Coronavirus and Your Eyes
Coronavirus is a disease, which is significantly different from all that is already known to mankind. Moreover, COVID-19 is still not fully understood, and it keeps taking us by surprise. One of the specific features of this virus is its influence on your eyes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has put eye damage on the list of the frequent symptoms of this disease because the eye mucous membrane is a prosperous environment for the virus. In addition, some studies state that our eyes can become a portal of entry of the infection. However, there are also patients who started complaining of eye pain after they are infected and the disease is diagnosed.
How Can Coronavirus Affect Your Eyes?
The most frequent ophthalmic consequences of COVID-19 are conjunctivitis (inflammation of the outermost layer of the eye white part and the inner surface of the eyelid) and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).
Yet, COVID-19 can affect eyes differently and cause the following damages:
- redness of the eyes and eyelids
- pain and itching in the eyes
- blurred vision
- spots and sparks in front of the eyes
Therefore, the coronavirus could become a reason for ocular surface diseases and eyelid damages. An ophthalmic problem can disturb you throughout the illness as well as after the recovery.
Are Dry Eyes a Symptom of COVID-19?
Nowadays, there is a great number of online requests like “dry eyes COVID” or “coronavirus dry eyes”. This trend is explained by an increase in the number of people who complain of dry eye and, of course, by the insufficient knowledge of the disease.
Unfortunately, dry eye syndrome can be caused by the coronavirus. However, sick people often observe other ophthalmic symptoms except for dry eye if the disease affects their visual organs. More frequent eye damages caused by the coronavirus are photophobia, lacrimation, blurred vision, redness of the eyes and eyelids.
How Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Affecting Patients Suffering from Dry Eye Disease?
There is a large number of people who suffer from dry eye disease, and COVID-19 just worsened their condition.
First of all, people with permanent dry eye syndrome are more prone to receiving other damages to the ocular surface. Moreover, the pandemic has made a negative impact on the lifestyle of those suffering from dry eyes. The world quarantine has changed a lot in our behaviors and brought new problems. For instance, the amount of time people spend in front of screens has increased greatly, which negatively influences the eyes.
Do Other Aspects of the Pandemic Affect Dry Eye Patients?
The point is that our eyes more often suffer not from the coronavirus as a disease but from new life conditions it creates.
The lockdown limits opportunities to go outside, which moves every activity to the online format. Nowadays, people work, study, communicate with each other, and entertain themselves in the remote mode only. That is why everyone spends much more time in front of the screens of their smartphones, computers, and tablets.
Besides the syndrome of tired eyes, low humidity and restricted airflow indoors can cause ophthalmic problems. Low humidity leads to the higher evaporation of tears from the ocular surface, which, in turn, causes more frequent flare-ups of dry eye disease.
How to Protect Your Eyes from the Coronavirus
The only way to protect yourself and your eyes from the coronavirus is to follow all precautionary rules. It is necessary to wear a mask, use antiseptics, and avoid crowded places. To protect your eyes, it is useful to wear glasses or sunglasses when you go outside and avoid touching your eyes before you wash your hands.
Additionally, it would be better to improve your general physical condition, strengthen your immunity, and quit smoking. Of course, it is necessary to reduce the time you are looking at a screen. Do not forget about the necessity to frequently blink and do exercises for your eyes.
When to See a Doctor?
You should not self-medicate to avoid worsening the situation. If you have minor discomfort and you feel that you can cope with it yourself, just minimize the role of gadgets in your life and do exercises. Additionally, you can call your doctor for consultation.
However, if you suffer from pain and see that your eyes are not in a good condition (redness, inflammation, etc.), do not waste your time and go to see a doctor.