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Updated on June 23, 2022 9:27 pm
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Updated on June 23, 2022 9:27 pm
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Updated on June 23, 2022 9:27 pm

Global Statistics

All countries
Updated on June 23, 2022 9:27 pm
All countries
Updated on June 23, 2022 9:27 pm
All countries
Updated on June 23, 2022 9:27 pm
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Can Covid-19 Cause Eye Symptoms

Are Sore Eyes A Covid

Coronavirus Fact or Fiction: Are stomach problems and pink eye symptoms of COVID-19?

If you woke up with sore eyes this morning, should you be worried you have COVID-19?

Its unlikely, though you cant rule it out. Getting tested is the only way to know for sure.

COVID-19 usually attacks the lungs. People often get a dry cough and run a fever. We dont hear much about COVID-related sore eyes because theyre pretty rare.

Still, scientists suggest sore eyes could be an important COVID-19 symptom. Then again, your sore eyes might just be a symptom of allergies.

What’s The Connection Between Pink Eye Allergies And Coronavirus

There are some reports that people with coronavirus may develop a Pink Eye or conjunctivitis. But allergies can also cause the same eye symptomsincluding the redness and itchiness. So how can you tell the difference?

Allergic conjunctivitis usually affects both eyes with itching, burning and redness. They may feel gritty like something is in the eye, and there may be some puffiness around the eyes. You will probably also have other allergy symptoms like a runny nose and sneezing. Another thing to note with allergic conjunctivitis is that you have it each year around the same time.

Unlike allergic conjunctivitis, viral infectious conjunctivitis is generally an isolated incident. It also causes burning, red eyes, but there is usually a watery discharge as well .

Doctors would be concerned about the possibility of coronavirus if you have conjunctivitis symptoms along with:

  • fever
  • shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • bluish color to lips or face
  • chest pain or pressure
  • being extremely tired or feeling like you will collapse if you stand up
  • loss of smell/taste
  • feeling a new sense of confusion

Other possible coronavirus symptoms you wont find with allergies include diarrhea and nausea.

Experts Warn That Covid

Written by Jahnavi Sarma | Published : December 22, 2020 6:36 PM IST

The COVID-19 virus has the chilling ability to invade different body organs and cause serious damage that can last for years. It can damage your body organs, affect your skin and even cause neurological problems. The damage it causes to your lungs can be permanent. This virus can also affect your eyes and give you conjunctivitis and sore eyes. Now, it has come to light that the novel coronavirus may trigger inflammation of the eyes that can lead to vision loss. Three COVID-19 patients in the US developed keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea. This is serious because this condition can lead to a sight-threatening infection of the tissues or fluids inside the eyeball called endophthalmitis.

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How To Survive This Pandemic

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent gettingand spreadingCOVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds , practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

/8itchy And Sore Eyes

11 COVID Symptoms No One Talks About But Should

Experiencing itchy, sore or dry eyes can also be a common symptom pointing to trouble. The study found that nearly 17% of patients had itchy eyes, while 16% experienced sore eyes. Itchiness and soreness, which can also be related to eye redness can be caused by eye infections and allergies. Excessive rubbing can further aggravate the issue. Some people may also experience symptoms like burning, redness, puffiness around the eyes, and have other allergic symptoms such as runny nose or sneezing.

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How The Virus Gets Into Your Eyes

The virus that led to the 2003 SARS outbreak entered the body through an enzyme called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 .

is widely found in places throughout your body, including your heart, kidney, intestines, and lungs. ACE2 has also been detected in the human retina and the thin tissue that lines your eye.

The virus enters human cells by tricking cells into thinking that its ACE2.

The virus can attach to a cell at a particular spot, called a receptor, where ACE2 fits exactly. The virus mimics the shape of the ACE2 enzyme well enough that the cell allows the virus to enter it, same as it would the enzyme.

Once in the cell, the virus is protected and can replicate until it ruptures the cell. Copies of the virus find new cells to invade, repeating the process.

When the virus reaches your eyes, it may cause pink eye or other eye symptoms.

Heres how to protect your eyes:

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, especially in public and with unwashed hands.
  • Switch from contact lenses to glasses. While theres no evidence that glasses or sunglasses decrease your risk for infection, some people wearing contacts may rub their eyes more.
  • Follow other recommended practices.Wash your hands frequently, limit touching your face, avoid contact with sick people, follow physical distancing best practices, and wear a mask in public.

Having pink eye or irritated eyes doesnt mean you have COVID-19.

There are many other reasons your eyes might be red or swollen, including:

/8how Does Coronavirus Impact Your Eyes

With ever-changing information, little attention has been given to how acute is the damage caused to the eyes. While it is not clear whether ocular transmission is a cause to be worried about, the mucous membranes, the surface of the eyes, inner eyelids can all act as possible means for the virus to collect and multiply.

The infection can also affect your vision if you touch a contaminated surface, and without proper care, go on to touch your eyes, mouth or nose. Right now, doctors believe that nearly 1-3% of people who do contract COVID will develop one or the other symptoms related to an eye infection. A study published in BMJ Ophthalmology has now also detailed key symptoms people experience in the early weeks of infection, which may also be often missed out. Therefore, apart from a cough, fever, headache, muscle pain, these should also be the signs to look for:

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Usage Of Steroids Can Lead To Cataract

Dr Prakash says steroids which are commonly used for the treatment of Covid can cause damage to the eyes as well. A category of patients called steroid responders tend to develop an increase in fluid pressure in their eyes when administered steroids. This condition can damage the eyes. In some cases that involve long-term use of steroids, patients can develop cataract. Timely checkup can avoid such complications, reversing the side-effects of steroids and saving the patients vision.

As per an article in American Academy of Ophthalmology, consider the following as the warning signs to visit your eye doctor:

  • If you have a blurry, wavy vision or black spots in the field of your vision.
  • You have an eye injury
  • You suddenly lose vision
  • You have a red eye or pain in your eyes and if associated with headache, nausea or vomiting.
  • Tips for eye care by Sonal Tuli, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, as published in the article:

  • If you wear contact lenses, consider switching to glasses for a while as the person who wears lenses may touch eyes more often.
  • Try to opt for sunglasses to guard from eyes from any infection
  • Avoid touching your eyes as doing this can reduce risk of infection
  • Wear a mask. Wash your hands
  • Also Read: Diabetic Eye: Here Is The Guide To Maintain Your Eye Health

    Read more articles on Other Diseases

    Symptoms To Look Out For

    New COVID-19 Symptom Can Cause Inflammation in Children

    Endophthalmitis is very rare, but it can be caused by a virus. According to one of the researchers, other cases of endophthalmitis linked to COVID-19 patients have also been reported. One of them is in Boston and another in Australia. Usual symptoms of endophthalmitis includes pain, redness and discharge from the eye. You must also be alert to swelling of the eyelids and you may experience reduced vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a doctor immediately. Early treatment of this associated complication can save your vision.

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    While Conjunctivitis Is Still Rare Preliminary Studies Suggest Other Impacts To The Eye Are Likely

    The impact of the coronavirus on the human body and its precise mechanism is constantly in flux as more information comes to light. On March 6, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reported that conjunctivitis is rare in cases of COVID-19 and that only 1% to 3% of patients would develop the viral pink eye.1 But a new study out of China shows that the infection often leads to a variety of other ocular symptoms, and that they may appear just before the onset of respiratory symptoms.2

    The confusion over the viruss connection to ocular symptoms is understandableas a class, coronaviruses are rarely associated with clinically significant conjunctivitis .3,4

    The new research included 56 confirmed COVID-19 patients ranging in age from 24 to 68 years old who were discharged from the isolation ward of the hospital and had recovered well enough to return home.2 Fifteen subjects reported ocular symptoms in the course of COVID-19, including sore eyes, itching, foreign body sensation, tearing, redness, dry eyes, eye secretions and floaters.2 Among them, six presented with ocular symptoms before onset of fever or respiratory symptoms.2 Of those six subjects, four reported the appearance of ocular symptoms one to seven days before the onset of fever or respiratory symptoms, while the remaining two subjects were uncertain about when their ocular symptoms appeared.2

    Digestive Issues And Lack Of Appetite

    Digestive issues and lack of appetite can be a symptom of COVID-19 in a percentage of patients. Two studies published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology suggested that about 20% of COVID-19 patients may experience digestive problems including nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Notably, a third of those with digestive symptoms never developed a fever.

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    Eye Symptoms Of Covid

    One possible sign of the presence of COVID-19 is conjunctivitis . This inflammation of the clear mucous membrane that overlies the eye is most commonly caused by a viral infection. The hallmark symptom of conjunctivitis is the pink or reddish color that occurs when the blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, making them more visible.

    Other common symptoms of conjunctivitis include:

    • Burning
    • Eye crusting upon waking
    • Scratchy foreign body sensation

    Those are the common symptoms of run-of-the-mill pink eye, says Dr. Gorski. With COVID-19 being a virus, it would have a similar presentation.

    That said, its unlikely that having pink eye alone means you have COVID-19.

    Patients have asked if their pink eye could be the first symptom of COVID-19, Moran Eye Center ophthalmologist Jeff Pettey, MD, said in an article for The University of Utah. The answer is, without the common symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, it is highly, highly unlikely.

    Is Eye Swelling A Sign Of Covid

    Can COVID

    Eye swelling may be a symptom of conjunctivitis or a sign of chemosis. One small study of 38 patients found that some patients with COVID-19 also had chemosis. Chemosis is the swelling of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the front of the eye and the insides of the eyelids.

    Symptoms of conjunctival chemosis include red eyes, itchy eyes, watery eyes, puffy eyes, swollen eyelids and feeling like you have something in your eye . Some patients also have a red or pink “blister” on the white of the eye.

    Doctors are still learning about COVID-19 and eye problems, so it’s too early to know whether coronavirus actually can cause chemosis.

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    What Are The Atypical Symptoms Of Covid

    New research and patient reports, especially in milder cases of the virus, highlight that COVID-19 causes a lot more than those initial symptoms and respiratory distress. When mild or in the beginning stages, COVID-19 may initially look like a sinus infection or the symptoms mirror the common cold or flu.

    Initial symptoms should be similar to flu, Richard Kuhn, Ph.D., Krenicki family director of the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease, told The Mighty. Scratchy/sore throat, coughing, headaches, possibly body aches, and a feeling of tiredness.

    COVID-19 can cause at least eight other symptoms its important to recognize:

    Unusual Symptoms Of Covid Include Skin Lesions Swollen Eyes And Confusion

    COVID-19the disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 viruscan produce a dizzying array of symptoms, affecting people in vastly different ways.

    Scientists initially thought COVID-19 was primarily a respiratory disease, but research is increasingly demonstrating that it is actually a complex, multi-system disorder.

    Many people experience no symptoms at all after infection. The most common symptoms include fever, fatigue, a dry cough, body aches, shortness of breath, headache, sore throat and a runny nose. But what are the more unusual symptoms can the disease cause?

    Gastrointestinal problems: COVID-19 patients can sometimes suffer symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology even found that diarrhea may be the first or only symptom that patients experience.

    Skin problems: COVID-19 has been linked to a variety of skin changes, including itchy or tender lesions in the hands and feet, and a measles-like rash, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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    Ask The Expert: How Covid

    Interviewed by Eric Weintraub, Additional Expertise Contributions by Dr. Brian Toy

    Much continues to remain unknown about the constantly evolving coronavirus disease 2019 . However, more information has become available in the past 1.5 years regarding COVID-19s effects on one of the most sensitive parts of our bodies: the eyes. To provide an update, Dr. Annie Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Assistant Director of the Cornea & Refractive Surgery Fellowship at the USC Roski Eye Institute, answers frequently asked questions about whether our eyes are vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.

    If COVID-19 droplets land in your eye, are you susceptible to infection?

    The evidence of ocular transmission has not been well studied. However, mucous membranes, which line many body cavities and organs including the respiratory tract, are most susceptible to the novel coronavirus and viruses in general. The surface of the eye and inner eyelids are also lined by mucous membrane called the conjunctiva. Therefore, if infected droplets land in your eye, you are possibly susceptible to the infection. Published reports suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can possibly be transmitted by aerosol contact with conjunctiva.

    Can cleaning the eyes with water or over the counter eyedrops decrease the chance of infection?

    Is it true that contact wearers have a higher risk of infection for COVID-19?

    Can COVID-19 cause temporary or permanent damage to your eyes ?

    How To Ease Eye Pain During Covid

    Spring Allergy Symptoms Can Look Like COVID-19 Symptoms Here’s The Difference

    Any treatment or advice about eye pain will be related to its underlying cause. Call your local store team to start with theyll help you to get to the bottom of your symptoms and will recommend that you come in store for a check or speak to an expert in more detail with our RemoteCare service.


    1. Shahina Pardhan, Megan Vaughan, Jufen Zhang, Lee Smith, Havovi Chichger . Sore eyes as the most significant ocular symptom experienced by people with COVID-19: a comparison between pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19 states . Available at:

    2. World Health Organization . Coronavirus symptoms . Available at: .

    3. Public Health England, Information Sheet I: Symptoms . Available at: .

    4. British Medical Journal. Covid-19: a remote assessment in primary care . Available at: .

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    Sore Eyes Can Be A Symptom Of Covid

    Conjunctivitiscommonly known as pinkeyehas previously been reported as a symptom of COVID-19. But there are subtleties to the condition specific to COVID, said study co-author Shahina Pardhan, Ph.D.”The term ‘conjunctivitis’ has been used frequently, but conjunctivitis is a broad term, and it can represent many symptoms in the eye, some of which are not shown at all with COVID-19 infection,” she said. “Our research specifies which eye symptoms were experienced during COVID-19 infection.”

    For example: “Sore eyes are when the eyes feel uncomfortable or sore,” she said. “The eye symptoms linked to COVID-19 are not mucus discharge or dry eyes or lumps and bumps on the eyelid. Our research showed that light sensitivity and watery eyes were also important.”

    Light sensitivity hasn’t been widely reported as a COVID symptom. But last August, Dr. Margot Gage, a Texas epidemiologist, spoke with NPR about how her own six-month battle with COVID-19 involved several symptoms that weren’t commonly known. One of them was sun sensitivity. “Going out into the sun for me is really debilitating,” she said. “It’s like I’m allergic to the sun, almost.”

    RELATED:7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors

    Is Headache A Symptom Of Coronavirus

    There are many different types of headache, with people experiencing pain behind the eyes, cluster headaches or migraines. Again, headaches are a very broad term with many potential causes.

    The British Medical Journal includes headaches as a symptom in 14% of those hospitalised with COVID-19 though it would be unlikely that headache in isolation would be any cause for concern for COVID-19.4

    Its possible that headaches, particularly pain behind the eyes, might be more related to our new ways of working during this time or increased screen time for leisure. Working on a laptop out of the office environment with increased screen time getting us through isolation is more likely to be linked to digital eye strain. Read our article on how to avoid eye strain for more information.

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