Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is widespread globally and is infecting our population at record rates. At Shady Grove Ophthalmology we are following the changes daily and have put together some information for our patients.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and even death for confirmed coronavirus cases. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and the most common include fever, cough, tiredness, and shortness of breath. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. It is reported that some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms at all. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention right away.
Coronavirus and Your Eyes
It has been reported by the American Academy of Ophthalmology that the coronavirus can cause conjunctivitis or “Pink Eye”. Conjunctivitis is an infection of the transparent membrane called the conjunctiva that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Symptoms of pink eye include redness, burning, itching, watering eyes, and a sandy, gritty sensation normally more prevalent upon awakening.
How to Protect Against the Spread of COVID-19?
To prevent getting the virus is to avoid being exposed to the virus. As shutdowns play a helping role in reducing exposure it is recommended that “Social Distancing” be practiced. Keep a distance of 6 feet or more when moving about in the public.
Here are some key tips to help protect yourself and loved ones during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Avoid close contact with sick people (3 feet)
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Hand sanitizers can be uses if soap and water are not available.
- Stay at home if you are sick and self-isolate from others in the household who are unwell.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of them in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a cleaning spray or wipe.
The World Health Organization has provided what they call “Do The Five”.
DO THE FIVE
Help stop coronavirus
1 HANDS Wash them often
2 ELBOW Cough into it
3 FACE Don’t touch it
4 SPACE Keep safe distance
5 HOME Stay if you can
If You Are Sick Do Not Go to the Doctors Office or Emergency Room
Call ahead – If you believe you have the virus or feel you need to be tested for COVID-19 call your doctor’s office. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep others from getting infected and reduce possible exposure.
Monitor your symptoms
It is important that if your symptoms are worsening or you are having difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention right away and call your healthcare provider so they can help evaluate you before you go into the public for medical treatment.
If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatcher that you have or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, wear a mask before emergency medical services arrive.