Coronavirus: Eye pain may be a symptom – ‘tends to happen in the later stages

Coronavirus: 'Wrong time to lift restrictions' says Greenhalgh

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Free testing for COVID-19 from the NHS has ended for most people in England. Nonetheless, there are key signs to look out for, and others which may be less common. Specsavers notes there is some scientific evidence to suggest that sore, painful eyes are a symptom of coronavirus. It explains researchers from Anglia Ruskin University found that of the 83 Covid-positive patients tested, 16 percent reported experiencing sore eyes.

The organisation said: “Most patients experienced these ocular symptoms within two weeks of other more common COVID-19 symptoms, and most said that they lasted for less than two weeks.

“So, if you’re experiencing eye soreness without other Covid symptoms, it’s likely that the pain would be related to something else.”

It notes all of these symptoms can be caused by an eye condition called conjunctivitis.

Specsavers adds: “Only about one to three percent of COVID-19 patients experience this, so it’s quite rare, and tends to happen in the later stages accompanying a continuous cough and fever.”

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The Mayo Clinic says: “Pink eye (conjunctivitis) can be a COVID-19 symptom.

“Research suggests that the most common eye problems linked to COVID-19 are light sensitivity, sore eyes and itchy eyes.”

The NHS says: “Conjunctivitis is an eye condition caused by infection or allergies. It usually gets better in a couple of weeks without treatment.

“Conjunctivitis is also known as red or pink eye. It usually affects both eyes and makes them red, burn or feel gritty, producing pus that sticks to lashes, itch or water.”

For some time the NHS has listed symptoms of coronavirus in adults as including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. It has now updated its page on the main symptoms of Covid.

The health body lists the following signs in adults:

  • A high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • An aching body
  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick or being sick.

It also notes: “The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.”

The NHS also says children and young people aged 18 and under can get coronavirus, “but it’s usually a mild illness and most get better in a few days”.

Current advice is to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and either a high temperature, or you do not feel well enough to go to work or do your normal activities.

The NHS suggests people take extra care to avoid close contact with anyone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

“You can go back to your normal activities when you feel better or do not have a high temperature,” the NHS website reads.

The NHS also notes free testing for COVID-19 from the NHS has ended for most people in England.

It states: “If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you are no longer required to do a rapid lateral flow or PCR test.

“If you still want to get tested and you’re not eligible for a free NHS test, you must pay for a COVID-19 test yourself.

“You can buy a COVID-19 test from some pharmacies and retailers, in person or online.”

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