Does corona penetrate the body through the eyes? Results leave...


Can coronaviruses enter the body via the conjunctiva of the eyes? Ophthalmologists give an assessment.

© Michael Kappeler / dpa

Should we all wear glasses? Ophthalmologists examined whether the eyes represent a relevant gateway for coronaviruses into the body – and come to a clear result.

  • When coronaviruses hit the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose, they can easily enter the body *. But the conjunctiva of the eyes is also one of the mucous membranes.
  • Again and again there are assumptions that not only mouth and nose protection but also protective goggles could protect against Covid-19.
  • Ophthalmologists are now investigating how often Covid-19 is infected through the eyes.

Scientists around the world are researching exactly how a coronavirus infection affects the body and which route the virus takes into the body – and regularly publish their results in studies. A central question is one that is currently on everyone’s mind: How can I best protect myself against the virus? It has been proven that Covid-19 is most commonly transmitted via droplet infection: The virus-containing droplets of saliva from infected people get through the air they breathe onto the mucous membranes of those who are in the immediate vicinity. According to a study, the nasal mucous membrane is used by coronaviruses as the preferred entry point into the body *. Ophthalmologists now investigated the question of how often Sars-CoV-2 can get into the body through the eyes and trigger Covid-19 there.

Do coronaviruses penetrate the eyes? Infection is “unlikely” – but important question unclear

According to Professor Clemens Lange from the Freiburg University Medical Center, the study situation is clear: The likelihood of infection with Sars-CoV-2 via the surface of the eye is unlikely. “I interpret the current study situation in such a way that the conjunctiva represents a less relevant entry point and a less relevant replication site for SARS-CoV-2 compared to other tissues such as the lungs,” Lange is quoted by the medical newspaper.

During the virtual annual meeting of the German Ophthalmological Society, the ophthalmologist pointed out studies with more than 2,000 Covid-19 patients, of which only around three percent had shown signs of conjunctivitis. This is an indication that coronaviruses prefer other entry points into the body. “Due to the protective blinking of the eye and the small surface of the eye, a purely ocular route of infection is likely to play a subordinate role,” said Lange. It remains unclear, however, whether rubbing the eyes with contaminated hands is possible for infection with Covid-19.

Dry heating air? Work on the pc? Do something good for your eyes!

Ophthalmologists recommend regular care, especially for dry eyes. Eye drops without preservatives moisturize the stressed conjunctiva and stop itching and burning. Contribute to the health of your eyes with the Hylo Gel eye drops from Hylo Eye Care (promotional link)!

However, the German Ophthalmological Society, as a specialist society for ophthalmology, recommends wearing protective goggles that enclose the eyes in close contact with Covid 19 patients. The reason for this: As before, not all questions about the coronavirus infection risk have been scientifically clarified. There is also no evidence that wearing eye protection glasses in public life could protect against Covid-19. (jg) * Merkur.de is part of the Germany-wide Ippen-Digital editorial network.

Continue reading: Only when you inhale this number of coronaviruses will you get sick – says researchers from Vienna.

Survey on the subject

The most common eye diseases

For many, the eye is one of the most important sensory organs. Eye diseases can reduce eyesight or, in the worst case, destroy it. The course is often creeping. © Professional Association of Ophthalmologists e. V. (BVA)
Cataract
CATARACT – GRAY STAR: The most common form of cataract is age-related clouding of the lens. The originally clear lens of the eye gradually loses its transparency in the course of life. Only in old age does the cloudiness reach a density that impairs vision. A look into the widely dripped pupil shows the first signs of a cataract: white, radial opacities and dots in the central area. © Professional Association of Ophthalmologists e. V. (BVA)
Green star: advanced stage glaucoma with already severely damaged optic nerve.
GLAUKOM – GREEN STAR: In the middle of the papilla you can see an extremely large white bulge, the optic nerve head has almost no healthy pink border. At this stage the optic nerve is already severely damaged. The impairment cannot be reversed, but it can at least be stopped once it is detected. © Professional Association of Ophthalmologists e. V. (BVA)
From 40. men and women should have a preventive examination by an ophthalmologist (IGeL service). Patients do not notice the disease in the early stages. If glaucoma is suspected, the so-called perimetry provides information about whether there are already “blind spots” in the field of vision. © Professional Association of Ophthalmologists e. V. (BVA)
RETINA: A healthy retina as the ophthalmologist sees it when examining the fundus. The arteries and veins meet at the bright spot where the optic nerve joins the eye, the optic nerve head. © Professional Association of Ophthalmologists e. V. (BVA)
The wet form of age-dependent MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD) is much more aggressive than dry AMD. Diseased vessels form in the retina which secrete fluid and destroy the sensitive retinal vessels. Various therapies are available to the ophthalmologist to prevent further formation of new blood vessels and to favorably influence the course of the disease. Here the changes in the center of the retina can already be clearly seen. © Professional Association of Ophthalmologists e. V. (BVA)
CONJECTURAL INFLAMMATION: Conjunctivitis caused by viruses is extremely contagious. Infected patients must avoid contact with others. © Professional Association of Ophthalmologists e. V. (BVA)
DRY EYES: The ophthalmologist uses the so-called Schirmer test to determine the amount of tear fluid. Dry eyes occur when the conjunctiva and cornea of ​​the eyes are not sufficiently wetted with tear fluid. The patient often has the feeling that they have a foreign body in their eye or that their eyes burn and itch. Fine dust in the air is suspected to be partly responsible for the development of dry eyes. © Professional Association of Ophthalmologists e. V. (BVA)

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