Coronavirus and Your Eyes

Health and government agencies nationwide are warning people about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and are they offering important advice on how to minimize your risks of contracting the disease.

Besides social distancing and isolating yourself from people who are ill, health experts are telling people to wash their hands and to keep them away from their eyes, nose and mouth.

Their advice is to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or to use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. They also strongly emphasize to keep your hands away from your face, since your eyes, nose and mouth are passageways for germs to enter your system.

That means don’t rub your eyes, scratch your nose or put your fingers next to your mouth. And you’re right, it will be hard to avoid those things. Think about how often you might itch your eyes or watch others to see how often they do it.

How do you practice good eye health in these trying times?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Consciously think about what you’re doing with your hands.
  • If your eyes are itchy or are watering, don’t touch them with your bare hands. Wash your hands thoroughly first and then use a tissue to either dab away the moisture or gently rub your eyelid or the corner of your eye. Dispose of the tissue as soon as you are done.
  • If you wear contacts, always wash your hands before putting them in or taking them out.
  • If you have glasses, wear them. While they won’t specifically protect against germs, they might make you think twice about touching your eyes. If you have both glasses and contacts, consider wearing your glasses to help remind you to keep your hands away from your eyes.
  • Keep your lenses and frames clean and be sure to wash your hands before touching them.

Be safe out there, staying away from people who are ill and if you are ill. And keep your hands clean and don’t touch your face!

For more health tips and information about the coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website as cdc.gov.

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