How COVID-19 Can Affect Your Eyes

February 6th, 2021

Are you wondering if your eye-related concerns are COVID-related? Information on COVID-19 effects in general is evolving. At ICON Eyecare, our doctors are your trusted source for eye health information, especially during the pandemic.

Nearsightedness and COVID-19

There’s a worldwide increase in nearsightedness, or myopia, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Screen time and “computer vision syndrome” have already been factors in vision changes for many people. Now that most of us spend limited time outdoors or in environments where our eyes get to focus on a greater range of distances, it’s a broader concern. Professionals are using the term “quarantine myopia” to refer to the condition.

Postponing Eye Procedures and Eye Doctor Visits

Are you waiting to get an eye exam, treatment for an eye condition, or cataract and LASIK eye surgery in Colorado, due to concern about COVID-19? The AAO has published “Coronavirus and Your Eyes” that provides an excellent overview of eye infection and contagion related to COVID-19. To sum it up, make sure you get treatment for emergencies and ongoing care for eye conditions such as glaucoma. Keep in touch with your eye doctor to see if it’s wise to go ahead with elective procedures, regular eye exams, and diagnostic visits.

Eyes as a COVID-19 Infection Vulnerability and Pinkeye

Masks are used to cover nose and mouth, but mucous membranes in the conjunctiva of the eyes are left exposed. Airborne particles and direct touch could introduce the virus there, so avoid touching your face and eyes. In rare cases, infection of the eyes can lead to a condition called “pinkeye” that’s not exclusive to COVID-19. WebMD reports that doctors expect this in 1-3% of patients with COVID-19 infection.

Eye Hygiene and COVID-19

Protect, but don’t wash: Doctors at University of Southern California note that flushing the eyes removes the eye’s natural protection and isn’t a necessary precaution. Contact lens wearers, they note, need to be especially careful about hand hygiene and also be aware that they don’t have the protection from airborne droplets that glasses can provide.

Eye Concerns for Severe COVID-19 Infections

The Mayo Clinic reported unusual symptoms such as the loss of smell or taste and various other neurological and inflammatory symptoms are occurring, especially in seniors. Based on these experiences, doctors suspect that enlarged blood vessels in the eye, discharges, watery eyes, and swollen eyelids may occur. Light sensitivity or irritation may accompany the infection, especially in those for whom COVID-19 has had severe effects.

We’re Ready to Provide Expert Eye Care for You

At ICON Eyecare, we’re your expert providers of eye care and information as well as cataract and LASIK eye surgery in Colorado. If you experience eye-related symptoms, contact us and let us help with information and informed treatment.