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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1001-1002

Awareness of COVID-19-related ocular symptoms in a tertiary health care hospital


Department of Ophthalmology, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry, India

Date of Web Publication16-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Krishnagopal Srikanth
Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_3282_20

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How to cite this article:
Paul A, Sainath D, Srikanth K, Vallinayagam M. Awareness of COVID-19-related ocular symptoms in a tertiary health care hospital. Indian J Ophthalmol 2021;69:1001-2

How to cite this URL:
Paul A, Sainath D, Srikanth K, Vallinayagam M. Awareness of COVID-19-related ocular symptoms in a tertiary health care hospital. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 18];69:1001-2. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2021/69/4/1001/311251



Dear Editor,

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has left our healthcare system fractured for some time to come. Though ocular manifestations of COVID-19 in reported cases are few and far between, an understanding of it among healthcare workers is pertinent for watchful management during this pandemic.[1],[2],[3],[4]

To assess the level of awareness among healthcare workers and to further educate them, we distributed a questionnaire-based survey form (via Google Forms) to gauge their current level of grasp on the ocular manifestations of COVID-19 [Appendix 1][Additional file 1]. This was followed by a brief educational session conducted by the post-graduate residents. Following a stratified random sampling, the survey form of 18 yes/no variant questions on various ocular manifestations of COVID-19 was circulated among doctors (consultants, post-graduates, and interns) as well as staff nurses in all departments of our hospital for a period of 30 days.

Responses from the 18-question survey were segregated into four levels of awareness, tabulated, and statistically analyzed. Our results showed that 51.6% of the total respondents had moderate awareness, followed by 35.3% who either had low awareness or were unaware while only 13.1% had high awareness. Of note was, 19.9% were not aware that COVID-19 can affect the eye and 19% felt ocular transmission cannot occur alongside nasopharyngeal transmission. Only 23.8% of respondents said they came across patients with ocular manifestations of COVID-19 during this pandemic and 19.5% of them referred the patient to an ophthalmologist.

We conclude that a majority of health care workers at our hospital were at least moderately aware that COVID-19 can affect the eye; however, recognition of clinical features with prompt referral to an Ophthalmologist during this pandemic was significantly low. We correlated this to the lack of sufficient awareness and education of health care workers. As ocular manifestations are often overlooked, time spent on raising awareness would prove prudent for vigilant management of COVID-19.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Loffredo L, Pacella F, Pacella E, Tiscione G, Oliva A, Violi F. Conjunctivitis and COVID-19: A meta-analysis. J Med Virol 2020;92:1413-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Scalinci SZ, Trovato Battagliola E. Conjunctivitis can be the only presenting sign and symptom of COVID-19. IDCases 2020;20:e00774.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Li J-PO, Lam DSC, Chen Y, Ting DSW. Novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): The importance of recognising possible early ocular manifestation and using protective eyewear. Br J Ophthalmol 2020;104:297-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
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Napoli PE, Nioi M, d'Aloja E, Fossarello M. The ocular surface and the coronavirus disease 2019: Does a dual 'ocular route' exist? J Clin Med 2020;9:1269.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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