Glasgow Caledonian University Vision Scientists Dr Mhairi Day and Dr Dirk Seidel , both registered Optometrists, have launched a survey to find out if COVID-19 affects the eyes.
It is believed to be the first survey of its kind in the UK and is being rolled out across other countries including China, US and Australia.
Senior lecturer in the Department of Vision Sciences, Dr Day, said: “Over the past few months I have heard anecdotal reports from other Optometrists through professional social media groups that COVID-19 may affect the prescription of the eyes so my colleague Dr Dirk Seidel and I decided to launch a survey to find out more.
“As far as we are aware, this is the first study in the UK looking at whether COVID-19 affects the eyesight itself and we are asking anyone who has tested positive for the virus or think they’ve had it to get involved. It is very important that we get as many people taking part as possible as there is little published data on the effects of COVID-19 on the eyes.
“This is an initial online survey to determine if people who have had COVID-19 suffer from eye problems and to get an indication of general trends and can look into those in a bit more detail in a second study.
“We know that eyesight can be affected by viral infections. One explanation as to why your vision might be affected by COVID-19 could be that viral infections tend to cause watering of the eye and this can cause your vision to be blurred.
“With any viral infections muscles in the body become more tired and it could affect the muscles in the eyes. People might notice blurred vision whilst reading or that they need to use their reading glasses more for example.
“I am particularly interested in whether prescription changes could be related to COVID-19 because myopia is my area of research.”