Eyes also potential portal for coronavirus, says expert

Biggest casualty of COVID? Personal Freedoms
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An ophthalmologist, Dr. Bruce Miller, says what most people don’t realize is that the eyes are also a potential portal for the coronavirus transmissions.

He reveals the main eye problems that are found to be associated with the coronavirus. “A small percentage of people who test positive for the coronavirus has an associated pink eye or conjunctivitis,” Miller says.

Sharing the symptoms of coronavirus conjunctivitis, he said that having pink eye without other symptoms is most likely not the coronavirus. “You should only go to the hospital or talk to your doctor if you have the associated symptoms of the virus, such as shortness of breath, coughing or fever,” Miller says.

He goes on to explain how the coronavirus spreads via the eyes, reinforcing the importance of limited contact between our hands and our eyes. Since the virus can live in tears, it can spread when someone rubs their eyes and then touches someone else.

Not only that, but if someone with coronavirus even touches a surface after touching their eye, that surface becomes a vector of transmission as well. “Somebody can come along and touch that same surface then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes and also contract the virus,” Miller says.

“If you happen to be a contact lens wearer, this would be a really good time to give your eyes a rest,” Miller suggests. “Instead, wear glasses. Not only will you not be putting your hands near your eyes or your face, but you’ll also be adding an extra layer of protection.”

Although the American Academy of Ophthalmology is recommending eye doctors to only see emergency and urgent cases right now, Miller reassures that “your doctors are here either at home or via telemedicine, to answer your questions and to get you through this.”