The Little Known Coronavirus Symptom Affecting People's Eyes
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Covid cases are on the rise again in the UK, with numbers surging by 43 percent last week.
It's the highest number of infections since the start of May, and is thought to be the result of new Omicron variants – BA.4 and BA.5.
With cases rising, experts are warning sufferers about some of the symptoms to look out for, including blurry vision.
Professor Tim Spector, of the ZOE Symptom Study App, estimates that around 50 percent of 'new colds' are in fact Covid, and experts suggest that there are two distinct symptoms of the latest variants – fatigue and dizziness, which can present with headaches, blurry vision and loss of appetite.
According to data released last year, more than 10 percent of people who contract Covid develop eye or ear symptoms, which can persist for some time.
Meanwhile, separate studies indicate that during the first 18 months of the pandemic, around 11 percent of sufferers developed eye issues.
The most common is thought to be conjunctivitis, with 89 percent of people who experience eye symptoms being affected by the condition, according to researchers in Iran.
Other symptoms include dry eyes, redness, itching, blurry vision and sensitivity to light. Bhupendra Patel, of the University of Utah’s John A. Moran Eye Center believes around a third of those with Covid have some form of eye issue.
Hearing and balance issues can also be signs of Covid. In a 2021 study, Zahra Jafari, audiologist and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, reported dizziness or vertigo in 12 percent of patients. Tinnitus and hearing loss were also recorded.
Last week, an estimated 1,415,600 people in the UK had Covid, with the ZOE app reporting the most common symptoms among the fully vaccinated are a runny nose, headache, sneezing, sore throat and a persistent cough.
"The previous ‘traditional’ symptoms as still outlined on the government website, such as anosmia (loss of smell), shortness of breath and fever rank way down the list, at 6, 29 and 8 respectively. A persistent cough now ranks at number 5 if you’ve had two vaccine doses, so is no longer the top indicator of having COVID," scientists at ZOE explain.
"Curiously, we noticed that people who had been vaccinated and then tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to report sneezing as a symptom compared with those without a jab."