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COVID-19 causes potential vision loss in patients in Turkey

COVID-19 causes potential vision loss in patients in Turkey

The lasting effects of COVID-19 among people are still being researched, although ‘long COVID,’ as it is known, continues to manifest as various illnesses and ailments.
A new impact of the disease in Turkey appears to be vision loss as several cases indicate. Professor Alper Şener, a member of the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board, says they came across findings of damage that the disease left on vision. Şener says studies show a 30% decline in “transmission rate” in optic nerves in the aftermath of a coronavirus infection.

Hamdiye Değer is one of the victims of vision loss problems. Hospitalized for coronavirus in the western city of Izmir two weeks ago after her health worsened, Değer also started losing sight in her right eye. Further examinations discovered a 50% loss in her right eye vision and she was administered medication to suppress COVID-19’s pressure on optic nerves.

Şener, who was among doctors treating Değer, says they increasingly see new problems caused by the infection, and most of them were among the unvaccinated patients or those who had only been administered one dose of a vaccine.

“In the early days of the pandemic, rash in the eyes and watering was seen among patients. Later, we discovered that these symptoms have become more severe and damaging to the eyes. Our patient (Hamdiye Değer) had only one dose of vaccine and lost half of the sight in her right eye. We are not certain whether she will recover. She is still being treated,” he told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Sunday. Şener said the case also proved the importance of vaccination, adding that vaccines also protect the patients from post-COVID-19 symptoms or long COVID.

A study is still underway for patients suffering from vision loss. “We examined optic nerve transmission rates among recovered patients and found a 30% decline. Most of them complain of blurry vision. There are two possible causes. Either the coronavirus caused clotting in veins supplying the optic nerves or the virus singlehandedly blocked optic nerves. This is something patients cannot notice at first,” Şener added.