COVID-19 resources to help keep you and your vision safe
Coronavirus & eye health*
How does coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel (new) disease meaning there is no immunity to COVID-19. Health and medical experts are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes and to what extent it may continue to spread in the United States. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, particularly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). It can also spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects that have the virus on it by touching the surface and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Can wearing glasses help protect my eyes from exposure?
Standard glasses have not been proven to offer protection against COVID-19 or other viral transmissions. Safety glasses offer front and side protection and safety goggles offer splash protection that are helpful to protect against COVID-19.
Is conjunctivitis (pink eye) a symptom of coronavirus?
Conjunctivitis can be a sign of COVID-19. Additionally, COVID-19 may also present with other ocular signs and symptoms such as extreme light sensitivity, irritation and watery discharge. These are self-limiting but may require supportive care. If you have persistent red eyes, contact your local doctor of optometry's office for accurate eye health guidance.
Can the virus be spread through tears?
There is conflicting information regarding the expression of the virus in tears. However, it is clear in multiple medical reports from the epicenter of the breakout in Wuhan (Hubei Province), China where the virus originated, that in addition to the respiratory transmission potential, COVID-19 can be found in the tears and conjunctiva of patients that are positive for the virus with or without obvious conjunctivitis. In addition, it was reported while there is a low prevalence of COVID-19 in tears, it is possible to transmit via the tears.
*Information courtesy of American Optometric Association, Source: Patient FAQs
Recommended tips on how to safely sterilize your food, masks, and other items:
STERILIZING CLOTH FACE MASKS:
- WASHING MACHINE FULL CYCLE Hot Water
STERILIZING KN95 MASK (CARBON FILTERED):
- 30 MINUTES (OVEN) - 167°F (75°C)
(WITH PAN OF WATER FOR HUMIDITY WORKS BEST)
*Masks should not be used more than 20 cycles
*Alcohol and boiling water significantly damage carbon masks
DO NOT MICROWAVE
Microwaving is not safe for sterilizing, low effect and can combust especially with metal strips
Always sterilize oven/stove, handles/knobs before using for food
Careful not to create a fire
STERILIZING THE OVEN (AFTER USE):
USE DISINFECTANTS, ALCOHOL (>70%)
& CLOROX (BLEACH)
PREHEAT OVEN 5 MINUTES - 158°F (70°C)
*Virus lasts longer than 2 weeks at 39°f (4°c) or lower*
HOW LONG IT TAKES TO DISABLE COVID-19 AT DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES:
* 5 MINUTES - 158°F (70°C)
* 30 MINUTES - 132°F (56°C)
* 2 DAYS - 98.6°F (37°C)
* 2 WEEKS - 71.6°F (22°C)
STERILIZING FOOD WITH CONTAINER,
* 60 MINUTES WITH BAG AND UTENSILS
(OVEN) -150°F (65°C)
Most plastic and paper containers are safe to heat for short periods up to 200°f (93°c)