COVID-19 habitually destroys our respiratory system but where else is this deadly virus settling? A patient hospitalized for complications related to the novel coronavirus reported coming down with an acute glaucoma attack after being released for treatment.
She was 64 years old putting her in the high-risk category for patients attempting a full recovery after coming down with COVID-19 once the virus infiltrated their system.
This study coupled with recent research puts an emphasis on the importance of wearing protective eye gear in public settings. The infection and death rates are climbing, once again, to lethal levels so it’s best to be prepared for the worst.
The patient in China
Evidence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was found in a 64-year-old female patient’s eyes after being rushed to surgery shortly after recovering from a near-fatal case of COVID-19. It was only 18 days after recovering from a bad case of COVID-19 that she started experiencing weird symptoms in her eyes. The surgeons had to perform ocular surgery to remedy an acute glaucoma attack. What are some signs you may have this complication post-recovery?
About a week after being released from the hospital for an acute case of the coronavirus this patient started to experience pain and vision loss in one eye. If you notice any of the following symptoms after recovering from a seemingly mild case of COVID-19, call your primary care physician or emergency ocular surgeon immediately.
Doctors from this recent brief outline the symptoms next.
“An acute angle-closure glaucoma attack is one of the few true ophthalmic emergencies. Presenting symptoms include severe eye pain or pressure sensation, redness, blurred vision, seeing halos around lights, and nausea and vomiting.”
If left untreated this condition could cause significant amounts of optic nerve damage.
When medication used to treat inflammation associated with this condition did not work they were forced to relieve pressure under the knife. While they were there they took samples of this patient’s eye tissue to examine it for the prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Dr. Ying Yan works at the General Hospital of the Central Theater Command in Wuhan and was the co-author of this eye-opening information. He believes this study gives a significant amount of useful information to warrant exercising trepidation when it comes to going out and protecting our eyes from being affected by the virus in the process.
Ways to protect your eyes from COVID-19 complications
Doctors must undertake further research to determine the origin of infection in the eyes. Did it come from an unsanitary hand while she was being treated for respiratory complications two weeks prior? Was she vulnerable to getting this virus in her eyes from viral load particles swimming in the air? Certain medications can also trigger an eye infection so that is also worth looking into. Researchers also need to take a deeper look into the long-lasting complications COVID-19 has when it reaches the eyes for better treatment options in the future.
In the meantime, it’s best for essential workers in hospitals to use goggles and face shields to protect patients and themselves. The average person can continue to wash and sanitize hands thoroughly, avoid touching their eyes as much as possible, and wear sunglasses or other frames to protect your eyes when you take a weekly trip to the grocery store. A brief released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology back in May claims sunglasses can help protect you a little bit from viral droplets but it should not be your first line of defense. The information linked above also includes more advice from eye doctors on how to protect your eyes from infection.
“Corrective lenses or sunglasses can shield your eyes from infected respiratory droplets. But keep in mind that they don’t provide 100% security. The virus can still reach your eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms of your glasses.”
Face shields are probably more useful to protect those peepers but any sort of COVID-19 mitigation techniques are worth engaging in. The best way to protect yourself from this virus is to wash your hands, avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, social distance in public, and shelter in place unless you absolutely need to go out for essential items.
We are learning more about the novel coronavirus every day. It’s important we stay up to date with any and all new information released by the Center for Disease Control to arm ourselves against this insidious virus.
Ophthalmologists have their work cut out for them in regards to a better understanding of how this virus infiltrates and manifests destruction in our eyes.