The coronavirus – and any type of virus particle – can enter your body through your eyes. This can occur when you touch a surface that has been contaminated by the virus (through an infected person’s coughing, sneezing, tears, etc.) and then touch your eyes. There are several situations that could increase your risk.
If you like to wear contact lenses, you may be at a greater risk of picking up a virus simply because you may touch your eyes more often than the average person. Unless you are extremely diligent about washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before you mess with your contact lenses, it may be smart to stop wearing contacts for a while.
Switching to eyeglasses may actually provide a layer of protection between flying virus particles and entry into your eyes. In fact, a new study out of China suggests that wearing eyeglasses may lower your chances of contacting the coronavirus. One thought is that wearing glasses may dissuade you from rubbing your eyes out of force of habit. However, there is still much more research that must be done to solidify this claim.
Of course, wearing glasses is not a foolproof option for protecting you against getting a virus. Some patients who dislike wearing glasses opt to have LASIK vision correction for the opportunity to see clearly without any type of prescription lens.
If you experience chronic dry eye symptoms, you may be tempted to rub your itchy eyes more often. It is never a good idea to rub your eyes – but it is especially dangerous during the pandemic. You may want to stock up on moisturizing eye drops to keep your eyes hydrated and comfortable. But if these are not effective, it may be time to look into professional dry eye treatment options to provide relief.
Red, itchy eyes may also be a sign that you have an eye infection called conjunctivitis (pink eye), a condition that can be caused by COVID-19 (although this is uncommon). If you also have a fever and cough along with these symptoms, alert your doctor to see if you should have a coronavirus test.
The eye doctors at Schein Ernst Mishra Eye encourage people to continue having regular eye exams to stay proactive with their eye health. The safety of our patients and staff are our top priority, so we have implemented advanced safety protocols that follow CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health recommendations. To schedule your eye appointment in Harrisburg, PA, call (717) 233-3937 or click here.