The mandate that requires the use of face shields in all public spaces is quite a recent development. This can be a telling sign of how the general consensus has been to prioritize the protection of one’s airways – particularly the nose and the mouth – via the use of varied masks, whether surgical, cloth, N95, among others – over shielding one’s eyes.
However, it is important to note that you can just as easily contract the dreaded coronavirus, as well as any other virus or disease for that matter, if particles come into contact with your eyes. When people talk, sneeze, cough, or laugh, droplets may be transferred into your organ of sight. You may also touch surfaces that could carry viral particles, and then rub your eyes without meaning to.
That being said, protective measures for your eyes can be quite helpful and hygienic for you. Here are some things you can do in order to make sure you are doing the best you can to shield this mucous membrane, too.
- If you usually wear contacts, it may be better to switch to wearing glasses for the meantime.
Contact lenses were invented for their increased convenience to the eyeglass wearer, but if you can help it, and especially if you are going out to public spaces, wear glasses instead. Glasses at least act as a better shield from viral particles that are transmitted from one carrier to another.
You can also prevent further contamination to your eyes by moving away from the constant touching and fiddling that is typical of contact-lens wearers. If you have to, though, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before manipulating your contacts, putting them on or taking them off.
- Wear safety goggles when you can.
Okay, so this may be a bit weird if you’re out in public, and a bit uncomfortable too. But if you’re working in healthcare or are around a high risk community, it would be better to wear goggles as these supply sufficient cover for possible entryways - both sides as well as the top and bottom areas of your eyes.
- Comply with the face shield mandate.
Yes, we know it could be uncomfortable and sometimes dizzying, but the added protection is worth it. Invest in sturdy, easy to clean ones – these tend to be clearer and easier to clean, which will save you money, as well as save you from the dizziness you experience from wearing the cheaper, disposable ones.
- Clean your eyeglasses/face shields daily.
Apart from helping you feel more comfortable and ensuring better resolution for you, cleaning your eyeglasses or face shields is a hygienic practice that will help prevent virus contamination as well. It is also good to use Ojos Bonitos or Bright Eyes for the anti-fog, anti-dust, and anti-static properties it can provide your glasses or your shield. Foggy glasses tend to occur more now with masks on.
- Practice regular handwashing.
You touch your eyes more often than you might think. It’s a bit involuntary sometimes, so make sure it’s automatic for you to wash your hands before touching your face and your eyes.
- Avoid touching your eyes or face.
Better yet, get into the habit of avoiding contact with your face as much as you can. There are gadgets that actually help with this – they make a sound when your hands are near your face so you’re reminded to not continue with the action.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly.
Another good preventive measure would be to make sure that you disinfect hard surfaces that you frequently touch. These are – your doorknobs, light switch, mobile phone, toys, other gadgets, keyboard, mouse, among others.
Living with covid-19 can’t be easy, but getting into the habits of prevention aren’t that hard either. Besides, these are good practices to imbibe with or without the coronavirus pandemic. Make sure to make them second nature, so you steer clear of any unwanted diseases or sicknesses as much as you can.