Red and itchy eyes may be warning signs of Covid-19, but it may also happen when we are allergic. So how to distinguish between these two diseases?
In addition, experts also discovered that another less common but surprising symptom is conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.
This is what causes the whites of the eyes to be red or pink.
The causes of conjunctivitis include: viruses (including the types that cause the common cold); bacteria; irritants such as shampoo, dirt, smoke, and chlorine in the pool; reactions to eye drops; allergies to pollen, dust or smoke; fungi, Amoeba and parasites.
Pinkeye caused by certain bacteria and viruses can easily spread from person to person, but if diagnosed in time, it will not pose a threat to health. However, if it happens to a baby, family members should seek medical attention immediately.
Common symptoms of pinkeye include: redness of the whites of the eyes or inner eyelids; swelling of the conjunctiva; more tears than usual; thick yellow scaly discharge on the eyelashes, especially after sleeping (the eyelids may be difficult to open when waking up) Green or white discharge from the eyes; itchy or burning eyes; blurred vision; more sensitive to light; swollen lymph nodes (usually due to viral infection).
It is worth noting that red eye may not be a common symptom of Covid-19, but an underlying symptom. According to Sonal Tuli, an expert from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it is estimated that 5% of Covid-19 patients will experience this ocular symptom.
According to the data of the Iranian authors, combined with 38 studies, a total of 8,129 F0, about 11% of cases have eye problems, the most common of which is conjunctivitis. Other eye symptoms may include dryness, redness, itching, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and eye lumps.
However, allergies can also cause similar eye symptoms-including redness and itching. So how to distinguish whether pink eye is caused by Covid-19 or allergies?
Allergic conjunctivitis usually affects the eyes and is accompanied by itching, burning, and redness. In response to allergens, the body produces antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). This antibody activates special cells called mast cells in the lining of the eyes and respiratory tract to release inflammatory substances, including histamine. The body secretes histamine, which produces many allergy symptoms and signs, including red or pink eyes.
In the case of allergic conjunctivitis, you may experience severe itching, watery eyes, and eye irritation, accompanied by sneezing and runny nose. Most symptoms can be controlled with specific eye drops. You may also feel puffiness and puffiness around the eyes. It is also important to note that allergic conjunctivitis usually recurs at the same time each year.
Unlike allergies, viral conjunctivitis usually affects only one eye and sometimes both eyes at the same time. It can cause burning, redness, and tearing (maybe more viscous than tears).
SARS-CoV-2 conjunctivitis causes red eyes and is usually accompanied by other characteristic symptoms such as fever, cough, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath or chest pain, loss of smell/taste, nausea, and diarrhea. At this time, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Pinkeye caused by SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious and can be caused by direct or indirect contact with the eye secretions of an infected person.
One of the simple factors that distinguish allergy symptoms from Covid-19 is an eye exam. If your eyes are red, watery, and itchy, this may be a sign of an allergy. The symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 usually do not itch or shed tears. In addition, the biggest difference is that Covid-19 patients may have fever, while allergies do not cause fever.
If the eye symptoms are not accompanied by the typical symptoms of Covid-19 (fever, severe shortness of breath, cough, etc.), please use conventional methods for treatment first.
Even pinkeye caused by Covid-19 is the same as other viral pinkeye. There is currently no special treatment, only simple measures can be taken. Relieve the discomfort until the disease subsides on its own. According to Dr. Pandit, mild steroids and cold compresses are helpful. However, if symptoms worsen significantly within 72 hours, call your doctor.