Coronavirus and Your Eyes

What is coronavirus?

There are many types of viruses called coronaviruses, and some of them can make you sick. The new type we are hearing about now as part of this pandemic is called COVID-19. This virus causes mild to severe lung illness.

People who are exposed to coronavirus may show symptoms anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure. Those symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some people can develop pneumonia and become seriously ill or die from coronavirus complications.

How can coronavirus affect your eyes?

The first thing to understand is that 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. You are likely to breathe these tiny droplets in through your mouth or nose. But 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 extremely 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 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.

Protecting your eye and health – quick tips!

  • If you wear contact lenses, try switching to glasses for a while.
  • Wearing glasses may add a layer of protection.
  • Stock up on eye medicine prescriptions if you can.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.

Use common sense to stay healthy.

Wash your hands a lot. Follow good contact lens hygiene. And avoid touching or rubbing your nose, mouth and eyes.

We are here for you!

For more information, and the official COVID-19 release from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, please click below.

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