Sore eyes with coronavirus are the most important indicator of COVID-19 based on eyesight, according to a new study. Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) asked people with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 to complete a questionnaire about their symptoms. So patients had to report on how they compared them before testing positive for Sars-CoV-2.
Symptoms like sore eyes with coronavirus
The study found that sore eyes were significantly more common with COVID-19 than the participants then had such an infection due to the novel virus. So 16% said the problem was one of those symptoms. Only 5% of the subjects stated that they had previously had the disease caused by the novel virus. While 18% of people responded that they had photophobia (sensitivity to light) as one of their symptoms, this was only a 5% increase from their pre-COVID-19 condition. So of the 83 respondents, 81% reported eye problems within two weeks of other symptoms caused by COVID-19. Of these, 80% said their eye problems lasted less than two weeks. The most commonly reported symptoms were fatigue in 90% of the respondents, fever in 76% and dry cough in 66% of the study participants.
The main author was Professor Shahina Pardhan. She is also the director of the Institute for Eye and Eye Research at the university. She claims that this is the first study looking at the various types of eye pain associated with coronavirus. These therefore indicate conjunctivitis in relation to COVID-19 and time frames in relation to other diseases, as well as known COVID-19 symptoms and their duration. So, according to the study authors, it’s important that eye symptoms be included in the list of possible effects of COVID-19. The researchers also argue that sore eyes should replace conjunctivitis. This is because it is important to distinguish from symptoms of other types of infection, such as bacterial infections. These manifest as slimy discharge or gritty eyes. So this study is important because it helps scientists better understand how COVID-19 infects the conjunctiva and how the virus can then spread throughout the body.