Protecting Your Eyes From the Coronavirus: Our Guide

There’s no denying that the COVID-19 outbreak has taken the whole world by storm and caused major disruptions to daily living. For the most part, we are afraid of the novel coronavirus getting into our respiratory systems, compromising our health, and even taking over our lives. Whether the droplets are ingested via the mouth or inhaled via the nose, they can develop into pneumonia, lead to complications, and cause deaths.

However, have you ever wondered how the coronavirus can affect the eyes? We’ll answer this intriguing question in the following sections.

The impact of coronavirus on the eyes

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the coronavirus can cause conjunctivitis, which is known as the pink eye. Some health officials even said that this disease can develop in approximately one to three percent of people with the said virus.

Conjunctivitis is an infection or inflammation of the transparent membrane known as the conjunctiva. As you may or may not be aware, the conjunctiva lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. When the blood vessels are inflamed, they become visible in your eyes. For this reason, you have to be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Discharge forming a crust
  • Gritty feeling in the affected eye

If you’re wondering how the coronavirus can be transmitted to the eyes, it can happen when an infected person sneezes, coughs or speaks with you. The coronavirus can then be transferred to your face from their nose or mouth, where you might inhale the droplets through your nose or mouth or have them enter your eyes. The same is true when touching infected surfaces and then rubbing your eyes.

Top tips in protecting your eyes from the virus

To prevent the coronavirus from getting into your eyes, here are some safety measures to follow:

  • Do not rub your eyes: If you have the urge to do so, use a tissue instead—not your fingers. If you insist on doing so, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before touching your eyes.
  • Wear eyeglasses: If you tend to unintentionally touch your eyes, wear eyeglasses to serve as a reminder. Likewise, wear them instead of contact lenses as they can reduce eye irritation that can compel you to touch your eyes. Finally, use sunglasses or corrective eyeglasses to provide a little protection against the virus-infected droplets.
  • Have a stock of eye medications: It’s best to stock up on some medicines for the eyes just in case of emergency. You know how there might be a shortage of supplies during this global pandemic, which is why you must have backups.
  • Practice social distancing: The best approach not to get infected is to maintain social distancing. Be sure to avoid close contact with people by staying at least six feet away. Better yet, stay at home!
  • Always observe proper hygiene: Keep in mind that you have to follow the general guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). First, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds regularly. Second, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if you do not have access to soap and water. Third, avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose, and mouth. Finally, disinfect commonly touched objects and surfaces to remove any traces of the virus.


At this point, you now know how the coronavirus can affect your eyes and lead to conjunctivitis. Because of this, be sure to follow the top tips in protecting your visuals from the said virus, as outlined above. Ultimately, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

We’re an eye center in Abbotsford, BC, providing vision correction services, such as Refractive Lens Exchange, Cataract Surgery, and LASIK surgery. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

Disclaimer: This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented prior to consulting a fully certified medical professional.



Related Posts