How COVID-19 affects the mucous membrane of the eye and how to help yourself with …

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How COVID-19 affects the organs of vision

Complications from the organ of vision with COVID can be divided into concomitant diseases (developing during the course of the disease) and consequences.

Concomitant, that is, developing together with the underlying disease, include inflammation: conjunctivitis, blepharoconjunctivitis. These diseases are treated with local and general antiviral therapy.

Effects. A particular complication of coronavirus infection is a violation of the blood coagulation system. As a result, the risks of thrombosis of the central retinal vein and its branches, as well as the central retinal artery, increase. These conditions are manifested by a sharp deterioration in vision and require emergency assistance from an ophthalmologist.

Deterioration of the blood supply (hemodynamics) of the eye can lead to a temporary or permanent deterioration of vision: the occurrence of habitually excessive tension of accommodation (temporary deterioration in distance vision), early onset of presbyopic complaints in young patients (35-40 years old) – that is, when people have difficulty with reading up close.

The eye is not the main target organ for coronavirus infection. However, this disease worsens the course of the chronic pathology that the patient has. Therefore, against the background of COVID, the course of diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration (wet form) may worsen, and chronic uveitis may worsen.

Let us explain that uveitis is a chronic inflammation of the choroid of the eye. It is believed that it is difficult to treat and often leads to a decrease in vision. Such patients are often on systemic anti-inflammatory therapy, including hormonal drugs. And if suddenly a person falls ill with a coronavirus, then the treatment of uveitis can come into conflict with the treatment of a covid infection.

The eyes are the “entrance” gate for the virus

In one of our previous materials, another expert, the head of the Center for Diagnosing Disorders in Patients Who Received a Coronavirus Infection COVID-19 and Prevention of Severe Complications in Case of Infection, Maria Petina said that damage to the organs of vision, spasms of the eye muscles, disturbances in the functioning of the optic nerve and Retinal inflammation is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. According to the doctor, there are studies stating that the eyes are the “entrance” gate for the virus into our body and they are affected in the first place. This was mentioned at the very beginning of the pandemic – the virus infects the mucous membrane of the eye. This is exacerbated by the fact that the pH (a measure of acidity) of the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus matches the pH of a human tear. The virus, having got on the mucous membrane of the eye, perfectly lingers there – the eyes, in turn, begin, according to sensations, as if to “melt”. Frequent ophthalmic manifestations of the effects of coronavirus are coronavirus conjunctivitis and blepharitis.

To protect your eyes, it is recommended to follow safety measures – wear not only masks and gloves, but also special goggles, and do not touch your eyes with dirty hands. With complaints of decreased vision, the appearance of spots before the eyes, distortion of lines, narrowing of the visual fields, you should immediately contact an ophthalmologist!

How to help yourself with visual impairment

On the Web, you can find many reviews of patients who complain of a decrease in the quality of vision after suffering a coronavirus. Experts also attribute this to an almost massive transition to remote work and an increase in work on desktops. Eye fatigue, for obvious reasons, has increased significantly. More often than others, people aged 40+ complain when natural age-related changes in the lens occur. This makes it harder to focus on close objects. The increase in visual load in some cases accelerated the inevitable age-related changes.

But at the same time, one should not ignore the increased load on vision due to the remote format of work. How can you help yourself if you feel that your vision has become worse?

First, keep an eye on the distance between your eyes and the screen of your smartphone, computer or TV. The smaller it is, the stronger the tension of the intraocular muscles. Another negative factor when using gadgets is the slowdown in blinking movements. This leads to a violation of the stability of the precorneal tear film and to the development of dry eye syndrome.

To reduce the load, be sure to take breaks – break away from the screens of phones, laptops every 40 minutes. Secondly, be sure to walk every day, a walk is the best and most accessible gymnastics for the eyes.


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