Oral to Eye Herpes Question

by Trisha

I have oral herpes and was drinking a smoothie and the straw slashed a droplet into my eye.

What are the odds of getting ocular herpes from this?

I was dealing with a cold sore inside my mouth.

I am also on antiviral meds.


Dear Trisha,

First we need to know that all forms of herpes are contagious and that people can self-contaminate themselves and spread the virus to other parts of the body.

But the important thing to remember is that the herpes virus dies relatively quickly outside the body.

Herpes 1 (cold sores) and Herpes 2 (genital herpes) are transmitted via direct skin-to-skin contact. Hence, it cannot be transmitted through casual or indirect contact such as hugging, shaking hands, sharing utensils, drinking from the same glass or straw, sharing food, sitting on public toilets, or touching doorknobs.

Ocular herpes is acquired when a person with an active herpes lesion on the hand rubs his/her eyes or touches them. This allows the herpes virus from the fingers or hands to enter the moist areas and linings of the eye causing ocular herpes.

So with your particular concern, it is highly unlikely for the herpes virus from your cold sore to stay alive on the straw long enough to infect your eyes.

To avoid self-contamination or auto-contamination, it is vital to practice proper hygiene. This includes washing your hands with soap and water and keeping your hands away from your mouth and eyes. That way you protect your health and the health of others as well.

All the best,



Click here to post comments

Return to Herpes Advice Forum.