Know all there is to know about COVID-19’s eye risk factors
COVID-19 At A Glance
During this time of urgency, now more than ever should we strive to seek trustworthy information about the state of the country and the pandemic it is currently battling.
Facts to remember about COVID-19
- COVID-19 is a mild infection for children and young adults, but older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of developing a serious illness from it.
- 80% of those positive of COVID-19 can recover without needing special treatment. Only 1 out of 6 infected people become seriously ill.
- Older people are more prone to the virus, especially those who have a history of blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, heart or lung problems.
- COVID-19 is mostly passed on through contact, such as small droplets, coughs, or exhalation from a person infected. You can also catch the virus through objects previously touched by a person with COVID-19. It is said to be airborne but only within medical facilities, this is due to the abundance of infected persons in one space. All the more reason to not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose in any way.
- COVID-19, currently has no vaccine or medicine to cure the disease. Clinical trials all over the world are ongoing to solve this.
- Out of 532,119 cases globally, 95% (364,353) are in mild conditions and 5% (19,357) are in serious or critical conditions. Almost 84% (124,326) have recovered/discharged but fatalities have reached 16% (24,083).
How is it connected to our eyes?
- A study in the Journal of Medical Virology, 1 out of 30 patients of COVID-19 was diagnosed with Conjunctivitis also known as “pink eye”.
- In another study of the New England Journal of Medicine, 9 out of 1,099 COVID-19 patients had “conjunctival congestion” in China.
- It is said that the transmission of the virus through the eyes is complicated yet plausible as seen in a case in Peking University wherein a patient became diagnosed with the virus after his left eye grew inflamed.
- Dr. Jan Evans Patterson, a professor of medicine and pathology in Long School of Medicine confirms that a scenario like this could potentially happen, where respiratory droplets from an infected person might have reached the patient's eyes.
Can it be passed on through the eyes?
- Although the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through tears is low, according to Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it is possible.
- It is recommended wear protective eye gear to eliminate any possibility of acquiring the virus.
- In conclusion, acquiring COVID-19 through the eyes is possible and further research is being made to verify this.
Symptoms of COVID-19 to watch out for
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
Safety reminders to protect yourself and others from COVID-19
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands, this is effective in eliminating the virus because soap molecules are able to break it down, fully disintegrating it.
- Always disinfect your hands with alcohol-based hand rubs, this creates another barrier from you and the virus.
- Practice social distancing, at least 1 meter away from others.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. It may seem unlikely but you can also acquire the virus through infested objects you’ve touched. Guard your eyes as much as you guard your mouth and nose. Wearing protective eyewear (i.e. goggles or eye shields) can also lessen your risk of getting infected.
- Start disinfecting objects you use on a daily basis, such as phones, doorknobs, and even your glasses.
- If you’re a contact lens wearer, it’s best to switch to eyeglasses for the time being. The frequency of you touching your eyes and face because of your contacts will increase your risk of infection.
- Eye medication can also help, eye drops may disinfect your eyes from any bacteria it may catch. It’s good to avoid rubbing your eyes if you have a habit of doing so, since it’ll only give the virus the opportunity to enter your eye.
- Only wear masks if you are ill of COVID-19. Face masks should only be worn once, but productions are being made for reusable face masks for frontliners and medical staff.
- Stay at home if you are feeling ill. Follow quarantine rules in your community, especially if you are under enhanced community quarantine. Only go out when necessary.
- For those infected: follow good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough to avoid infecting other people.
- For those who have traveled: Follow the same precautions and self quarantine.
For tips and ideas on what you can do under quarantine, follow our social media accounts and stay #AtHomeWithVEX.