‘Red’, ‘swollen’ and ‘itchy’ eyes could signal Covid

Sir David Jason says he had ‘seriously bad’ Covid

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Since the start of the pandemic patients have reported a wide range of different symptoms associated with Covid. They vary from the commonly known cough and fatigue to less obvious signs such as diarrhoea and sickness. However, there is another sign that can affect the eyes.

According to WebMD, coronavirus can cause conjunctivitis – an eye infection.

Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis can cause your eyes to become “red”, “swollen” and “itchy”.

WebMD explains: “The new coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2, gets passed on primarily through droplets from a cough or a sneeze.

“These particles most often enter through your nose or mouth as well as your eyes.

“It’s also possible to catch the virus if you touch a contaminated countertop, doorknob, or other surfaces.

“But this doesn’t seem to be the main way the virus spreads.

“If you have conjunctivitis from COVID-19, you may infect others with SARS-CoV-2 if you touch your eyes and then touch people or surfaces without washing or disinfecting your hands.

“Avoid touching your face, especially the mucous membranes in your mouth, nose, and eyes.”

However, the infection doesn’t guarantee you have COVID-19.

“If you have conjunctivitis, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have COVID-19,” WebMD says.

“The more likely causes are the many different viruses, bacteria, chemicals, and allergens that can irritate your eyes.

“Many forms of conjunctivitis go away with over-the-counter treatments in about one to two weeks.

“But if you also have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, ask your doctor what, if anything, you should do.”

How to protect your eyes

WebMD recommends the following steps to prevent developing conjunctivitis from Covid.

Contact lenses – There is no evidence wearing contacts puts you at more risk for COVID-19 than those who wear eyeglasses.

But you should continue to practise safe hygiene habits for wearing and caring for them. Washing your hands before putting them in, or taking them out..

Wear glasses – Your glasses lenses may help protect your eyes from any respiratory droplets. If you don’t wear glasses, try sunglasses.

And if you’re caring for someone ill, don safety glasses or goggles.

Stock up eye medication – Check with your insurer to see if you can refill glaucoma drops and other essential prescriptions in advance.

Don’t rub your eyes – It can be a hard habit to break. Moistening drops may help ease itchiness. Wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after you do it. If you must touch your eyes, use a tissue instead of your fingers.

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