Coronavirus: Is eye pain a symptom of Covid-19? What the Internet Data Analysis Shows | HEALTH


The number of people writing “my eyes hurt” on Internet search engines looking for answers has increased in areas where most cases of the new coronavirus have been reported.

According to former Google data analyst Seth Stevens Davidovic, an increase in the number of people seeking eye pain “almost exclusively” in areas with high rates of coronary heart disease, such as New York, was observed in the last fortnight. New Jersey and Connecticut, which have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

How the eyes are affected by the coronary artery

Scientists are researching how the eyes are affected by Covid-19. There is some research that suggests that conjunctivitis is a symptom of the new coronavirus. In a study published in the journal JAMA Opthalmology, researchers in China examined the cases of 38 patients, 12 of whom had noticed some changes in their eyes since the day they were diagnosed with coronavirus, ie their eyes were too wet, the conjunctiva congestion and swelling of the eyelids and the surface of the eye. These symptoms were often seen in people with more severe manifestations of the disease.


Also, a nurse who cared for Covid-19 patients, Chelsea Ernest of the Life Care Center in Washington, told CNN that many of those seriously ill had red eyes. “It simply came to our notice then [τους ασθενείς]. The eyes are like suffering from an allergy. The white part of the eye is not red. It looks more like they have a red shadow on the outside of the eyes. ”

It is believed that the viral pink eye is a symptom of Covid-19, which develops in 1% to 3% of people diagnosed positively in the new coronavirus. In a study of more than a thousand Covid-19 patients in China published in NEJM, the researchers found “conjunctival congestion” in 0.8% of patients.

“There is some evidence that eye pain is a symptom of Covid-19 and searches on the Internet and elsewhere in the world. From mid-February to mid-March, these searches quadrupled in Spain and increased by 50% in Iran in March. In Italy, searches for “burning eyes” (“bruciore occhi” in March were five times more than usual, “said former Google data analyst Davidovic.

What about online eye pain research?

He noted that the search for eye pain did not appear to be related to allergies, as it was not related to high pollen concentrations or the time spent in front of computer and television screens by people trapped by lockdown. “I think the search data is an indication that eye pain may be a symptom of the disease,” he wrote in an article in the New York Times, adding that the search for eye pain is much less than for other symptoms. corona, such as loss of smell.

There is evidence that coronavirus can spread through the eyes, with the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that people avoid touching their eyes with unwashed hands.

A study published in the journal Ophtalmology found that the risk of transmitting the virus with tears was low, but “there is also evidence of coronary SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Covid-19 patients with conjunctivitis, although not yet cultured.” contagious virus from the conjunctivitis of any Covid-19 patient “, notes the American Federation of Ophthalmology (AAO).


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