10 May 2021
Introduction: The symptoms of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) may range from mild to severe. Patients usually present with fever, cough, and other respiratory tract symptoms, but may also be asymptomatic. Some studies have also indicated the ocular involvement by the virus. This study aims to look deeply into all ophthalmic findings seen in COVID-19 patients and their clinical characteristics.
Methods: This longitudinal study was conducted in the COVID-19 unit of a tertiary care hospital, Pakistan. Data of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection between July 2020 and March 2021 were included in the study. Ophthalmological examination was done at the time of admission and was repeated every alternate day to look for any ophthalmological manifestation.
Results: Out of 441 (n= 441), 61 (13.8%) participants had ophthalmological findings on examination. Patients with ophthalmological findings were significantly younger compared to patients without ophthalmological findings (42 ± 6 years vs. 44 ± 7; p-value, 0.03). C-reactive protein (CRP) was also significantly higher in patients with ophthalmological findings (122.2 ± 16.2 vs. 112.8 ± 19.8; p-value, 0.005). The most common ophthalmological finding was conjunctival irritation (50.8%), followed by diplopia (27.8%) and cotton wool spots (27.8%).
Conclusion: Ophthalmological findings are prevalent in patients with COVID-19. In this study, patients with higher CRP levels were associated with ophthalmological findings. It is important to conduct ophthalmological examinations in patients with COVID-19, as they may give a clue about other complications associated with COVID-19.