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COVID-19 Coronavirus and the Eyes

2 min read

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has reported that COVID-19 Coronavirus can spread through the eyes. In fact, health officials are even suggesting that conjunctivitis, or viral pink eye, develops in about 1% to 3% of individuals with coronavirus.

When an infected person coughs or talks, virus particles spread. This can happen through tear droplets as well. These particles can be inhaled through the mouth or the nose, or they can enter through the eyes. Additionally, touching a surface that has been contaminated can also pass the infection by then touching the face, including the eyes.

Everyone has already been informed of good hygiene steps to take to reduce the spread of coronavirus: Wash your hands frequently, keep your distance from people exhibiting symptoms, cough and sneeze into tissues that can be immediately discarded, and avoid touching your nose and mouth. But here are a few additional key tips that are not being mentioned as much, if at all:

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • If you wear contacts, switch to glasses for the time being. This will reduce touch contact with your eyes, such as when inserting and taking out your contacts.
  • Additional benefits of wearing glasses are that they are a physical obstruction to touching your eyes and therefore make you more conscious of such an action. They can also shield your eyes reducing the chance of infected respiratory droplets getting into them.
    • If you want the extra protection but don't wear prescription glasses, glasses can be made with non-prescription Anti-Reflective coated clear lenses.
    • Get larger sized eyeglasses to give you more surface area coverage.
  • Keep your immune system strong by making sure you are getting your Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and more, as well as eating clean and healthy - lots of vegetables and minimal sugar.

You can read the complete American Academy of Ophthalmology article here.

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