It is important to protect your eyes as well as your nose and mouth to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. This is because when someone talks or coughs the viral Coronavirus droplets can enter through the eyes. When a person touches something with the virus on it such as a doorknob and then touches their eyes the person can also become infected.
Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis is a rare symptom of Coronavirus. Conjunctivitis can occur in 1-3% of infected individuals. This pink eye is contagious, if you have any type of red eye please refrain from touching your eyes, sharing towels, and please dispose of wet tissues.
“It’s important to remember that although there is a lot of concern about coronavirus, common-sense precautions can significantly reduce your risk of getting infected. So wash your hands a lot, follow good contact lens hygiene and avoid touching or rubbing your nose, mouth, and especially your eyes,” says ophthalmologist Sonal Tuli, MD, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Eye care tips for Coronavirus
Discontinue contact lenses for glasses. The less you touch your eyes the better. If you do need to continue wearing contacts please follow these contact lens tips.
Wear glasses as an added layer of protection. Glasses can shield the eyes from some viral particles but not all. If you are caring for a sick person or sick yourself goggles are a better way to protect against the spread.
Stock up on prescription eye medications.
Avoid rubbing the eyes. If you need to touch your eyes or glasses try using a tissue. Dry eyes and allergies can also cause irritation so using lubricating eye drops and allergy drops can help alleviate the need to rub the eyes. If you must touch your eyes please wash your hands carefully before and after touching them.
Practice safe hygiene and social distancing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer these general guidelines to slow the spread of disease:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
You should especially wash your hands before eating, after using the restroom, sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
If you can’t get to a sink, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your face — particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
If you cough or sneeze, cover your face with your elbow or a tissue. If you use a tissue, throw it away promptly. Then go wash your hands.
Avoid close contact with sick people. If you think someone has a respiratory infection, it’s safest to stay 6 feet away.
Stay home when you are sick.
Regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces and items in your house, such as doorknobs and countertops.