Coronavirus Pandemic: How to Care for Your Eyes

How can the coronavirus affect your eyes?

Coronavirus can spread through the eyes, just as it does through the mouth or nose. When someone who has COVID19 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.

How to protect your eyes and health from coronavirus

Guarding your eyes — as well as your hands, nose, and mouth — can slow the spread of coronavirus. Here are some ways to you can keep your eyes safe and healthy during this coronavirus outbreak.

1. If you wear contact lenses, consider switching to glasses for a while.

There’s no evidence that wearing contact lenses increases your risk of coronavirus infection. But contact lens wearers touch their eyes more than the average person

2. Wearing glasses may add a layer of protection.

Corrective lenses or sunglasses can shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets. But keep in mind that they don’t provide 100% security. The virus can still reach your eyes from the exposed sides, tops, and bottoms of your glasses. If you’re caring for a sick patient or potentially exposed person, safety goggles may offer a stronger defense.

3. Avoid rubbing your eyes.

It can be hard to break this natural habit, but doing so will lower your risk of infection. If you feel an urge to itch or rub your eye or even to adjust your glasses, use a tissue instead of your fingers. Dry eyes can lead to more rubbing, so consider adding moisturizing drops to your eye routine. If you must touch your eyes for any reason — even to administer eye medicine — wash your hands first with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Then wash them again after touching your eyes.

4. Practice safe hygiene and social distancing.

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

If you have any questions about your eyes or your vision, be sure to ask our office-we are here to help! 

Learn more about staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic at the Center for Disease Control’s website.