Wear protective eyeglasses, say ophthalmologists

Wear protective eyeglasses, say ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists have warned the public about the transmission of the coronavirus through eyes and advised them to wear protective glasses.

During a recent video conference, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar enquired about the risk of transmission from ophthalmologists. 

“Now, people are concentrating on the nose and the mouth by wearing masks. They are ignoring eyes. But microdroplets can enter through eyes and there are chances of spreading the Covid-19 infection,” one of the ophthalmologists said during the video conference. 

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Dr G V Diwakar, the president of the Bangalore Ophthalmic Society, said: “If droplets reach the eyes, then the virus definitely spreads. This is why we are advising to wear eye protective glasses along with masks.” 

Experts brought the issue to the notice of the minister and requested for providing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to ophthalmologists to attend emergency cases and also to restart cataract and other surgeries after May 3. 

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At present, even ophthalmology-related electives have been postponed until further orders. “We are attending to emergencies only. In order to open other services, we need PPE kits,” Dr Diwakar said. 

Another ophthalmologist from a city hospital said: “Not just by touching the mouth, nose or face, the virus also spreads through eyes when an infected person sneezes or coughs and if the droplet enters other person’s eyes. It is advised to wear glasses along with masks.”  

Dr Sujatha Rathod, director, Minto hospital, said: “The public is advised to wear visors during such outbreaks.”