Does COVID-19 Affect Eye Health?

  • Posted on: Sep 30 2020
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We’ve spent the majority of 2020 hearing about the novel coronavirus; what may have caused it, how we might catch it, what the symptoms are, and, most importantly, what we might do to slow the spread of illness. The more time that has gone by, the more researchers have learned about this virus. We now know that, in addition to symptoms that are similar to the flu, COVID-19 can affect some people in somewhat unusual ways. For example, it has come to light that some people who get COVID-19 also get pink eye. Here, we discuss why that may be and what you can do to reduce your risks of both unpleasant conditions.

Does COVID-19 Cause Pink Eye?

It does not seem as though the novel coronavirus causes a person to get pink eye. This common infection can occur without a trigger such as another infection. The primary symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing. Fortunately, only a small percentage of people who come down with this primary infection develop other illnesses. It is possible that pink eye occurs when the virus particles in respiration droplets enter a person’s eye as well as or rather than their nasal passages. Though the risk of getting sick from touching objects seems to be lower than originally believed, this potential has not been completely ruled out; meaning that a person may develop the illness by touching an object and then touching their face. This is also a common way that people get pink eye.

Protecting Your Eyes and Your Health

The time that has been spent investigating this worldwide virus has led to some effective and convenient strategies. To reduce the risk of illness, we are encouraged to:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Use hand sanitizer when away from home, such as after grocery shopping.
  • Clean frequently-used objects and surfaces often. For example, you can wipe your phone with a disinfectant wipe once a day.
  • Cough or sneeze into an elbow rather than covering the mouth with a hand.
  • To reduce the risk of eye infection during the pandemic, we can:
  • Wear eyeglasses instead of contact lenses. This limits hand-to-eye contact.
  • Wear sunglasses or clear glasses as a shield to protect eyes from droplets.
  • If the eye must be touched, use a tissue rather than a finger.

Our patients’ health and safety are important to us. For information about how we are conducting visits at this time and to schedule your visit, contact us in Canfield, North Canton, or Alliance today.

Posted in: Ohio Eye Care, Pink Eye

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