A recent study shows that strict hygiene and disinfection guidelines should be followed during visits to eye clinics or ophthalmologists since people ignore the fact that they can be infected with the coronavirus through the eyes.
Currently, most of the eye clinics are following the consultations either facilitating in-person consultations or virtual telemedicine visits.
Experts: COVID-19 Contractions Through Eyes Cannot Be Ignored
The study verifies the several prevention measures presently followed by the clinics, especially the use of an additional plastic breath shield by doctors which is attached with the slit lamp machine while examining a patient’s eyes. The additional equipment other than gloves to be worn by the doctors is a protective gown.
In case any of the patient sneezes or coughs, they have to move back from the slit lamp microscope machines and cover the face either with their arms (not with hands) or with a tissue.
Right next to it, it is required to wash the hands with soap and water. This will help to prevent the virus from spread since the patient might be unaware that he is a carrier.
The earlier studies also proved that the recent pandemic can cause an infection in the eyes called conjunctivitis or pink eyes.
Around 4% of people who get contracted with the coronavirus also had this abnormality. The symptoms along with COVID-19, including red, swollen, or itchy eyes can be due to this.
The researchers said that the condition cannot be solely considered that the patient is infected with COVID-19, as it can be caused by chemicals, other virus variants, microorganisms like bacteria, and allergens.
However, the researchers suggest that it is necessary to seek medical advice in case it is accompanied by other health issues like fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
The particles of coronavirus are mainly transmitted in people through the mouth, nose as well as eyes. If anyone touches the eyes with hands after it gets contacted with the virus, the person is more likely to get contracted with it.
Though the virus is most probably contracted through the nose and mouth, the chance for the virus to transmit through the eyes cannot be ignored.
Hence, experts said that it is necessary to disinfect hands between frequent intervals to reduce the chances and risk of the spread.
Additionally, sharing towels and other utensils also have to be discouraged in both domestic and public spheres.
Measures like all these will prevent the virus’ entry into human bodies through the mucous membranes in the mouth, nose, and eyes.
The tiny droplets containing the virus are to be inhaled to spread it from one person to another. The droplets can enter into human bodies also through the eyes.
The discharge in the eye during conjunctivitis can also encourage the spread and can be as dangerous as the droplets from sneezing and coughing if the person is infected with COVID-19.
Experts also warn that as the virus is raging across the world, it is better to seek medical consultations online in case the hospitals and clinics are equipped with such facilities.