DeKalb, IL — COVID-19 symptoms can be wide ranging but new research has found that the first possible sign of the coronavirus could be sore eyes.
Researchers from the Anglia Ruskin University surveyed 83 virus patients and found that 81% reported eye issues within two weeks of other symptoms.
Eye irritation regarding COVID-19 as conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is known to be a symptom but researchers want the label "conjunctivitis" changed, as pink eye symptoms may not present in the typical way people expect.
"Conjunctivitis has been reported in people suffering from COVID-19. However, many ocular symptoms are associated with the term 'conjunctivitis' which may be misleading," the study states.
Researchers pinpoint sore eyes specifically because the symptom had the highest distinction of frequency between coronavirus patients and those without the virus. Only 5% of participants reported sore eyes before experiencing symptoms, compared to 16% who reported sore eyes during their illness.
"This study is important because it helps us understand more about how COVID-19 can infect the conjunctiva and how this then allows the virus to spread through the body,” Shahina Pardhan, director of the Vision and Eye Research Institute at ARU, said, according to Yahoo.