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Five uncommon symptoms of COVID-19 that may go unnoticed

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Coronavirus enters your body via an enzyme called angiotensin-converting enzyme-2, or ACE2. Additionally, this enzyme is found in multiple parts of the body, including the lungs, heart, and even the membranes of the eyes. As a result, it’s unsurprising that people have reported experiencing eye symptoms following infection with Coronavirus.

According to a 2021 review published in the Journal of Ophthalmic & Vision Research, 11 percent of 8,200 patients infected with Coronavirus developed eyes symptoms.

Even worse, 83 percent of the 932 individuals who had eyes symptoms reported experiencing some type of pain.

Have you or a loved one ever encountered any of these symptoms?

Dry eyes

Out of those who developed eye symptoms, 16 percent had dry eyes. This occurs when your eye is not able to provide sufficient lubrication.

It can lead to itchiness, redness and blurry vision.


13.3 percent of people also experienced redness. This is mainly when the whites of your eyes become red.

It can be accompanied by a burning sensation or redness spreading to your eyelids.


A similar symptom to those who suffer from allergies or hay fever, 12.6 percent of people suffered from itchy eyes when they had Coronavirus.

An irritating symptom that is worsened when you itch or rub your eyes- daily cleaning with a cold clean washcloth is advised instead.

Eye pain

Although a fairly broad term, 9.6 percent of patients reported eye pain, which can differ from being severe to mild irritation.

Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University found that, of the 83 Coronavirus-positive patients they tested 16 percent reported experiencing sore eyes.

Conjunctivitis has also been listed by both the NHS and World Health Organisation (WHO) as a less common symptom of Coronavirus.


8.8 percent of people experienced discharge from either one or both eyes.

This tends to be either a white, yellow or green watery mucus and is another symptom of conjunctivitis.

Some experts believe that these symptoms are more common with newer variants of coronavirus, particularly the Alpha variant.

Other studies also found that light sensitivity, known as photophobia, is linked to Coronavirus.

Another study from Anglia Ruskin University found that 18 percent of patients tested, experienced photophobia.

If you suddenly experience eye pain of any kind, contact your local GP or a local optician.

Alternative causes of eye pain, un-related to Coronavirus include: allergies, digital eye strain and uncorrected glasses prescriptions.

Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

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