What you need to know: Coronavirus and protective eyewear

Dr. Sunir Garg, a retina surgeon and professor of ophthalmology, discusses how to protect your eyes from COVID-19.
3:39 | 06/15/20

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Transcript for What you need to know: Coronavirus and protective eyewear
As evidence continues to emerge that covid-19 can be transmitted through the eyes, researchers are advising people in high-risk categories wear eye protection as well as practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. For more on how to protect your eyes from covid-19 is retina surgeon and professor of opthlamology at wills eye hospital, Dr. Sunir Garg. Thank you for being with us. Tell us about the covid symptom of pink eye, what's the latest on that? Some people with covid can get pink eye. But for a vast majority of people, when their eyes become irritated, typically they'll have allergies but not covid. If they have pink eye in the contest of fever and shortness of breath, I'm more concerned about them having covid-related pink eye. For most people whose eyes are puffy, itchy, red, scratchy, it's something beside covid. And we've heard Dr. Jen actually talk about this "Lancet" publishing a review talking about eye protection effective in lowering the risk of catching the coronavirus, do any type of glasses work, or do you think the wraparound glasses are necessary at this point? So, it's a great question, with this study specifically looked at the use of eye protection in health care settings. For healthcare workers there does seem to be an advantage of goggles, potentially better than regular glasses like I'm wearing, for people who are taking care of patients. For most people as they go about their daily lives, the American academy doesn't have a recommendation for regular people to wear eye protection for this reason. And what activists for eye exams, obviously, that's a touchy issue for both the patient and physician. What changes have been made to make it safer for both people? That's a great question. We as a profession have been on the forefront to make it safer for our patients to come in to get the essential eye care they need. The era of having a packed waiting room is basically over. When patients come in, they'll often get asked if they have any covid symptoms or around anyone who's had covid symptoms. Or if they have any fevers. The waiting rooms, they're social distancing in place, we removed a lot of exam chairs. The number of people coming in every day are getting reduced. We're actively calling patients. Those who need care we're encouraging them to come in. When they come in, they'll see all of the healthcare personnel at least in our offices wearing masks and gloves. We're meticulous about cleaning the rooms. We're trying to get patients moving through the office much quicker than we did before. Try to give them the opportunity to get the important eye care they need but also stay safe. That's right, eye care especially this time of year is pretty important, for people like me who have allergies, eye irritations are so common this time of year and certainly brothersome as well, what are some best treatment options for that? In your opinion. People having allergies and I have allergies in my eyes. There are a lot of good options. If they have runny nose around it, taking an oral anti-allergy medicine can be helpful. Some people find that artificial tears is helpful. There are a lot of really good over the counter allergy medicine, taking once or twice a day work wonders. Thank you, Dr. Garg for joining us today. We certainly appreciate Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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