Can your eyes be affected by coronavirus?

corona virus effects the eyes
Can your eyes be affected by coronavirus?
Well, even though the coronavirus spread is abating, we need to still be cautious with the new virus strain that is fast spreading.

Common Symptoms

Based on available data so far, eye specialists believe that about 1%-3% of people detected with Corona Virus will get conjunctivitis, which is also called pinkeye. This condition happens when the coronavirus infects a tissue called the conjunctiva, which covers the white part of the eye or the inside of the eyelids. If you have conjunctivitis, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The more likely causes are the many different viruses, bacteria, chemicals, and allergens that can irritate your eyes.

How does the infection spread

The coronavirus can spread through the eyes, just as it does through the mouth or nose. When someone who has coronavirus coughs, sneezes, or talks, virus particles can spray from their mouth or nose onto your face. The droplets can also enter your body through your eyes. You can also become infected by touching your eyes after touching something that has the virus on it. It might be possible for coronavirus to cause a pink eye infection (conjunctivitis), but this is rare. If you have pink eye, don’t panic. Simply call your ophthalmologist to let them know and follow their instructions for care. Keep in mind that whether the pink eye is caused by a virus or bacteria, it can spread if someone touches that sticky or runny discharge from the eyes, or touches objects contaminated by the discharge. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently, and do not share towels, cups or utensils with others. If you have conjunctivitis from COVID-19, you may infect others with the virus if you touch your eyes and then touch people or surfaces without washing or disinfecting your hands. Avoid touching your face, especially the mucous membranes in your mouth, nose, and eyes. Immediately contact your doctor if you notice eye symptoms like:
  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Regular eye injections
  • Loss of vision or changes like blank spots or flashes
  • Painful or red eyes, headache, nausea, and vomiting

How to Protect Your Eyes

Like everyone, be sure to wash your hands often and stay home whenever you can. If you go out, keep 6 feet away from others and wear a mask. It also may be a good idea to: Contact lenses: There is no evidence wearing contacts puts you at more risk for COVID-19 than those who wear eyeglasses. But you should continue to practice safe hygiene habits for wearing and caring for them. Washin your hands before putting them in, or taking them out.. Wear glasses.  Your glasses lenses may help protect your eyes from any respiratory droplets. If you don’t wear glasses, try sunglasses. And if you’re caring for someone ill, don safety glasses or goggles. Stock up on eye medication. Check with your insurer to see if you can refill glaucoma drops and other essential prescriptions in advance. You might be able to get a 3-month supply. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for any help. Don’t rub your eyes. It can be a hard habit to break. Moistening drops may help ease itchiness. Wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after you do it. If you must touch your eyes, use a tissue instead of your fingers.

Sri Eye Care is always available for eye emergencies caused by coronavirus.

Sri Eye Care is always available to treat urgent/emergency eye issues, deliver eye injections and provide critical care. Call your ophthalmologist or other medical doctors as soon as possible in the following situations:
  • You have macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy and get regular eye injections;
  • You notice changes in your vision (like blurry, wavy or blank spots in your field of vision);
  • You have an eye injury, even if it seems minor;
  • You notice new floaters or flashes in your vision;
  • You suddenly lose some vision;
  • You have a red eye or eye pain, especially if associated with headache, nausea, or vomiting.

As the world begins to normalize and take a grip of the year that has gone by, we all know by now the various symptoms, signs, and dangers of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus i. e the coronavirus. However, only a few of us are aware coronavirus can also affect the eyes,  causing outer eye infections like Conjunctivitis. Although the vaccinations for  COVID-19  will begin soon, a new danger looms on the horizon, a newer more potent strain of the coronavirus. Although the rate of infection with this newer strain is still currently low in our country, we still need to be cautious due to its ability to spread fast and undetected.

Common Symptoms

Based on available data so far, eye specialists believe that about 1% – 3% of people detected with coronavirus will get conjunctivitis, which is also called pinkeye. This condition happens when the coronavirus infects a tissue called the conjunctiva, which covers the white part of the eye or the inside of the eyelids. If you have conjunctivitis, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The more likely causes are the many different viruses, bacteria, chemicals, and allergens that can irritate your eyes.

How does the infection spread?

The coronavirus can spread through the eyes, just as it does through the mouth or nose. When someone who has coronavirus coughs, sneezes, or talks, virus particles can spray from their mouth or nose onto your face. The droplets can also enter your body through your eyes. You can also become infected by touching your eyes after touching something that has the virus on it. Although coronavirus can cause pink eye (conjunctivitis), the incidence of this is still rare to this day. One must remember that coronavirus is not the only cause of pink eye and it is always best to consult an ophthalmologist for an expert diagnosis. Give us a call at Sri Eye Care and our ophthalmologist would get in touch with you to understand more. When you call us please mention if there’s any history of travel, exposure to patients affected with COVID-19, or any other risk factors for COVID-19. You would be able to consult your ophthalmologist from the safety of your home as well. Keep in mind that whether the pinkeye is caused by a virus or bacteria, it can spread if someone touches that sticky or runny discharge from the eyes, or touches objects contaminated by the discharge. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently, and do not share towels, cups, or utensils with others. If you have conjunctivitis from COVID-19, it is possible to infect others with the virus if you touch your eyes and then touch people or surfaces without washing or disinfecting your hands. Avoid touching your face, especially the mucous membranes in your mouth, nose, and eyes.

How to Protect Your Eyes

Be sure to wash your hands often and stay home whenever you can. If you go out, keep a distance of 6 feet from others and wear a mask. Contact lenses: There is no evidence wearing contacts puts you at more risk for COVID-19 than those who wear eyeglasses. But you should continue to practice safe hygiene habits for wearing and caring for them. Wash your hands with soap before putting them in or taking them out. Wear glasses.  Your glass lenses may help protect your eyes from any respiratory droplets. If you don’t wear glasses, try sunglasses. And if you’re caring for someone ill, don safety glasses or goggles. Stock up on eye medication. Check with your insurer to see if you can refill glaucoma drops and other essential prescriptions in advance. You might be able to get a 3-month supply. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for any help. Don’t rub your eyes. It can be a hard habit to break. Moistening drops may help ease itchiness. Wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after you do it. If you must touch your eyes, use a tissue instead of your fingers.

Sri Eye Care is always available for eye emergencies caused by coronavirus.

Sri Eye Care is always available to treat urgent/emergency eye issues and provide emergency eye advice if you are unable to come to the hospital. You can reach our emergency helpline phone number at +91 95139 22213. Call the Sri Eye Care emergency helpline as soon as possible in the following situations:
  • You notice changes in your vision (like blurry, wavy, or blank spots in your field of vision).
  • You have an eye injury, even if it seems minor.
  • You notice new floaters or flashes in your vision.
  • You suddenly lose some vision.
  • You have a red eye or eye pain, especially if associated with headache, nausea, or vomiting.
Although the coronavirus vaccine is around the corner, Sri Eye Care advises that you do not ignore the health of your eyes.

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