Covid pandemic is the biggest public healthcare emergency facing the world today. The virus can have a devastating effect on the body, impacting many organs. However, not many people are aware that it can affect the eyes too.
Covid was first detected as conjunctivitis by an ophthalmologist in China. In this, eyes of patients become slightly painful and red with pricking sensation and watering. The condition appears like any other case of conjunctivitis. To check if it is a Covid symptom, doctors need to consider if there are any covid patients in the person’s family or whether the individual was in contact with any Covid-positive patient.
If the patient reaches an ophthalmologist within 6 hours of vision loss, his or her sight can be saved with prompt care to restore blood circulation in the eyes. In these cases, almost 100% or 95% vision of the patient can be restored. Any delay or complacency in reaching an ophthalmologist quickly can lead to permanent and irreversible damage to the eye.
Blocked blood vessels are not the only eye morbidity associated with Covid. Some patients may develop localized inflammation called retinitis. This is again treatable with medicines or injections.
Another issue with steroids is that they decrease the immunity of patients. In such cases, and especially for diabetics, fungal infection is common. This can lead to growth of black fungus in sinuses, which are small air pockets located behind the forehead, nose and cheekbones and between the eyes that produce mucus. In some cases, the black fungus can spread from sinuses to around the eye or, in some cases, even inside the eyes. This is a serious condition that needs immediate treatment.
In these pandemic times, it is important for Covid patients who develop any eye-related problem to visit an ophthalmologist without delay.
The Author of the article is- Sr. Consultant Ophthalmologist with Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospital at Aundh, Pune