands.

These tips may also help:

If you wear contact lenses, switch to glasses for a while.

Those who wear contact lens touch their eyes more than the average person. Substituting glasses for lenses can decrease irritation and force you to pause before touching your eye. If you continue wearing contact lenses, follow the contact lens care tips to limit your chances of infection.

Wearing glasses may add a layer of protection.

Corrective lenses or sunglasses will help shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets although they don’t provide 100% security. The virus can still reach your eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms of your glasses. Safety goggles may offer a stronger defense if you’re caring for a sick patient or potentially exposed person.

Stock up on eye medicine prescriptions if you can.

Experts advise patients to stock up on critical medications, so that you'll have enough to get by if you are quarantined or if supplies become limited during an outbreak. 

Avoid rubbing your eyes.

While it can be hard to break this natural habit, doing so will lower your risk of infection. If you feel an urge to itch or rub your eye or even to adjust your glasses, use a tissue instead of your fingers. Dry eyes can lead to more rubbing, so consider adding moisturizing drops to your eye routine. If you must touch your eyes for any reason — even to administer eye medicine — wash your hands first with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Then wash them again afterwards.

 

Should you experience any COVID symptom, follow the COVID guideline, contact your doctor, or go to your nearest COVID facility.

The Medical City Eye and Vision Institute – Eye Center

2nd Floor, Podium Building, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City

Tel. No. 8-988-1000 ext. 6252

 


 

Sources:

Reference: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/coronavirus-covid19-eye-infection-pinkeye

https://www.aao.org/headline/alert-important-coronavirus-context

https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/coronavirus-and-your-eyes/


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