This is a question our optometrists get asked about everyday.
How does COVID-19 get into the eyes?
- Although evidence is not definite at this moment, we do know infected droplets can cause changes in the eyes. COVID-19 affects the mucous membranes and inner linings of the body. The eyes and nose have these linings inside that get attacked and cause inflammatory reactions. However, the main way to catch COVID-19 is through the respiratory pathways.
Can I still wear contact lenses?
- Of course! Contact lenses themselves don’t directly increase your risk of infection. What does increase the chances is the higher rate of eye touching with contact lens wearers. If you have good eye hygiene and wash your hands properly, you will have no issues with infection. However, if your eyes feel red, irritated, painful, please discontinue contact lens wear and visit your nearby eye doctor immediately!
What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in the eyes?
- The most common sign is pink eye (conjunctivitis). We don’t have an exact number of how many people have gotten pink eye through COVID-19, but we do notice an upward trend of people with burning eyes, irritated eyes, dryness, and eye strain. Although these are the more common eye symptoms seen with COVID-19, there may be other more urgent symptoms such as loss of vision, decrease of sensitivity, and eye pain. On the rarer side, eye movement, retina and corneal changes, uveitis, episcleritis, and other eye diseases have been on the rise. The best way to know is by visiting your local optometrist.
Is there a way to stop the burning eyes from COVID-19?
- A great way to lessen the symptoms of burning eyes is through the use of preservative free artificial tears (4-6 times a day). These drops can be found at your local pharmacy or at your local optometrist office. Consider the use of warm compresses to prevent dry eyes is also beneficial in these cases. In some patients, a night time ointment like Systane Nighttime or Refresh PM can help with eye comfort.
How do I prevent myself from getting eye infections during COVID-19?
- The simplest way to do this is washing your hands. Wearing a mask and having proper distancing between others can help dramatically decrease your chances of getting infected. Of course, making sure you are updated on your vaccinations is super important for protecting not only you but your loved ones as well.
We here at Glimpse Eye Care are here to provide the highest quality of eye care to The Woodlands, Creekside, Tomball, Conroe, Spring, and Houston areas. If you have questions, please feel free to call/text us at 832-554-1100 or book an appointment online with us 🙂
Book online: https://glimpseeyecare.vsappointments.com/