COVID 19 AND YOUR EYES
Can COVID affect your eyes?
Covid 19 continues to dominate the headlines and there have been many reports in the press of how it can affect your eyes and your eyesight with various public figures suggesting that their vision has been adversely affected after contracting Covid.
Ocular Symptoms of Covid 19
The latest research suggests that Covid may affect your eyes in the later stages of the disease, typically causing sore gritty eyes – This may look like a conjunctivitis which is also known as ‘pink eye’ or ‘red eye’. Some findings by researchers at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England, suggest that only 5 % of patients reported sore eyes prior to having Covid but this figure rose to 16% whilst having the infection. Over 80% of the patients asked reported ocular soreness within 2 weeks of their other Covid symptoms and a similar amount stated that their ocular symptoms lasted less than two weeks.
The good news is that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid 19 has any lasting affect on the eyes and also does not cause any changes in vision.
Is it safe to wear contact lenses during Covid Pandemic?
The College of Optometrists, UK, have advised that it is perfectly safe to wear contact lenses during the Covid 19 Pandemic as long as you are feeling well and do not have any symptoms of the disease. In fact, the general rule is not to wear contact lenses if you have any infections.
A recent study has also cited that there is no evidence to suggest an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 through contact lens wear compared to spectacle lens wear and no scientific evidence that wearing standard prescription spectacles provides protection against COVID-19 or other viral transmissions.
As a contact lens wearer you are more likely to touch your face and eyes so do make sure that you are washing your hands thoroughly each time you handle your contact lenses. Seek immediate advice from your eye care professional if you are unsure and you think you have an eye infection related to contact lens wear.