We’re in the tenth month of a global pandemic. One thing that’s been reiterated by health institutions like WHO, CDC, and even your local optometrist in Kitchener, is that you should avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible, especially if you haven’t washed or sanitized your hands.
Face masks have proven effective in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, especially in public spaces. However, there’s a slight disparity in the way that civilians and medical professionals protect themselves.
People on the frontline go a step further to protect themselves by wearing goggles or face shields to protect their eyes.
This begs the question: how important is it to care for your eyes during a pandemic?
The Scary Truth
When a respiratory virus comes into contact with your unprotected eyes, one of two things might happen. The eyes can get infected, in which case, it’s called conjunctivitis, or the viruses can travel down the passage connecting the eyes and the nasal cavity, then to your lungs, causing a full-blown respiratory infection.
Before you start panic-buying face shields and goggles, keep in mind that the coronavirus is not airborne. There are only two ways you can get infected, and one of them is unlikely to happen if you observe proper social distance:
- If someone sneezes or coughs into your eyes, or;
- If you unwittingly touch an infected surface then touching your eyes.
Viruses Aren’t the Only Thing That Can Harm Your Eyes
While regular disinfecting may be the only way to navigate your new virus-ridden world, it doesn’t bode well for your eyes.
Alcohol, which we now come into contact on a daily basis, is a severe irritant that can even damage the surface of the eye. We put it on our hands daily, so imagine how easy it is to accidentally get some in your eyes!
Aside from alcohol, many chemicals used to manufacture hand sanitizers and cleaning solutions are just as damaging to the lining of the eye.
Routine Eye Care Has Never Been More Important
Do not be afraid or nervous to visit our office in Kitchener due to the ongoing pandemic. A collective effort is being made across the medical industry to stop the spread of the virus. There are shorter waiting periods, improved safety procedures, and mandatory screening for all patients, so your optometrist’s office is as safe as it can be.
Don’t neglect your monthly or yearly checkups at the expense of your vision. Symptoms like pain, redness, floaters, flashes, and decreased vision should not be ignored as they suggest a serious eye problem.
If you experience any of these or other symptoms, don’t hesitate to talk to us or book an appointment with a licensed optometrist in Kitchener.