Sore eyes are ‘significant symptom of Covid-19’

Sore eyes could be a significant new symptom of Covid-19, a new study has suggested.

Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University found that more than 81 per cent of people who tested positive for coronavirus reported issues with their eyes.

The team said that the study, which is the first of its kind, was important because it will help the medical community understand more about how the contagious virus can infect the eyes and then spread through the body.

Researchers analysed data from 83 participants, who were asked to complete a questionnaire about their symptoms, and if they suffered from those ailments before they fell ill.

Sore and gritty-feeling eyes was more common when participants had Covid, with 16 per cent having the symptom, compared to just five per cent who complained of the ailment before testing positive.

Out of the 83 respondents, 81 per cent reported issues with their eyes, and almost all of them said the problems lasted less than two weeks.

And there was a slight increase in people suffering from light sensitivity, or photophobia.

Lead study author Professor Shahina Pardhan wants sore eyes to be included on the official list of Covid-19 symptoms, alongside fatigue, fever and a dry, continuous cough.

“While it is important that ocular symptoms are included in the list of possible Covid-19 symptoms, we argue that sore eyes should replace ‘conjunctivitis’ as it is important to differentiate from symptoms of other types of infections, such as bacterial infections, which manifest as mucous discharge or gritty eyes,” she explained.