Eyecare during the Coronavirus pandemic
Coronavirus, which started in China, has now spread to over 200 countries, and infected more than 4.1 Mn people globally. It is a highly contagious disease, as it is transmitted from person to person. Even countries with the most developed healthcare systems are finding it hard to beat back the virus. Europe & USA have become the new epicenter, reporting 100’s of deaths every day. There are many lacs of cases in the US, UK, Italy Spain, Germany, Russia, and other countries.
It has spread to India and most other countries in the world. As countries announce lockdowns for health reasons, still you do have to venture out to buy essentials like food and medicines. You must keep yourself safe, as it has been proven that the virus spreads through aerosol transmission, i.e. through respiratory droplets which can get deposited on you via an infected person, through the nose, eyes and mouth, or by touching surfaces on which the virus is present.
It is best to stay away from people who cough or sneeze, and donning a mask is helpful, though the virus is not airborne. The mask covers the mouth and nose, thus protecting you. If you do not have a mask, (since they have become scarce), cover your nose and mouth with a scarf when you go out, and wash it thoroughly with soap and water, after you come back.
However, WHO has stated that you should not touch your nose, mouth, face and eyes, whether you’re at home or outside. So, coronavirus does not spread just through your mouth and nose, but also through the eyes and may get itchy eyes or swollen eyes!
Avoid rubbing the eyes, as this is a habit most of us are prone to. If you get itchy eyes or you have to adjust your glasses, or for any reason you feel the need to touch the eyes, do so with a tissue. Dry eyes might lead to itchy eyes, so moisturize your eyes with tear drops, but do wash your hands with soap and water before you administer the eyedrops and afterward also.
As you cannot keep the eyes clean with soap and water, you should use non-toxic tea tree-based eyelid wipes and eyelid cleanser. Clean your eyelids and face at least two to three times a day with either eyelid wipes or eyelid cleanser to stay safe from the dreaded Coronavirus. This will help to clean any virus or bacteria which might be lodged in the eyelids.
Practicing safe hygiene as well as social distancing will help to slow down the spread of the disease:
- Wash hands many times during the day with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Take care to wash hands before eating, after using the restroom, coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose.
- Wash your hands after you reach home, taking care to touch door handles of your car and home with a dry tissue.
- If you do not have access to soap and water, while on the move, use a sanitizer which has 60% alcohol, but remember to wash your hands the moment you get a chance to do so.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your face with a tissue or elbow while sneezing or coughing. After disposing of the tissue, wash the hands.
- Avoid standing close to people, especially sick people. The WHO recommends to stand at least 6 feet away from sick people.
- Do not go out if you have a fever, cold or cough, but call the government coronavirus helpline.
- To be on the safe side, try to use glasses instead of contact lenses for some time.
- Make a practice of disinfecting the surfaces as well as items of your home.
- Wash all products which you can wash (without destroying them!) with soap and water, such as milk packets.
- Plan your shopping trips so that after you buy your groceries and vegetables, you need not touch them for 12 to 14 hours. The virus does not survive for more than 14 hours on surfaces, according to WHO.
Coronavirus has ignited panic in people worldwide due to its ability to spread between people with ease. If you follow the recommended hygiene guidelines, in general and specifically for the eyes, nose and mouth, you may be protected from the virus.
Eye hygiene is vital and using cleansing tea tree Oil wipes and soft eyelid cleanser like Oculeaf Eyelid Wipes and Oculeaf Soft Eyelid Cleanser, which also is safe to use on the eyes and face, you can hope to fight coronavirus. Avoiding touching the eyes with your hands may prevent coronavirus infection through your eyes and if you have symptoms consult your eyelid doctor.