There is a lot that remains unknown about COVID-19, particularly about why it affects some people more seriously than others. However, like any virus, it mainly spreads through droplets from a cough or a sneeze, and can enter through your eyes, nose and mouth. You can also get it if you touch an object or surface with virus on it, then touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
COVID-19 is often characterized by fever, coughing, breathing problems and diarrhea. These are symptoms of more common conditions like the flu, which is why many people who contracted the virus initially assumed it was just a simple cold. Several reports showed that while it is considered a less common symptom, this virus can also cause conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye or sore eyes, is the swelling of the conjunctiva or the clear, thin lining on the white part of the eye. It is a common eye condition where you may experience eye redness, itching, swelling, excessive tearing and discharge. Depending on the cause—whether it’s due to an allergy, bacteria or a virus—it can be treated with medication and typically resolves within a few days.
Preventing the Spread
With the enhanced community quarantine implemented across many cities in the Philippines, there are some ways to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Wash your hands frequently using proper handwashing technique for at least 20 seconds.
- Guard your eyes, mouth and nose by using face masks and face shields. More importantly, resist the urge to touch your face.
- If you wear contact lenses, switch to wearing eyeglasses for the meantime. Eyeglasses can provide a layer of protection and can actually stop you from touching your face or eyes as often as you usually would if you were wearing contact lenses. If you need to wear contact lenses, be sure to follow directions for contact lens care.
- If you have eye redness coupled with flu-like symptoms, it’s best to call the COVID-19 hotline of your company or community for assistance. But if your eyes are red, itchy or if you have other eye problems that are bothering you, it is still better to consult with an eye doctor.
‘Teletriage,’ delivery services
Asian Eye is offering a free “teletriage” service that allows you to talk to an eye specialist and ask about your eye concern, get advice on proper management or treatment of your eye condition and get an e-prescription, if necessary.
You can also order your eye care essentials through Asian Eye’s delivery service. Products offered include contact lenses, contact lens solutions, prescription eye drops, eye lubricants, eye vitamins, anti-fatigue eye drops or lens wipes. Goggles with reading glass attachments will also soon be available. Payments can be transferred through BPI online or through other service providers like GCash, PayMaya or UnionBank.