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Ocular and Systemic Complications of COVID-19: Impact on Patients and Healthcare

Authors
  • Leung, Ella H
  • Fan, Jason
  • Flynn, Harry W Jr
  • Albini, Thomas A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical Ophthalmology (Auckland, N.Z.)
Publisher
Dove
Publication Date
Jan 04, 2022
Volume
16
Pages
1–13
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2147/OPTH.S336963
PMID: 35018092
PMCID: PMC8742614
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Review
License
Unknown

Abstract

There is increasing information available about the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the systemic and ocular health of patients, as well as the effects of delayed health care. This mini-review summarizes the potential complications and treatments of COVID-19. Systemic findings include respiratory illness, risk of thromboembolic events, and neurologic findings. Some patients may develop persistent symptoms even after the infection resolves. Effective treatment options include glucocorticoids, antivirals, interleukin-6 antagonists, monoclonal antibodies, Janus kinase inhibitors and vaccines. Potential ocular findings of COVID-19 include conjunctivitis, cranial nerve palsies, and microvascular changes in the retina; most symptoms resolved over time. During the lockdown periods, teleophthalmology was utilized to triage non-urgent issues; patients who did present to emergency departments tended to have more severe disease with worse visual prognoses. While transient delays in outpatient ophthalmic care may be tolerated in some patients, others experienced significant vision loss with interruptions in treatments. Resumption of ophthalmic care as soon as possible may help mitigate the effects of delayed care due to the pandemic.

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