How Can Coronavirus Affect Your Eyes?

There is a lot of information about coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms and risks to sift through. At Pearle Vision, we want to make sure you have accurate information on how COVID-19 could potentially affect your eyes. Here is some useful information about the coronavirus disease and your eye health to help keep you and your family safe.

Can Coronavirus Spread Through Eyes?

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There are two ways in which coronavirus can spread through your eyes. While it is not as common, coronavirus eye transmission can occur when droplets from an infected person attach to receptors on the surface of your eyes and enter your respiratory system. Another way COVID-19 is spread is by touching a surface that the droplets may have landed on, such as a doorknob or handrail, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

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If a person is infected, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. However, in some cases a person may be asymptomatic, but they can still spread the virus. Common COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches

You might be asking, “Does coronavirus affect your eyes?” If a person is infected with coronavirus, they may experience a range of minor eye problems.

Now you may be asking, “Can coronavirus cause pink eye?” Pink eye is known to be connected to respiratory illnesses such as the cold and flu. It is hypothesized that COVID-19 can also cause pink eye. A recent study in China found conjunctival congestion, also known as pink eye, affects up to 3% of COVID-19 patients. Watch out for symptoms such as redness in your eyes' inner corner, more tears than normal, blurred vision and burning and itchy eyes.

As we learn more about COVID-19, it’s believed that up to 3 % of people infected with the virus will develop eye symptoms. Coronavirus eye symptoms may include:

  • Pink Eye: An inflammation of the clear tissue over the white part of your eye and the inside of your eyelids.
  • Chemosis: Sometimes referred to as coronavirus itchy eye, is a swelling of the clear membrane that covers the whites of your eyes and the inside of your eyelid. This can be a symptom of pink eye or a sign of overall eye irritation.
  • Epiphora: Excessive tearing or watering of the eye.
  • Increased Eye Secretion: Your eyes typically produce an oily film for protection, in some cases, people with COVID-19 may experience excess secretion.

How to Protect Your Eyes from Coronavirus

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  • Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes: Avoid touching your face as much as possible, especially in public spaces and before washing your hands.
  • Wear Glasses and Sunglasses: Glasses provide your eyes with an extra layer of protection. Having glasses on can also serve as a reminder to not touch your face. If you prefer to wear contact lenses, make sure to continue practicing safe contact lens wear and hygiene habits.
  • Wash Your Hands Regularly: Carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands after being out in pubic to help remove any germs from spreading.
  • Practice Social Distancing: Stay at least six feet away from people, avoid contact with anyone that is sick and wear a face mask when in public to help protect yourself.

What to Do If You’re Experiencing Eye Symptoms of Coronavirus

Eye symptoms such as pink eye and excessive tearing can also be caused by conditions such as allergies or computer eye strain. If you’re experiencing eye problems, we recommend seeing a doctor for treatment and diagnosis. If you’re experiencing a fever or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, you should get tested immediately.

It’s more important than ever to stay safe and look out for your eye health, and Pearle Vision is here to care for you and your family’s eyes. Our eye care professionals can help diagnose and treat diseases that affect your eye’s health and vision. We’re open for all of your eye care and eyewear needs. Visit your local EyeCare Centre or arrange an exam today.


DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Pearle Vision does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

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