4 Tips For Eye Health During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Many people have been dealing with lots of additional stress due to the coronavirus. It's important to keep your eyes healthy now more than ever. Here are four tips for maintaining eye health during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Postpone your eye exam if you're feeling unwell.
Annual eye exams allow your eye doctor to monitor your eye health. During your exam, necessary adjustments can be made to your glasses and contact lens prescriptions. However, you should postpone your eye exam if you're feeling sick. Give your eye doctor as much advance notice as possible. Most optometrists will be happy to reschedule due to illness.
2. Don't wear contact lenses while you're sick.
Some people choose to wear contact lenses instead of glasses because they prefer the benefits afforded by discreet vision correction. If you typically wear contacts, you should discontinue use and switch to glasses if you feel like you're coming down with a cold. You're more likely to develop an eye infection when you're sick because your body's immune system is already stressed. Contacts form a barrier over your eyes that can keep oxygen from reaching your cornea, which can cause further irritation. People wearing contact lenses are also more likely to touch their eyes, which can transfer the virus to other people. Use glasses until you're feeling better. When in doubt, ask your eye doctor for advice about when it's safe to wear contacts again.
3. See your doctor about any unusual eye symptoms.
While you should postpone routine eye exams if you're feeling unwell, there are times when you should visit your optometrist instead. If you experience unusual eye irritation, including persistent redness, itchiness, or pain, make an appointment for an emergency eye exam. Studies have found that COVID-19 can possibly cause conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, sometimes clears up on its own. However, you may require antibiotics to make a full recovery.
4. Follow your optometrist's instructions.
Whether you're sick or well, you should follow your optometrist's directions for your next eye exam. Many healthcare practitioners are taking additional precautions to protect their staff and patients. You may be asked to wear a face mask to your next eye exam. A face mask won't interfere with the results of your eye exam as long as it doesn't obscure your vision. Cooperate with all instructions given by your doctor and their staff for a safe, easy appointment.