Covid-19 is mainly a respiratory illness, implying symptoms like fever, dry cough, fatigue, muscle pain. In addition, as we already know, the coronavirus in most cases accompanies the loss of smell and taste. Less common, for example, are skin lesions on the hands and feet, discomfort in the nose and mouth, including dryness, as well as micro-strokes and problems with thermoregulation.
A BMJ study by Ruskin (Cambridge, UK) from the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Welfare at the University of England describes several more Covid-19 symptoms – “eye” symptoms that have not been the focus of scientists before. According to the authors of the work, although the eye manifestations of the coronavirus are not given much importance in the presence of other, more serious signs of the disease, they cannot be ignored, since the eyes are one of the organs through which the virus can enter the body. Despite the fact that the mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 is able to infect the conjunctiva has not yet been definitively determined, this issue requires careful study.
The study, which was conducted using an anonymous online survey from April 16 to July 20, 2020, involved 83 adults who tested positive for Covid-19 (men – 35%, women – 65%).
“The most frequently reported symptoms were dry cough (66%), fever (76%), fatigue (90%) and loss of smell / taste (70%). Others reported sore throat (53%), diarrhea (28%), headaches (19%), shortness of breath (15%), myalgia / other pain (12%). The three most common “eye symptoms” experienced by the participants were photophobia (18%), eye pain (16%), and itching (17%). The incidence of pain was significantly higher during illness compared to the condition before Covid-19 (5%). We did not reveal any differences between men and women, ”the doctors write.
In addition, 81% of respondents reported that the so-called ocular manifestations of the coronavirus occurred within two weeks after other symptoms. And these signs persisted, according to 80% of survey participants, less than 14 days.
Earlier, the World Health Organization put conjunctivitis – inflammation of the lining of the eye caused by an allergic reaction or infection – in the list of rare symptoms of Covid-19. However, scientists note, eye pain should not be confused with conjunctivitis, as it involves mucous discharge and a “gritty” feeling.
“The term conjunctivitis is too broad and should be used with caution. Inflammation of the eyes should replace “conjunctivitis” because it is important to differentiate the symptoms of other types of infections, such as bacterial infections that manifest as mucous secretions or so-called sand in the eyes. It is important that doctors establish the correct “eye” symptoms that appear precisely because of Covid-19, “they added, summing up that the sample, of course, was small, so their conclusions should be confirmed by a larger study.
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