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There are increasing findings that the coronavirus affects the eye as well as the damage it causes to the lungs, heart and brain. In the studies conducted, it is emphasized that eye problems due to Covid-19 have been common recently. So can Covid-19 cause permanent or temporary vision loss? What kind of measures do I need to take? Experts Turkey Medicals told us…

To date, many data have been collected on the ways in which the coronavirus, which has become even more deadly with the variants, spreads, the damage it causes to the body, and the symptoms it causes. In general, symptoms such as chest pains, cough, weakness, and shortness of breath stand out when viewed.

The virus can cause permanent damage, especially to the lungs and heart. In fact, a recent UK study also found that the coronavirus can trigger a large number of neurological problems. In the study, it was explained that even mild Covid-19 can cause shrinkage in the brain.

In addition to all this, it has been seen for some time that Covid-19 has also affected the eye. The results of the studies conducted so far on relationship between Covid-19 and eye involvement are quite suggestive.

For example, it has been evident that the coronavirus can infect the eye in addition to the respiratory system. The findings are based on a patient in China who developed an attack of eye blood pressure shortly after recovering from Covid-19. The patient is taken to surgery, and as a result of eye tissue tests, evidence of Covid-19 is obtained.


A spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Association of Turkey, Dr. “For eye health, it is very important to know what it means for the virus to circulate around the eye,” says in a statement about the relationship between coronavirus and the eye after emerging cases. Also underlined is that eye problems limited to Covid-19 have been common recently.


The infectious diseases specialist whose opinions have applied to on the subject said that there has not been a very serious study on the eye with coronavirus to date, but there is also an intense ‘ACE2 receptor’ in the eye tissue.

Eye nerve involvement sometimes occurs due to coagulation, and sometimes with direct eye nerve involvement. At the time of the first outbreak, we were interested in clarifying the data on the transmission of the virus, especially from the ‘conjunctiva’, that is, the inner part of the eyelids and the membrane covering the white part of the eye.

In the literature, there are now more frequent reports of temporary or permanent vision loss during or after Covid, and the data obtained on the field is as follows:

With conducted randomized screening of Covid-19 PCR-positive patients with expired isolation period and no eye complaints at the end of 2020, it has been found that in a third of these patients, the transmission of the optic nerve in the eye is impaired. This is not yet printed information. It is currently in the process of being evaluated in a journal, but the result is cared about. Because according to clinical observations in Turkey, they have watched patients who have experienced partial vision loss due to Covid-19 infection.

This situation may also be permanent is stressed, therefore it is of serious importance, Turkey Medicals Prof. Dr. “Recently, the World Health Organization has identified the ‘Long Covid-19’ syndrome and identified the clinical picture of what we call the ‘foggy brain’ as its main finding,” was said. In other words, it is not even from work that non-pulmonary clinical pictures sit on the agenda as a burden of disease after the corona,” was said.


A citizen in Turkey who was recently infected with coronavirus lost his eyesight as a result of blockage in the left eye vessels due to the virus. A few more cases in Turkey and around the world had been on the agenda before. So, could variants be the most important factor affecting this situation?

To this question, Turkey Medicals member Prof. Dr. “It is difficult to say anything for sure, but it may be,” was response.

”We have found cases of partial, complete permanent or temporary loss of vision in the field,” he said, “The variants are very dangerous” and elaborated follows:

“The possibility of changing the clinical picture of some variants is always of interest to the scientific world. For example, the Delta variant… In the variants before the delta, the clinical picture in pregnant women was not so severe. But now it is very severe and the mortality rate is high. As such, the loss of taste and smell was also raised after the UK variant. Also, diarrhea… it seems that it would not be very correct to link it only to a coincidence. Therefore, variants may even be the main source of the problem.”


1- Why can the coronavirus affect the eye?

The Covid-19 virus acts by binding to the ACE2 receptor located in human cells. ACE2 receptors are located in the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract (the path from the mouth to the anus, which includes all organs of the digestive system) and vascular structures in the body. For this reason, respiratory problems and problems related to vascular problems are observed in patients infected with Covid-19.

It is very difficult to say exactly how it affects the eye. Possible theories are that droplet infections in the respiratory tract are associated with transmission to the eye and lacrimal gland involvement through the tear duct or blood through the nasal passage. In a small number of studies, the virus has been found in many cases on the surface of the eye, and its mechanism has not been fully revealed.

Until now, the exact opposite was known. The relationship between coronavirus and diabetes is surprising, because now the exact opposite has been known.

2- How is the overall result obtained in the studies conducted so far on the subject?

There are few studies on the relationship between Covid-19 and eye involvement. But recently, when cases have increased, the number of studies has also increased. Although there were no eye findings in the studies performed, when viewed by PCR method, the virus was found on the surface of the eye in half of the small group of patients.

In general, when looking at the results, it is thought that the virus holds the eye at different rates, which is due to the difference in the isolation methods used in the studies. Due to the fact that the virus is transmitted by air and the eye is open to all types of transmission, it can be considered that the eye is also associated with the virus in many asymptomatic patients. The appearance of eye signs is related to the virus load that a person receives and the state of his immune system.

3- There is information that eye redness and eye watering occur in the first place in people who have contracted the coronavirus. Is this a common thing, or is it temporary?

It is true that this condition is found in people who have had a severe Covid-19 infection. The most common signs are redness of the eye, burning-stinging, decubitus, and conjunctivitis, also popularly known as red eye disease. Since the virus infects the vascular structures, the eye can be seen bleeding. In some cases, this picture may also be accompanied by membrane formations of different density. Covid-19 sheds the retinal layer that allows us to see.


4- Does the coronavirus cause eye vein occlusion?

The coronavirus holds the retinal layer, which forms the back layer of the eye and allows us to see, in different ways. A study published in the Lancet found that about 10 percent of patients had hemorrhages, thickening of vascular structures, and folds. In more serious cases, vascular occlusions were observed in the retina. Different degrees of vision loss were also experienced in patients due to retinal vein occlusion.

The new gospel against the epidemic:

Vein occlusion is a disease that leads to sudden vision loss and permanently affects vision. Patients often turn to the clinic with sudden loss of vision or blurred vision. During the examinations, bleeding and edema of the retinal vessels are detected. Having a blockage in a vein near the center of vision causes vision to decrease permanently. It is not possible to know in which area and for how much weight the blockage of the vessel will be. That is why early diagnosis is extremely important. After diagnosis, a needle or laser should be inserted into the eye.


5- Is there a way to prevent the corona from causing damage to the eye? What measures should be taken?

There is no way to directly prevent the transmission of Covid-19 to the eye. Here, the most important way of protection is to prevent the transmission of the virus by wearing a mask, and to ensure that the disease is transmitted milder as a vaccine. The eye is one of the most vulnerable organs, since it is exposed even with a mask on. Exposure to the virus, especially indoors, the risk of direct transmission by taking the hands to the eye makes it difficult to protect the eye.

The use of glasses may be protective in areas where the virus is at high risk. It is extremely important to keep your hands clean by using hand sanitizers. We also recommend the use of drops with protective antibiotics in mild cases when the virus grips the eye.


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President of Organ Transplant Center at MedicalPark Hospital Antalya

Turkey's world-renowned organ transplant specialist. Dr. Demirbaş has 104 international publications and 102 national publications.

Physician's Resume:

Born on August 7, 1963 in Çorum, Prof. Dr. Alper Demirbaş has been continuing his work as the President of MedicalPark Antalya Hospital Organ Transplantation Center since 2008.

Prof. who performed the first tissue incompatible kidney transplant in Turkey, the first blood type incompatible kidney transplant, the first kidney-pancreas transplant program and the first cadaveric donor and live donor liver transplant in Antalya. Dr. As of August 2016, Alper Demirbaş has performed 4900 kidney transplants, 500 liver transplants and 95 pancreas transplants.

In addition to being the chairman of 6 national congresses, he has also been an invited speaker at 12 international and 65 national scientific congresses. Dr. Alper Demirbaş was married and the father of 1 girl and 1 boy.


Eczacibasi Medical Award of 2002, Akdeniz University Service Award of 2005, Izder Medical Man of the Year Award of 2006, BÖHAK Medical Man of the Year Award of 2007, Sabah Mediterranean Newspaper Scientist of the Year Award of 2007, ANTIKAD Scientist of the Year Award of 2009, Social Ethics Association Award of 2010, Işık University Medical Man of the Year Award of 2015, VTV Antalya's Brand Value Award of 2015.


Doctor of Medicine Degree Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Ankara, General Surgeon Ministry of Health Turkey EKFMG (0-477-343-8), University of Miami School of Medicine Member of Multiple Organ Transplant, ASTS Multiorgan Transplant Scholarship. Lecturer at Kyoto University. Lecturer at University of Essen, Research assistant at the University of Cambridge .

Professional Members:

American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Transplantation Society Nominated, Middle East and Southern Africa Council Transplantation Society 2007, International Liver Transplantation Association, Turkish Transplantation Association, Turkish Society of Surgery, Turkish Hepatobiliary Surgery Association.


Our website contents consist of articles approved by our Web and Medical Editorial Board with the contributions of our physicians. Our contents are prepared only for informational purposes for public benefit. Be sure to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Medically Reviewed by Professor Doctor Alper Demirbaş
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