New Delhi, India: As COVID-19 spreads globally, leaving nearly two lakh people infected and claiming over eight thousand lives worldwide, health officials are urging everyone not only to wash or sanitise hands but to avoid touching face as well.
According to health experts, guarding your eyes is equally important to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Recent research published in the Lancet, a prestigious and peer-reviewed medical journal, has warned that there is ample evidence to prove that the corona virus is able to spread through the eyes.
The report stated that infectious droplets and body fluids can easily contaminate the human conjunctiva epithelium of the eye. Thus, wearing a mask alone isn’t going to be enough.
“Much like mouth and nose, the eye too contains a mucous membrane, through which the virus can spread to the rest of the body,” says Dr. Kamal Kapoor, Director, Sharp Sight group of Eye Hospitals, Delhi, India.
Here’s how COVID-19 spreads through eyes:
What you should do to avoid COVID-19 transmission through eyes?
“Common sense precautions can significantly reduce your risk of getting infected,” says Dr. Kamal.
So, as a precautionary measure wash your hands a lot, follow good contact lens hygiene and avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. “Strictly, abstain from touching your T zone,” Dr. Kamal adds.
To prevent infection, it’s advisable to avoid going to crowded places, including hospitals, unless necessary. “And, if you have to go for an eye test or eye surgery that’s unavoidable, make sure you follow strict hygiene and health guidelines,” says Dr. Kamal Kapoor.
“This is important because even a minor eye test could expose you or your doctor to the deadly virus.”
Eye doctors warn people to follow these precautions:
And, in case you come across someone who is persistently coughing, sneezing or has a respiratory infection, it’s important you stay at least 6 feet away.
“Guarding your eyes along with your hands and mouth will not only keep you safe but also, it will prevent the spread of the virus to others,” concluded Dr. Kamal.