COVID-19: Effects in Comorbidities and Special Populations

Otolaryngological and Ocular Manifestations in COVID-19

Author(s): Sandeep Bansal, Kanika Arora and Reema Bansal * .

Pp: 291-304 (14)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815036367122010012

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


An adult patient with COVID-19 usually presents with symptoms of flu like dry cough, myalgia, headache, fever with chills, breathing difficulty and sore throat. Unlike common flu, acute anosmia without nasal obstruction, hyposmia and dysgeusia are considered as early signs and warrant self-isolation and testing. Children usually have milder symptoms with a good prognoses. Nasopharynx and oropharynx being the reservoirs of the viral load, Otolaryngologist becomes the most vulnerable for infection transmission while screening, sampling or operating on any such patient. 

Ocular involvement in COVID-19 is extremely low, and manifests mainly as conjunctivitis, in the form of conjunctival hyperaemia, chemosis, increased secretions and/or epiphora. Although it is presumed to be self-limiting, tears are potential source of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The nature and proximity of ophthalmic examination makes the eye care personnel highly prone to COVID-19 infection. There are reports of ophthalmologists getting infected with COVID-19, and succumbing to this disease. Besides the recommended practice guidelines, surgical interventions in ENT and ophthalmology practice should be limited to urgent and semi-urgent indications.

Keywords: Anosmia, Conjunctivitis, Cough, COVID-19, Corona virus disease 2019, Cotton wool spots, Dysgeusia, ENT, Eye, Fundus, Headache, High risk, Hyposmia, Manifestations, Otolaryngology, Ophthalmic, Ocular, Retinal, SARSCoV- 2, Sore throat.

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