Coronavirus: Ophthalmologists suggest people switch from contact lenses to glasses to prevent Covid-19 | The Independent

Doctors recommend that people who wear contact lenses switch to glasses to avoid transmitting the coronavirus through their eyes.

Some reports suggest that the virus can cause a mild form of viral pink eye, or conjunctivitis, which is indistinguishable from other causes of infection.

Dr. Sonal Tuli of the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests that replacing lenses with glasses can “decrease irritation and make you pause before touching your eye” and potentially prevent contaminated fingers from entering the eye. eye.

Wearing glasses may also be a more effective way to prevent infected droplets in the air from entering the eye.

Health officials have stressed that washing your hands frequently with soap and hot water and avoiding touching your face are among the best defenses against the transmission of Covid-19.

Although rarely reported in confirmed cases, doctors have reported that some patients hospitalized with the virus have red eyes and conjunctivitis, among their other symptoms.

Patients with symptoms of conjunctivitis who also have fever, respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath or other symptoms related to Covid-19 “could represent” cases of the virus, according to the Academy.

Some patients have presented to eye clinics and emergency departments with eye problems, which “increases the likelihood that ophthalmologists will be the first providers to assess patients possibly infected” with the virus, according to the Academy.

The Journal of Medical Virology determined that the virus “can infect the conjunctiva and cause conjunctivitis, and virus particles are present in ocular secretions” based on some cases in China.

Doctors recommend that people caring for others infected with the virus not only cover their mouths and noses, but also their eyes, with safety goggles and other protective eyewear.

Dr. Kirby Redman, a Wisconsin optometrist, told a local NBC affiliate that “the smart thing to do is just avoid wearing contacts” when possible.

He said: “The reason I say that is that if you get conjunctivitis caused by bacteria or other viruses, which would be much more likely, and you come in with a red eye, that’s going to cause some concerns.”

Lucy Wilson, a professor of emergency health services at the University of Maryland, explained that the goggles provide “barrier protection against splashes or droplets” that can carry the virus, she told The Huffington. Post. “Mucous membranes, including in the eye area, are a common route by which the coronavirus can enter the body.”

People who continue to wear contact lenses should follow proper cleaning routines.

Glasses wearers should also avoid direct contact with their glasses (use a tissue) and wash them with soap and water.

Dr Tuli said: “It’s important to remember that although there are many concerns about coronavirus, common sense precautions can significantly reduce your risk of infection. So wash your hands often, follow good hygiene contact lenses and avoid touching or rubbing your nose, mouth and especially your eyes.