Our eyes can be considered as the most developed organs in our body. But we often neglect and forget how to take care of our eyes. Usually, we forget that prolonged exposure to computer screens and mobile phones may cause a negative effect on our eyes. But when we notice some vision problems one way or another, we will find any way just to be able to see again.
Is there a connection between eye disease, or a visual impairment, and mental health? Studies show that there is a well-established link between poor eye health and mental health, and it is important that those involved with eye care be aware of this.
One of the primary effects of eye disease on mental health is depression. Vision loss, or blindness, remains a substantial predictor of depression. Patients suffering from any type of vision problems may tend to get depressed easily and will likely increase their feelings of anxiety. Diseases caused by the eyes of any visual problems can also result in isolation, social withdrawal, and self-pity, thinking that this problem may be a burden to other people, especially to family members.
Other visual problems can also cause hallucinations, which can be disturbing. The loss of eyesight usually elicits emotional reactions like psychological pain, and some persons of old age with visual problems may be placed in institutions. In reality, one of the most dreaded results of aging would be poor or total loss of eyesight. For the past few years, experts say that those people who are experiencing loss of vision are most likely to feel and suffer from depression compared to other populations. Thus, our eyes are an important concern in health care.
With the recent healthcare concern about the COVID-19 pandemic, we can ask, are our eyes vulnerable to the novel coronavirus? If so, will this add to the mental health issues related to eye diseases? The evidence of ocular transmission of COVID-19 has not been well studied. But pinkeye, or conjunctivitis, has been reported to be a possible sign of infection from COVID-19.
Doctors in the US, as well as in Europe, are saying that more COVID-19 patients are reporting eye problems. Several research studies tend to confirm that the eyes are now also part of the growing list of body parts that can be affected by the COVID-19 disease. Many people with eye conditions are now worried about the health of their eyes during the coronavirus crisis.
To address the worries, eye doctors are recommending some measures on eye safety and eye care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. First, proper handwashing and social distancing are top in reducing our risk, as well as the risk to others, of contracting the virus. We should keep our hands away from our faces, not touching our nose, mouth, or eyes.
Additionally, to those using eye drops, we should wash our hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before and after using any eye drops. If anyone else touches the bottles, we will wipe them with a disinfectant first. We should avoid touching the tip of the bottles and sharing bottles with anyone. Wearing glasses could also act as an additional layer of protection.
These are only a few measures to prevent us from being infected by this novel coronavirus. Looking after our health, which includes looking after our eyes, could play a role in the prevention of the outbreak. Though it is really unlikely that we can be infected with coronavirus through our eyes, it is still important to follow proper hygienic practices to lessen the risk of being infected with the disease.