Can You Get Coronavirus From Touching Your Eyes?

man user


man user

EyeQue Team

man user

August 21, 2020

Woman touching her eyes

Can You Catch COVID-19 Through Your Eyes?

If you have been keeping track of the CDC warnings when it comes to the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, then you are probably already being careful about not touching your nose or mouth. While that is extremely important, there is one other place you should also avoid touching: your eyes.

In general, it is good practice to avoid touching your eyes — especially while out in public. It is also extremely important to thoroughly wash your hands before doing things like instilling eye drops or putting in contact lenses. The coronavirus adds another reason to take precautions when it comes to putting your fingers near your eyes.

COVID-19 and Your Eyes

The coronavirus is transmitted from an infected person via the tiny respiratory droplets that escape from a person’s mouth or nose. These droplets are often inhaled which allows the virus to enter another person through their mucous membranes.

It is possible for those droplets to transfer the virus if they are to come in contact with a person’s eyes. The thin layer of transparent tissue called the conjunctiva is where the virus could make its way into the body.

If a person infected with the coronavirus was to cough or sneeze near you, and you rubbed one of those respiratory droplets into your eye, you would be at risk for contracting COVID-19.

Protect Yourself

There are a few things that you can do to decrease your chances of contracting coronavirus through your eyes:

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes or touching your eyes, especially while out in public.
  • Wear glasses as an added layer of protection. While respiratory droplets can make their way around the frames, it still offers some level of protection.

Contact lens wearers could consider discontinuing use for a while in an effort to avoid touching the eye area.

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