This is how covid can affect your eyes

Studies on the coronavirus point to the cough, fever, and shortness of breath as the main symptoms of covid, but new ones have been added to them, such as pain in the lower back or tinnitus or tinnitusamong others.

One of the first to appear, however, was the conjunctivitis: According to research by the University of Alberta (Canada), the swelling or dry eye It can also be considered a symptom that the person has contracted covid-19.

2020 study

The study that gave rise to these assumptions has analyzed the case of a woman from Edmonton, and was published in the ‘Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology’. In March 2020, a 29-year-old woman presented to the Royal Alexandra Hospital Eye Institute in alberta with a severe case of conjunctivitis and minimal respiratory symptoms.

After several days of treatment with little improvement, and noting that the woman had recently returned home from Asia, a doctor ordered a covid-19 test, which came back positive.

No respiratory symptoms

“The interesting thing about the case […] was that the main presentation of the disease was not a respiratory symptom. was the eye. There was no fever or cough, so we were not led to suspect covid-19 at first. We did not know that it could occur mainly with the eye and not with the lungs,” explains one of the authors, Carlos Solarte.

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According to the researcher, academic studies early in the pandemic identified conjunctivitis as a secondary symptom in about 10 to 15% of coronavirus cases. Since then, scientists have gained a greater understanding of how the virus can be transmitted through and affect the body’s mucous membrane system, of which the conjunctiva, the clear, thin membrane that covers the front surface of the eye is an extension.


“The patient in this case he recovered finally fine without problems. But several of the residents and staff who were in close contact with the patient had to self-quarantine. Fortunately, none of those who were involved in caring for him tested positive,” Solarte said.

Since then, several more cases of coronavirus due to covid have been documented and it has been determined that the coronavirus can cause a mild follicular conjunctivitismuch less serious than conjunctivitis caused by adenovirusesthe microorganisms that usually cause this pathology and that it is a highly contagious disease because these viruses are transmitted by coming into contact with eye or respiratory secretions, fomites or contaminated swimming pools.

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In people who have developed covid, the coronavirus is present in tears and in some eye secretions, such as rheum. For this reason, extreme precautions must be taken to avoid the transmission of the virus through these secretions, avoiding touching the eyes and in certain cases using eye protection glasses.


The symptoms of conjunctivitis due to coronavirus are red eyes, an increase in eye secretions, a sensation of a foreign body inside the eye and discomfort when wearing contact lenses, discomfort that usually lasts, like almost all, from 7 to 10 days.

Treatment for mild follicular conjunctivitis is based, above all, on relieving measures; that is, in the application of serum, cold cloths and antihistamine eye drops if there is itching. Normal saline washes usually help relieve itching and combat the sensation of having a foreign body inside the eye.

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