Dr. Scott McIntosh of Carolina Vision Care interview with WITN news:
Ocular Concerns with Coronavirus
Understanding the role that the eyes play in the spread of the virus can help researchers, doctors and YOU prevent continued spread and further outbreak.Before diving in to the steps of control and prevention, we must first understand what we are up against.
The coronavirus subtype (SARS-CoV-2) is like many other respiratory viruses in such that it typically attacks the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, respiratory system and eyes. The virus spreads through air droplets (sneezing/coughing) that can then be inhaled or land on the surfaces around you. You may already be familiar with the name “COVID-19” - this is actually the name of the respiratory disease (bronchitis, pneumonia) caused by this current coronavirus.
When the eyes are affected, the virus attacks the lining of the inner surface of our eyelids and the clear tissue overlying the white of the eye causing inflammation and redness. If you develop a red, teary eye please call/text our office to speak with one of our doctors (252-752-4380). Continue to be mindful of symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or tiredness.
Corrective Lenses and COVID-19
For the millions of Americans that need either eyeglasses or contact lenses to see, new guidelines for safe habits have been released. Most of the new guidelines are the same recommendations that we give and educate contact lens wearers year-to-year:
Exercise Proper Hand Washing. When using contact lenses or glasses, one should wash their hands carefully and thoroughly with soap water for at least 20 seconds followed by hand drying.
Disinfect Contact Lenses.
- Daily disposable contact lens wearers should dispose of their lenses every evening.
- Monthly contact lens wearers should disinfect their lenses each evening and dispose of the lenses every thirty days.
- Bi-weekly (2-week disposable lenses) contact lens wearers should disinfect their lenses each evening and replace the lens every two weeks.
Discontinue Contact Lens Wear if Sick. Consistent with recommendations for other types of illness, those who feel ill with cold or flu-like symptoms should discontinue contact lens wear.
Glasses are Not Proven to Offer Protection. There is no scientific evidence that wearing eyeglasses provides protection against COVID-19 or other viral transmissions. Wash your glasses with soap and water daily, taking care to dry with a clean microfiber cloth (no tissues or paper towels).
In order to keep yourself, family, friends, and others in our community safe, remember to practice disinfecting habits, social distancing, and being mindful of those that may be sick around you. As always, do not hesitate to call us at 252-752-4380 with any concerns.