Is there a link between red eyes and coronavirus?
With over 3 million total cases in the country, the novel coronavirus does not show any signs for stopping. While the health experts and researchers are striving hard to make a vaccine to fight against this pandemic, every one of us should also follow all the precautions and safety measures while going out.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are wondering about the connection between red eyes and coronavirus. The novel coronavirus causes respiratory illness. The most common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, dry cough, and illness. Simultaneously, some of the less common symptoms include body aches, sore throat, conjunctivitis (pink eyes), loss of taste and smell, diarrhoea, sore throat, a rash on the skin, and discolouration of fingers and toes.
There are some severe symptoms identified for coronavirus like:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Loss of speech and movement
It is advised to seek medical help if you have severe symptoms. Call before you arrange for a doctor’s visit as people with mild symptoms might often be advised to manage symptoms at home.
Is there anything to be worried about red eyes?
An important note is that red eyes can happen due to some allergy. As the weather changes, some people might develop watery eyes, stuffy noses, itching, and irritation in the eyes in such a situation. It is not worrisome and normal.
Coronavirus symptoms do not cause watery, itchy eyes. Allergy sufferers do not have a fever, unlike coronavirus, in which people have it.
Pink eye and coronavirus
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says that coronavirus might produce conjunctivitis (pink eyes). The rate for developing pink eyes is as low as one to three percent of coronavirus cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an allergy can cause conjunctivitis, but symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis differ from viral conjunctivitis. Pink eyes are contagious and can spread through contact via eye secretions.
If you touch your infected eye and touch some object, then if that object is touched by some other person, then the virus or bacterias can respread. It is always recommended to keep washing your hands and not to share your towel, contact lens, eye makeup, or eye medicine with anyone to prevent the spread.
Conjunctivitis (pink eyes) is diagnosed after a thorough eye exam that includes:
- Complete review of the patient’s symptoms
- Assessment of conjunctiva and external eye tissue
- Evaluation of the inner part of the eyes
Eyes protection in coronavirus pandemic
- Switch to glasses from contact lenses:
There is no evidence that contact lenses increase the risk of COVID-19. However, it is seen that contact lens wearers tend to touch their eyes more often. Hence, switching to glasses is much better. It will not only decrease irritation in your eyes but will stop you from touching your eyes directly.
- Wear sunglasses while stepping outside:
Sunglasses not only protect us from harmful ultraviolet (UV rays) radiation but can also shield from those droplets of coughs and sneezes that can enter our eyes in coronavirus times.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes:
Natural eyes are tough to break, but if you have the habit of rubbing your eyes, avoid. It will lower the chances of eye infection, itchiness, and redness. If you still feel like rubbing your eyes, use a tissue or moisturizing drops for dry eyes.
- Wear masks every time you step out:
Do not forget that wearing a mask is a must in these testing times. It can save you from getting infected to a great extent.
- Practice safe hygiene:
Novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets from a sneeze or cough. The particles can get into your nose, mouth, and eyes and make you infected with COVID-19. Keep disinfecting your hands, avoid touching your face, and maintain social distancing.
Digital eye strain has also become common in the lockdown period. Hence, while working from home, make it a point that you spend a balanced time on digital screens. Give your eyes the necessary rest.
Centre for Sight ensures quality eye care to treat an array of eye disorders. If you have redness in the eye or suffer from conjunctivitis (pink eyes), then reach your nearest CFS hospital and get treated. We have highly skilled, experienced doctors and state of the art infrastructure to treat many vision-threatening disorders. We are headquartered in Delhi but have many hospitals spread across the country. We give tailor-made treatment to each of our patients and work for achieving excellence in eye care.
Article: Is there a link between red eyes and Coronavirus?
Author: CFS Editorial Team | Aug 19, 2020 | UPDATED 01:15 IST
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.