COVID-19 – Topic On Everyone’s Mind

The topic on everyone’s mind: COVID-19 or coronavirus. This virus is affecting each life, family, and business differently, but what does it mean for your eye health? Can the coronavirus be spread through the eyes? The answer is yes. For instance, the viral particles can be sprayed from a nose or mouth and can enter through the eyes. You can also touch an infected surface, rub your eyes, and become infected. To prevent exposure, avoid touching your eyes as much as possible.  If you wear contact lenses, consider wearing your glasses as they may add an additional barrier for protection.

COVID-19 Can Cause “Pink Eye”

The virus can also cause conjunctivitis or “pink eye.” This can be present as an early sign or during a severe infection and hospitalization. A few studies¹ reported those with conjunctivitis and COVID-19 had a few patients whose tears tested positive for the virus.  There are a few studies² regarding the incidence of conjunctivitis associated with COVID-19, but it seems to be an overall uncommon event. Other viruses can cause conjunctivitis. So, you should not assume someone is infected with the coronavirus solely because of an eye infection.

Eye Care

Routine eye care is slowly beginning to resume. However, you may have your eye exam postponed and rescheduled. Take care to protect your eyes while staying safe at home. This includes wearing safety protection during any home projects, yard work, or cleaning with chemicals. Henry Eye Clinic, is here for your eye care needs. Please do not hesitate to call if you’re experiencing new changes in your eye health or vision. We can see you in the office or we are happy to consult over the phone as needed to protect you from any unnecessary exposure.

Helpful Links

Is It COVID-19 or Allergies?   https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/coronavirus-versus-allergies-pink-eye

Coronavirus Guide for Eye Patients:  https://www.aao.org/eye-health/coronavirus

References 

¹ Journal of Medical Virology and JAMA Ophthalmology

²American Academy of Ophthalmology