COVID-19 and the eye: a review.


Domínguez-Varela IA(1), Rodríguez-Gutiérrez LA(1), Morales-Mancillas NR(1), Barrera-Sánchez M(1), Macías-Rodríguez Y(1), Valdez-García JE(1).
Author information:
(1)Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Monterrey, México.


BACKGROUND: To provide a review for general practitioners and medical specialists about the most common eye complaints and ocular manifestations in a COVID-19 patient. METHODS: Reviewed 50 articles referenced in 4 databases from 20 December 2019 to 16 September 2020. RESULTS: Of the 50 articles reviewed, 26 met the criteria for analysis and were included in the study. Among them were 5 reviews, 6 case series, 7 case reports, 4 cross-sectional studies, 2 systematic reviews, 1 cohort study and 1 correspondence. We found that the prevalence of ocular manifestations in patients during the course of COVID-19 varied between 0.8% and 31.6%, depending on the study design. Symptoms of acute conjunctivitis were the most frequent clinical findings. Acute phase reactants were also correlated to ocular manifestations and the severity of the systemic disease in many reports. CONCLUSIONS: Ocular manifestations are not uncommon in COVID-19 patients and have been associated with higher levels of acute phase reactants as well as a higher degree of severity of the systemic disease. We recommend that all physicians consider COVID-19 as a differential diagnosis in the presence of acute conjunctivitis with or without systemic symptoms.