Are Coronavirus and Conjunctivitis related?

Are Coronavirus and Conjunctivitis related?

By now, the whole world knows what COVID-19 is capable of doing – fever, cough, and shortness of breath that can take 2 to 14 days to show up after a person gets exposed to the virus. In some people, the infection can get so severe that it can develop into pneumonia, leading to complications or even death. As the world is grappling with the pandemic, researchers, doctors and scientists are all working day and night to formulate a vaccine for the same.

As the days are passing by, new symptoms have also been reported as COVID-19 symptoms. One of them is “Pink Eye”, or in other terms, Conjunctivitis has been noted in COVID-19 patients.

This has caused a particular uproar around such rumours and has instilled new fear. Before you read anymore Whatsapp forwards, let’s clear all your confusion from the basics about this.

It is true that American Academy of Ophthalmology, a couple of reports suggest that coronavirus can also cause pink eye conjunctivitis in the infected person. It is believed that Conjunctivitis develops in about 1% to 3% of people with coronavirus.
Now, what is Conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an infection of the membrane, known as conjunctiva that lines the eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. The symptoms of “Pink Eye” include itchiness, redness, tearing, discharge that forms a crust, and a gritty feeling in the affected eye.

Now, how does Conjunctivitis is transmitting Corona Virus?
It is certain that the virus spreads through small respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, but it can also spread if people touch an object contaminated with the virus and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes. Many doctors have come to conclusion that the virus can cause Conjunctivitis.

That means the virus can be spread if someone rubs an infected eye and then touches someone else or during an eye examination. Tears and pus of the pink eye of a COVID-19 patient can transmit the virus to others.

Does that mean if one has a Pink eye, he/she is a COVID-19 patient?
No. That doesn’t confirm it. Although, if a person is having pink eye and shows respiratory problems must consult for a COVID-19 test. That is the only way to know if a person is infected or not.

One must not take this lightly, but with proper precautions, this can be avoided too.

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Switch to eyeglasses for a while instead of wearing contact lenses.
  • Wear glasses for an added layer of protection.
  • Stock up on critical eye medicines.
  • Practice safe hygiene and social distancing.
  • Avoid visiting eye centres for regular consultations until the curve of the COVID-19 has flattened enough.

If you have strain, blurring of vision, heaviness or discharge in the eye then you need to visit eye surgeon immediately
Any severe conditions like sudden loss of vision must be treated and consulted without any delay.

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