Conjunctivitis, often known as pink eye, is an inflammation and redness of the conjunctiva, a thin membrane that covers the white area of the eye. Viruses, bacteria, allergies, or irritants can all cause it. While pink eye is usually not a dangerous ailment and may be treated with eye drops or ointments, the recent COVID-19 epidemic has raised questions about whether pink eye is a sign of the virus.
According to recent research, COVID-19 can induce conjunctivitis in both children and adults. However, ophthalmologists warn that eye symptoms alone are not always indicative of the virus, and that other factors should be investigated before drawing conclusions.
Is Pink Eye a Symptom of COVID-19?
Pink eye has been linked to COVID-19 in some cases, according to research. According to a research conducted in Wuhan, China, 22.7% of children who tested positive for COVID-19 also had ocular symptoms such as conjunctivitis. Other research have found comparable results, albeit the prevalence of pink eye in COVID-19 patients varies greatly.
Pink eye, on the other hand, can be caused by a multitude of reasons, and a COVID-19 diagnosis cannot be verified without an eye swab. Pink eye can also develop in patients with other forms of viral infections and may not be a reliable sign of COVID-19 on its own.
What Should You Do if Your Child Has Pink Eye?
If your child has pink eye, it is critical that you take precautions to keep the infection from spreading to others. Pink eye is highly contagious, particularly among school-aged children.
Image source: iStock
Follow these precautions to keep pink eye from spreading:
- When wiping your face and eyes, use a fresh towel or tissue.
- Hands should be washed often, particularly before and after contacting your eyes.
- As much as possible, avoid touching your eyes.
- Do not wear cosmetics if your eyes are affected, and replace it if you get an infection.
- Clean your contact lenses exactly as directed by your ophthalmologist.
If you suspect your kid has pink eye, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist to discuss symptoms and treatment options. While pink eye is usually a minor ailment that can be treated with over-the-counter eye medicines, it is crucial to rule out other possible causes, particularly if your kid has been exposed to COVID-19.
Should You Get Tested for COVID-19 if You Have Pink Eye?
Image source: iStock
If your child develops pink eye but has not been exposed to COVID-19, the condition is unlikely to be caused by the virus. However, if your child has been exposed to COVID-19 or has other symptoms such as a fever or cough, it may be worthwhile to contact your medical practitioner to discuss testing possibilities.
Can Eye Protection Prevent COVID-19?
While most people do not require eye protection, it may be recommended for those whose professions or other duties place them at high risk of exposure. The most effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include frequent hand washing, wearing a mask, and practising social distancing.
To summarise, while pink eye may be a symptom of COVID-19 in some situations, it is not a reliable sign of the virus on its own. If your child develops pink eye, it is critical to act quickly to prevent the disease from spreading and to rule out other possible causes, especially if your child has been exposed to COVID-19.
Ask a Doctor: Does Your Child Need the COVID-19 Booster?
The Symptoms Of The Delta Variant Appear To Differ From Traditional COVID Symptoms. Here’s What To Look Out For
Teach your kids proper hand washing using this diagram