We wanted to provide guidance regarding tearing / watery red eyes due to Follicular Conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is a non-descript pink eye caused by allergies, bacteria, or viruses. Viral types cause copious amounts of tearing for no reason and starting in one eye before usually moving to the other. While this does not necessarily indicate COVID-19, ANY viral conjunctivitis is EXTREMELY contagious for a period of 10 - 14 days. Should you notice these symptoms STAY HOME FROM WORK, especially if fevered or coughing and isolate from family members as best as possible. Be strict about hand washing and disinfecting. Do not patch an eye as viruses and bacteria thrive in low lighting and oxygen deficient environments. Discontinue all contact lens wear. It is a possible sign of COVID-19.
Second, Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine) has been in the news recently as a possible treatment or suppressor for COVID-19. Plaquenil is an anti-malarial drug commonly used for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and other connective tissue disorders. Patients taking Plaquenil need to be evaluated for macular toxicities due to overdosage of the medication. Currently, the optimal amount of Plaquenil needed to treat COVID-19 is not known and overdosing on the medication can lead to blindness and even death. Two healthy individuals died from self-treating with Chloroquine due to toxicity. If you are started on Plaquenil make sure you schedule an eye exam with an Independent doctor of Optometry or Ophthalmologist.
Be safe, be smart, and be well. We are only seeing emergent cases at this time to comply with CDC recommendations.