Becoming infected with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, known as SARS-COV-2, through the nose and mouth makes sense. But how can you become infected with in through your eyes?
Via Aerosol Transmission
Coronavirus enters the nose, mouth and eyes through aerosol transmission. This is when respiratory particles, or droplets, are propelled through the air when a person coughs or sneezes without covering his mouth and nose. The respiratory droplets can travel through the air as aerosol and be inhaled by others.
These airborne particles can also land on nearby surfaces and, thus, contaminate them. You can also become infected with the coronavirus when you touch a contaminated surface and touch your eyes afterwards.
Via a Connection Between the Eyes and Nose
But how can coronavirus enter your respiratory system through your eyes? Take note that the eyes have linings of mucous membranes with thick protective fluid. The membranes stop dirt, debris and pathogens from entering your eyes and then your body.
The eyes also have tear ducts, known as nasolacrimal ducts, which drain fluids into the nasal cavity. When you’re weeping, you will also have runny nose and difficulty breathing because there’s fluid flooding your nose.
Both the mucous membranes and the tear ducts become the entry points for pathogens like the coronavirus to enter your eyes and nose. From the nose, it can enter into your respiratory system particularly your lungs.
There’s the belief that the virus may be spread through tears. While there’s no hard evidence yet, experts suggest that persons suspected to be infected with Covid-19 or diagnosed as infected should take extra precautions. They should carefully dispose of their dirty tissues used in wiping their eyes, nose and mouth, as well as disinfect all surface they have touched.
If you’re using eyeglasses or contact lens from PearleVision, you should also be extra-careful about touching your eyes. You should disinfect your hands with alcohol or wash them with soap and water before and after handling your eyewear. You don’t want to transfer germs from contaminated surfaces to your eyes!
These steps are also essential in preventing conjunctivitis infections. Studies have shown that up to 3% of Covid-19 patients experience eye infections. Most of these infections were conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, which may require eye medications.
The coronavirus pandemic isn’t something to be dismissed as a hoax! Its risks are all too real and it’s best to protect yourself against it.