Covid-19 could increase a person’s risk of developing dry eye disease – symptoms to spot

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Researchers from the University of Hong Kong reviewed 228 cases up to three months after infection and compared them to over 100 health patients.

The results from the small scale study showed those with COVID-19 had a higher risk of dry eye disease and around 20 percent of patients in the study had one symptom of the disease.

Symptoms reported by patients included blurred vision and itching, painful, or burning sensations in the eyes.

Other symptoms experienced were:
• Discharge and redness
• Light sensitivity
• Lid swelling.

This is not the first time COVID-19 has been linked to eye conditions.

Dr Nina Aslam, a GP from the UK, has previously said the Omicron variant is linked to conjunctivitis: “Cell receptors by which COVID variants enter the body are present in the eye, “Cell receptors by which COVID variants enter the body are present in the eye.

“The virus penetrates the body by tricking the receptors for the Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE-2) into thinking the virus is the ACE-2 enzyme.

“These receptors are found in different parts of the eye — cells which line the retina, eye white and eyelid.”

Meanwhile, the WHO is investigating whether the vaccine used to treat COVID-19 could be behind a handful of patients experiencing tinnitus post-vaccination.

The WHO has reported 367 cases of tinnitus globally as a result of the vaccine out of 11 billion doses administered so far.

As a result, hearing problems associated with the vaccine are statistically extremely rare.

Nevertheless, the World Health Organization (WHO) is taking the problem seriously.

In a newsletter the organisation wrote: “A plausible mechanism of action involving the vestibulocochlear nerve has been suggested.

“Awareness of this possible link may help healthcare professionals and those vaccinated to monitor symptoms and seek care as appropriate.

“As there is still only limited data in the literature providing evidence for this link, further monitoring is required.”

To put the prevalence of tinnitus in a statistical context, 367 out of 11 billion doses equates to 0.000003336363636 percent.

Meanwhile, this Friday the government is set to lift the remaining Covid restrictions as part of its Living with Covid plan.

Free testing is ending for the general public, but will remain for those in high risk settings and for NHS staff.

While doctors and nurses will still be able to have access to free tests, the government is ending free parking in NHS hospitals.

For more information on eye health contact the NHS, contact your GP or speak to an optometrist.

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