CORONAVIRUS and the EYES
Just like any other upper respiratory infection like a cold or the flu, the coronavirus can present as “pink eye”. “Pink eye” is the common name for conjunctivitis and symptoms include red, irritated, watery eyes.
Based on limited data so far, less than 1% of patients diagnosed with the coronavirus have eye symptoms so the risk of infection is low! However, if you are not feeling well, call your family doctor right away and if you are experiencing any eye redness, watering or irritation, give us a call!
We are still open for emergency care and want to help flatten the curve by taking care of our community in our office, instead of you needing to head to an urgent care or emergency room. A staff member will connect you with one of our doctors and can even schedule a telehealth video if your insurance allows.
To decrease your risk of infection, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands - these are mucus membranes that are one of the easiest ways for the virus to enter our systems. If you are a glasses wearer, make sure to wash your glasses throughout the day with warm, soapy water to help keep them clean! If you are a contact lens wearer, check out our blog on how to wear your lenses safely during this time!
There is some conflicting information out there! To wear or not to wear?!
Our doctors agree that based on recommendations from the American Optometric Association, you can still wear your contact lenses safely if you follow these simple rules:
- Make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before you put your contacts in and before you remove them at night
- Follow the replacement guidelines for how often you need to change your contacts! If you are in a daily disposable, which we recommend all of our patients wear, these are the safest and easiest! Just throw them out at the end of the night! If you are in a monthly or two week lens, make sure to take them out every night and store them in fresh disinfecting solution. New solution, every night, no exceptions! In the morning, wash your case out with soap and water and let it air dry! Even better, switch to a more powerful cleaning system that uses peroxide like Clear Care. Make sure you read the directions on the box!
- Lastly, if you are feeling unwell, have a fever, red eyes….switch to your glasses!
Bianca Kostranchuk, OD is a graduate from THE OSU Optometry school, owner and a practicing optometrist at CFAM EYES.