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The Connection Between Coronavirus and Your Eyes

Our eyes play a role in the spread and prevention of disease. Respiratory infections - including the coronavirus - find entree into the human body via your facial mucus membranes (eyes, nose, and mouth).

So how do you protect yourself (and your eyes) from coronavirus?

Coronavirus and Your Eyes

The term ‘coronavirus’ covers a whole family of viruses. Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can infect both animals and humans, causing respiratory ailments as mild as the common cold and as severe as pneumonia. While the most severe forms can result in death, the majority of coronavirus diagnoses are the equivalent of the common cold or flu.

The relationship between this new strain of coronavirus and your eyes is complicated but with more time researchers are finding that conjunctivitis (pink eye) can be one of the first signs of infection. A study found that we touch our face an average of two dozen times an hour, and 44 percent of that touching involves contact with eyes, nose or mouth. Doing so passes germs living on your hands (ones picked up from your phone, doorknob, keyboard, etc.) to your throat, sinuses, and lungs. If your eyes come into contact with the coronavirus it may become inflamed, followed by a fever and a buildup of mucus in his nose and throat.

It’s important to call an eye doctor or family doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms rather than showing up in person at the office. This ensures that you won’t expose other (potentially more vulnerable patients) to any disease you might have.

Preventing Coronavirus

Not touching your facial mucous membranes, the area of the eyes, nose, and throat, is the most important step you can take to prevent an infection. It is also the most difficult.

Touching our face is a habit, and habit change is difficult. Some helpful tips for changing this habit include:

  • Wear something on your hands or face (like gloves) to serve as a cue to stop an automatic action of face touching.

  • If you need to scratch your face, cover your finger with a tissue first.

  • Wearing makeup can help reduce face touching since you’re more mindful of not smudging it.

  • Identify triggers for face touching, like dry skin or itchy eyes. Treat those conditions so you are less likely to rub or scratch your face.

  • Substitute glasses for contacts since glasses create a barrier to touching your eyes.

The most effective way of preventing the spread of respiratory diseases like coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly. The more mindful you are about regular hand washing, the more mindful you will be about your hands and what they are touching.

Contact Your Doctor Today

Rest assured that at Eden Prairie Eye Care we are taking all precautions recommended by the CDC to keep our office healthy! Our staff at Eden Prairie Eye Care can also help answer any questions or concerns you have sanitizing your eyewear and protecting the health of your eyes.

Contact our offices today at (952) 944-2792 and get correct and reliable information about coronavirus and your vision.


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