We live in tumultuous times. Times of uncertainty. Times of fear and anxiety. The on-going panic over COVID-19 has disrupted millions of lives and for many, it may even mean life and death. Social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks have been the call of governments in an attempt to reduce this spread. Another aspect that is not well covered is eye protection.
The coronavirus spreads via droplets, hence it does make intuitive sense to wear appropriate masks to reduce this spread. However, these droplets may also spread through the conjunctiva of the eyes. The white part of the eyeball (the sclera) is covered by a transparent membrane (the conjunctiva) that is in constant exposure to the environment. A single contaminated droplet reaching this membrane can potentially enter our body and begin the cascade of symptoms associated with COVID-19. This is where eye protection becomes crucial. Having a barrier between your eyes and the environment would minimise this risk of having infected droplets come into contact with your conjunctiva and hence reduce the risk of infection. This barrier can come in various forms of protective eye wear but the principle remains the same. It is also important to remember that cleaning the protective eye wear is an essential step. While there is no need to medically sterilise them, washing with proper soap and water is crucial in removing the germs that accumulate over time.
This period of time will certainly be remembered in the many years to come. Let us all do our part in protecting ourselves as well as each other by taking the necessary precautions.