Optometrists see more eye irritation cases due to masks

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – Doctors say wearing masks don’t stop oxygen from getting to your lungs, but it could have other health effects.

Oak Hill optometrist Dr. Cassandra Ortiz says her office has seen an uptick in stye cases. When you breathe out, your mask often forces the air towards your eyes, carrying bacteria with it.

“What’s most important is to make sure you wash your eyelids and your eyelashes off every evening, just like you wash your face and you brush your teeth,” said Dr. Ortiz. “Make sure your eyes get a good clean, get all that bacteria and all that pollen off.”

Dr. Ortiz says she has also seen an increase in dry eye cases.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.