COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory infection (affecting the lungs, airways, sinuses, etc), but it has been under speculation that it could also infiltrate the eyes. As of October, scientists move this idea from inference to definitive as direct evidence has been discovered.
It is too early to determine what this means for ocular health specifically, but we wanted to provide you, at Shanbom Eye Specialists, with everything we do know as of now. For starters, COVID-19 can be spread through the nose, mouth, and EYES.
Protect Your Eyes:
- If you wear contacts, consider glasses.
- Have enough eye prescriptions and medicine to last a quarantine period, if needed.
- Avoiding touching and rubbing the eyes.
- Practice safe hygiene and social distancing.
Symptoms of COVID in the Eye:
- Enlarged, Red Blood Vessels
- Swollen Eyelids
- Excessive Watering
- Increased Discharge
- Light Sensitivity
Pink Eye Correlation with COVID:
Though Pink Eye is not necessarily a symptom of COVID-19, it has been seen to be an indicator of COVID in the eye. According to experts, Pink Eye, or Conjunctivitis, has been reported as a possible sign of infection, but it is still unclear exactly what % of patients with COVID-19 have ocular manifestations. This is widely due to the fact that different sources are often reporting different numbers.
COVID and Tear Drops:
Although it might come as a shock, tear drops could be a possible way of transferring COVID-19. Given the presence of viral particles in tear drops, it is possible to transmit COVID-19, although the risk is likely low. This is a topic that is still being investigated and studied further.
Eye Surgeries During COVID:
Most Ophthalmic surgeries are low-risk for surgeons and patients in terms of COVID-19 if proper protections are put in place. (for example, PPE)
However, to learn more about specifics pertaining to certain ophthalmic surgeries and procedures, please refer to this article by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
To learn more about COVID-19 protocols or what it could mean for you in upcoming care, please give us a call. If you are exhibiting symptoms that you believe are likely to be an indicator of COVID-19, give us a call and properly take the time and space to properly quarantine, please.