Since eye care providers are limiting their practice to urgent and emergency care during the coronavirus crisis, it is a good time to learn some eye safety tips and home remedies for simple eye problems. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) provides guidelines for home care of eye injuries and common conditions, which may save you a trip to an eye doctor. Of course, not every eye problem can be treated at home, so follow these guidelines to help determine your course of action.
been reports of pink eye or conjunctivitis in patients with the COVID-19 virus.
Though rare, it is a cause for concern. Pink eye causes the conjunctiva (lining
of the eye and eyelids) to get red and irritated. It is important to keep in
mind that any case of pink eye, not accompanied by coronavirus symptoms (fever,
dry cough, breathing problems, etc.), is probably just a common form of conjunctivitis.
So how can you be sure? If you are concerned, call your healthcare provider to
discuss your symptoms.
Three Kinds of Pink Eye
pink eye is caused by an reaction to allergens like pollen, pets or mold. Both
eyes usually become itchy, teary and red. The eyelids may be puffy and the eyes
may feel gritty. It often occurs with other allergy symptoms like a runny nose
and sneezing. Limiting exposure to the source of allergies will help relieve
the symptoms. Artificial tears can help wash allergens from the eye.
Over-the-counter allergy eye drops can decrease redness and itchiness, but
should not be used for more than 2-3 days. It is not contagious.
pink eye is the most common. It causes redness, burning and a watery discharge
of the eye. It will go away on its own and does not respond to antibiotics. It
is usually the same virus that causes the common cold and may accompany other
cold symptoms like a sore throat and stuffy nose.
pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection and will require antibiotic eye
drops. Symptoms include redness, soreness and a sticky pus discharge or crust
in the eye lashes. Call your eye doctor to discuss your symptoms.
Viral and bacterial pink eye are highly contagious and spread
through person-to-person contact with body fluids from the eyes, nose and
mouth. The discomfort caused by pink eye can be soothed by applying cool
compresses to the eye.
Tips To Prevent the Spread of Viral and Bacterial Pink Eye
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your
arm or a tissue.
- Use a clean towel each time you wipe
your face and eyes. Don’t share towels
- Wash your hands often and correctly,
especially after you sneeze or cough.
- Don’t touch your eyes. Use a tissue
and wash your hands right away.
- Don’t use eye makeup while your
eyes are infected. Replace your makeup after an eye infection. Never share eye
makeup with others.
- Don’t wear contacts during an eye
infection. Always clean your contact lenses exactly as your eye
doctor recommends. Use fresh contacts after the infection resolves.