Is Pink Eye a Common Symptom of COVID-19?

Is Pink Eye a Common Symptom of COVID-19?

One of the later observed symptoms of COVID-19 infection, pink eye, has been added to the list of symptoms in the new strain of coronavirus. With a spurt in COVID-19 confirmed cases in the second wave, some of the less common symptoms including pink eye, skin rashes, dizziness and nausea have come to the fore. Pink eye, usually referred to as conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the tissue in the eyes causing redness and swelling.

With the rising confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, it’s time to arm up with complete information about conjunctivitis so that you can take the necessary steps for a speedy recovery. Well, conjunctivitis is a bacterial or viral infection that spreads from one eye to the other. Some of the symptoms of conjunctivitis include:

  • Pink or red colour in the white of the eye
  • Irritation, itching and burning in the eyes
  • Thick discharge from the eyes 
  • Swelling of the thin layer that lines the white part of the eye or eyelids 
  • Sensitivity to light or slightly blurred vision

While conjunctivitis is not the symptom that occurs at the early stage of COVID-19 infection, it usually happens gradually with the advancement of infection. 

Is pink eye always a symptom of COVID-19?

Well, irritation and redness in the eyes does not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19. Some of the other reasons why you may have redness in the eyes include:

  • allergy
  • digital eye strain 
  • foreign object stuck in the eye

If you experience redness in the eyes with or without fever, sore throat, dry cough, fatigue and headache, make sure you consult your doctor as soon as possible. After a proper diagnosis, your doctor will recommend whether it is because of the COVID-19 infection or not and how to manage the symptoms. 

How long does conjunctivitis infection last?

In most cases, recovery from conjunctivitis infection takes between 4 to 15 days depending on the severity of the infection and medical treatment. 

Steps you can adopt to prevent conjunctivitis infection 

You can reduce the risk of spreading or getting conjunctivitis by following good hygiene. Here are some precautionary measures you can take:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. 
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes if you experience an itch or irritation.
  • Maintain social distancing especially when someone around you has the infection. 
  • Do not share eye makeup, towels or spectacles with others. 
  • Replace your contact lenses or use spectacles if there is redness in your eyes. 
  • Rinse your eyes a few times or use prescribed eye drops if you experience any irritation. 
  • If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, avoid touching your eyes with unwashed hands. 

What’s the takeaway?

While some people might develop pink eye or conjunctivitis with other symptoms of COVID-19 infection, it is considered as a rare symptom. Whereas, if you experience itching and redness in the eyes with or without other symptoms of the coronavirus infection, make sure to consult a doctor immediately for timely treatment. 

By: Navreet Kaur | on 2021-05-19

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