CPD and Education library

Study and gain CPD points through OT’s online CPD exams, and access archived CPD and CET articles, Practice team resources and Skills guides in our Education library

Find out more

Science and vision

News and features about the latest scientific developments and advances in optometry, ophthalmology and eye medicine

Find out more

Professional support

News and features about the latest developments relating to professional support from across optics. This includes updates from optical organisations such as the AOP and the GOC

Find out more

In practice

News and in-depth features about business management and career development in optics

Find out more


Explore the latest UK and global jobs in the optical sector for optometrists, dispensing opticians and more

Find out more

Study examines presence of SARS-CoV-2 in tears

Scientists determined that that the virus can be detected on the conjunctiva and tears of patient with COVID-19

woman wearing face mask holding a child

Researchers have analysed the tears and ocular symptoms of patients with COVID-19.

The research, which was published in Vision, tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in tears and conjunctival secretions of 56 patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Patients had been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms for seven days on average before ocular testing.

Four of the 56 conjunctival swabs were positive for SARS-CoV-2, while four of the strips used to test tears were also positive for the virus.

Within the group of patients, 30% reported ocular symptoms.

No association was found between positive ocular samples and reporting ocular symptoms.

“This study shows that SARS-CoV-2 can be detected on the conjunctiva and tears of patients with COVID-19. Contact with the ocular surface may transmit the virus and preventive measures should be taken in this direction,” the study authors highlighted.

In a different study, researchers found that performing non-contact tonometry can result in the formation of droplets capable of transmitting viruses.

Study author, Saptarshi Basu, said: “What you think is a very safe, non-contact procedure, even then, one needs to be a little careful.”