Are your eyes aching, or itchy, or sensitive to light? If so, you may be suffering from COVID-19. However, ocular issues aren’t frequently the first sign of illness caused by the new coronavirus.
Cough, fever, headache, muscle aches, and loss of taste or smell are not eye-related symptoms of COVID-19. However, coronaviruses still haven’t been thoroughly studied in terms of how they affect the eyes. According to a study, three types of eye problems are common in COVID-19 patients:
- An itchy eye was reported by 17% of COVID-19 patients.
- Light sensitivity was noted by 18% of COVID-19 patients.
- 16 % of COVID-19 patients reported having sore eyes.
Eye Problems Common in COVID-19 Patients
- Sore and puffy eyes
- Swollen eyelids and watery eyes are signs of coronavirus infection in the eyes. Patients with more severe instances of COVID-19 are more likely to experience these symptoms.
You should be aware that a coronavirus patient’s eye problem may be caused by something else. Many of the signs of COVID-19 are similar to those of allergies and other common ailments. If your eyes hurt, burn, or itch, don’t presume that you have COVID-19.
Conjunctivitis and COVID-19
Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is caused by a coronavirus in 1–3% of people, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). An inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, a thin membrane covering the sclera and the inside of the eyelids, is called conjunctivitis. Coronavirus-caused conjunctivitis may include the following symptoms:
- Burning eyes
- Stinging eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Water eyes
- Red eyes
- Intolerance to light (light sensitivity)
A COVID eye infection, like any other viral conjunctivitis, is highly contagious. Viral conjunctivitis can be spread by sneezing, coughing, and touching your eyes. As COVID can spread through the eyes, experts suggest wearing eye protection like face masks or COVID goggles or protecting your eyes from saliva droplets that may contain the virus.
Runny Eyes and COVID-19
Increased eye secretion has been reported in some studies as a possible COVID-19 sign. Commonly explained as “goopy” or runny eyes, eye discharge comprises mucus, oil, and skin cells. Eye secretions found in your eye when you wake up are known as “sleep.”
In most cases, eye discharge is normal — in fact, it plays an essential part in eye health because it cleans debris and helps to keep your eye healthy. But more eye discharge, or yellowish discharge, can signify conjunctivitis and many types of eye infections.
Watery or Teary Eyes and COVID-19
The same small study found that some coronavirus patients experience overly watery eyes (epiphora) but couldn’t definitively show they are a symptom of coronavirus.
Tears may overflow from your eyes if you have epiphora and run down your cheeks. A variety of conditions can cause watery eyes, and excessive tears are common symptoms of allergies.
Cool compresses, antihistamines, changing contact lenses, and taking a break from staring at screens may help resolve watery eyes, but see an eye specialist if the problem persists.
Eye Twitching and COVID-19
Eye twitching was not identified as a symptom of COVID-19 in a meta-analysis on COVID-19 eye symptoms. However, COVID-19 may result in neurological signs in some patients. A case report reported one patient who had neurological manifestations of COVID-19 and experienced facial spasms that included eye twitching.
Not all Eye Issues Linked to COVID-19
Some studies have shown that COVID-positive patients report specific eye problems at close to the same rate as patients without coronavirus. In some cases, COVID-negative patients had a higher rate of particular eye issues than those with the virus. This means that some reported eye issues may not be connected to coronavirus at all.
In other words, it may just be a coincidence that someone has COVID-19 and an eye issue at the same time.
If you have eye symptoms related to COVID-19, visit an eye specialist. If your eye problem isn’t a severe case, you might need to wait to see an eye specialist. If you’re cleared to go to the eye specialist, know that they may take extra precautions, like checking your temperature before you can enter the building and using a special plastic breath shield when examining your eyes. You can also book your appointment with the Best Eye Specialist in Lahor through Marham, the best online platform to contact any specialist.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1- Is eye swelling a symptom of COVID-19?
Eye swelling may be a sign of conjunctivitis or a sign of chemosis. One small study found that some patients with COVID-19 also had chemosis. Chemosis is the swelling of the conjunctiva.
2- What organs have more negative effects of COVID19?
COVID19 has the most impact on the lungs of all the organs.
3- Who is most likely to suffer a severe illness due to COVID-19?
Older and those with medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer, are more prone to severe sickness.
4- COVID-19 is most resilient under what conditions?
UV light from the sun has a rapid effect on the killing of coronaviruses. SARS-CoV-2, like other encapsulated viruses, thrives under conditions of low relative humidity (50 percent) and room temperature.
5- What are the complications of COVID-19?
The possible complications are acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multi-organ failure, septic shock, and death.