Ocular Abnormalities Present in Patients with Coronavirus Disease

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Ocular abnormalities were present in approximately 33% of patients with COVID-19, according to a case series published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

In this study, researchers retrospectively reviewed ocular manifestations and blood tests results and reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from nasopharyngeal and conjunctival swabs from 38 patients with COVID-19 treated in Hubei province (mean (SD) age: 65.8 (16.6) years).  

Approximately 32% of patients had ocular manifestations such as conjunctival hyperemia, chemosis, epiphora, or increased secretions. These patients were more likely to have a severe form of COVID-19.

Of the patients with ocular abnormalities, approximately 92% had positive results for SARS-CoV-2 on RT-PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs and 16.7% had positive conjunctival and nasopharyngeal swabs.

“These data may assist ophthalmologists and others to understand the ocular manifestations of COVID-19, thus enhancing the diagnosis and prevention of the transmission of the disease,” the authors wrote. 


Wu P, Duan F, Luo C, et al. Characteristics of ocular findings of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hubei Province, China. JAMA Ophthalmology. Published online March 31, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.1291

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