It is not only the hands, nose, and mouth that you should guard against coronavirus. Your eyes should be well protected the same way as your hands and face. According to Sonal Tuli, MD, an ophthalmologist, common-sense precautions such as good contact lens hygiene and avoiding contact with nose, mouth, and eyes can save many lives.
Here are some health precautions to keep your eyes safe from the spread of infection.
1. Try opting to eyeglasses instead of contact lenses
Contact lenses itself do not harbor the virus. The main reason behind this precaution is to prevent people from touching their eyes. Study shows that people who wear contact lenses tend to touch their eyes more often than the person not wearing contact lenses.
Substituting eyeglasses for contact lenses can minimize irritation and makes it a little bit more difficult to reach your eyes. If you choose to continue wearing contact lenses, you must strictly adhere to good hygiene practices, or else, you might end up getting more infection.
2. Wear protective eyewear
May it be prescription glasses or simple sunglasses, it can do its job. Most eyewear can shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets. Of course, they do not protect you 100% unlike the eye goggles used in PPEs.
The virus can still sneak into the exposed side, tops, and bottoms of your glasses. This is why when you know you would be in contact with a sick or potentially exposed person, wear the safety goggles for better protection.
3. Stock up on eye medicine prescriptions if you can.
Experts advise the public to stock up on necessary medications. This should provide enough medication to last during an outbreak where supplies may be running out. This will also help you have enough to get by while in quarantine where people are not allowed to get out of their houses.
If your insurance permits you to buy more than 1 month of essential eye medicine like glaucoma drops, you should do so. Other insurances approve a 3-month supply of medication during times of natural disaster. You could always ask for help from your pharmacist or ophthalmologist to help in any trouble of getting approval from your insurance company. Never wait until the last minute, or there would be high chances you would have none.
4. Do not rub or touch your eyes
It may be hard to break an old habit. If you are used to touching your eyes before, now is the time to stop it. If you feel an urge to touch your eyes, distract yourself first. Remember that touching your eyes may increase risk of infection. If the itch persists, use clean tissue with clean hands instead of just using your bare hands.
You tend to want to rub your eyes more if they are dry. So, try using moisturizing drops to your eye routine to avoid dry eyes. If you must touch your eyes for any reason, whether to itch it a little or to put on some drops, make sure to wash your hands first with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash them again after touching your eyes.