Klin Monbl Augenheilkd 2021; 238(05): 555-560
DOI: 10.1055/a-1344-8138
Übersicht

Ocular Involvement in COVID-19: Conjunctivitis and More

Article in several languages: English | deutsch
1  Zentrum für Augenheilkunde, Universität zu Köln, Medizinische Fakultät und Uniklinik Köln, Köln, Deutschland
,
Rafael S. Grajewski
1  Zentrum für Augenheilkunde, Universität zu Köln, Medizinische Fakultät und Uniklinik Köln, Köln, Deutschland
,
Philomena A. Wawer Matos
1  Zentrum für Augenheilkunde, Universität zu Köln, Medizinische Fakultät und Uniklinik Köln, Köln, Deutschland
,
Adam Kopecky
1  Zentrum für Augenheilkunde, Universität zu Köln, Medizinische Fakultät und Uniklinik Köln, Köln, Deutschland
2  Klinik für Augenheilkunde, Universitätskrankenhaus Ostrava, Ostrava, Tschechische Republik
,
Ludwig M. Heindl
1  Zentrum für Augenheilkunde, Universität zu Köln, Medizinische Fakultät und Uniklinik Köln, Köln, Deutschland
,
Claus Cursiefen
1  Zentrum für Augenheilkunde, Universität zu Köln, Medizinische Fakultät und Uniklinik Köln, Köln, Deutschland
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

Since the beginning of 2020, SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen of COVID-19, has led to a global pandemic that also affects ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists can be confronted at any time with potentially COVID-19 associated ocular symptoms or manifestations in patients and also become infected through close patient contact. Even without systemic infection, the ocular surface can come into direct contact with aerosols or liquids containing SARS-CoV-2 particles. A smear infection through hand-to-eye contact is also possible. A purely isolated ocular infection has not yet been shown. Rather, it seems that ocular complications occur in the context of a systemic infection. However, ocular symptoms can also be the first symptom of COVID-19. The most common ocular complication of COVID-19 is mild follicular conjunctivitis. Haemorrhagic conjunctivitis, dry eye disease, episcleritis, or retinal involvement can also occur less frequently. There are currently no evidence-based therapy recommendations for COVID-19 associated diseases of the ocular surface. Artificial tears might be helpful for symptom relief. There is no evidence for antiviral, antibiotic, or anti-inflammatory therapies, but these medications might be used in individual cases. Potential intraocular complications include retinal artery occlusions and haemorrhages, as well as cotton wool spots caused by complement-mediated thrombotic angiopathy. Neuro-ophthalmological complications including Miller-Fisher syndrome or infarct-related central blindness can also occur in very rare cases. Knowledge of potential transmission routes and personal protective equipment is just as essential for each ophthalmologist as a basic knowledge of potential ocular symptoms and complications.

Shared senior authorship: LMH and CC contributed equally to this manuscript and should both be acknowledged as senior authors.




Publication History

Received: 20 December 2020

Accepted: 16 March 2021

Publication Date:
21 May 2021 (online)

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