You may be familiar with many of the common symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, and fatigue. There are also less common symptoms like headache or diarrhea. But what about eye symptoms like blurry vision?
The novel coronavirus typically enters your body through your nose and mouth, but it can also get in through your eyes. This can happen when respiratory droplets carrying the virus spray into your face or when you touch something with the virus on it and then touch your eyes.
While it doesn’t appear that COVID-19 directly causes blurry vision, this symptom may occur due to other eye issues linked to COVID-19.
This article will take a closer look at this topic as well as other eye problems that can be caused by COVID-19.
COVID-19 is unlikely to cause blurry vision by itself. However, COVID-19 can lead to other eye issues, such as conjunctivitis and dry eye that may cause blurriness.
Let’s look at these two eye conditions in more detail.
Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the tissue that covers the white part of your eye and the inner part of your eyelids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or allergies. You may also know it as pink eye.
One of the symptoms of conjunctivitis is blurry or hazy vision. Other symptoms can include:
- red eyes
- itching or burning eyes
- watery eyes
- feeling like something is in your eye
- swollen eyelids
- sensitivity to light
Generally speaking, conjunctivitis is quite rare in COVID-19. An
It’s possible, but unconfirmed, that conjunctivitis may occur more often in hospitalized individuals. An
If you have conjunctivitis due to COVID-19, try applying a clean, cool compress onto your eyes. This may help ease swelling and itching as your body fights the infection.
Your eye doctor may also prescribe medicated drops or ointment for your eyes.
Tears help to lubricate and protect your eyes. You have dry eye syndrome when your eyes don’t make enough tears.
Some individuals with dry eye may experience blurry vision. Other symptoms to look out for include:
- stinging or burning eyes
- feeling like something is in your eye
- red, irritated eyes
- pain when wearing contact lenses
There are a few self-care options for addressing dry eye due to COVID-19 and other causes. This includes:
- using artificial tears
- applying a warm compress to your eyes
- using a humidifier to add moisture to dry indoor air
If your dry eye symptoms don’t improve or get worse, contact your eye doctor to find out about other treatment options.
Aside from conjunctivitis and dry eye, COVID-19 has been linked with some other eye issues. These are typically quite rare, with most reported issues occurring only in a single person or in a small group of people.
Also of note, an
If you’re concerned about the novel coronavirus and your eye health, consider taking the following steps to protect your eyes:
- Wash your hands. Frequent handwashing can help prevent the virus from getting into your eyes by touching or rubbing. Use soap and water to wash your hands, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds before drying your hands with a clean towel.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes. Avoid touching your eyes if your hands aren’t clean. If soap and water aren’t available and you need to rub your eyes or adjust your glasses, use a clean tissue or towel instead of your fingers.
- Wear glasses. Glasses can serve as an extra barrier between your eyes and your environment, making it a little harder for the virus to enter your eyes.
- Use caution with contacts. If you wear contact lenses, you need to touch your eyes more than others. Remember to always put in and remove your contact lenses with clean hands. You may also want to consider wearing glasses more often.
- Use caution with cosmetics. If you wear cosmetic products that need to be applied around your eyes, be sure to only do so with clean hands. Never share your cosmetics with others.
COVID-19 has a wide variety of symptoms that can vary from one person to the next. However, some symptoms are more common than others.
Other less common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- loss of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- digestive symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
These symptoms may often, but not always, appear in a certain order. An August 2020 modeling study found that, based off of data from two different sets of people with COVID-19, symptoms were most likely to proceed in this order:
Typical order of COVID-19 symptoms
- muscle pain, sore throat, headache
- nausea, vomiting
If you have COVID-19 and experience any of the following eye symptoms, contact your eye doctor promptly:
It’s also vital to be aware of the signs that COVID-19 has become serious. Symptoms to watch out for include:
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain or pressure that doesn’t go away
- skin, lips, or nails that are blue, gray, or pale in color
- difficulty staying awake
- trouble waking up
If you or someone else is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, go to the emergency room or call 911. Make sure to let first responders know that you’re seeking medical attention for someone with COVID-19.
COVID-19 probably doesn’t directly cause blurry vision. However, it can potentially lead to conjunctivitis or dry eyes. Blurry vision is a symptom of both of these eye conditions.
Contact your eye doctor if you have COVID-19 and experience blurry vision or other symptoms like eye redness or pain. They can offer advice on how to care for your eyes as you recover and may prescribe eyedrops or ointment.