WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE RISKS of COVID 19 to VISION?
By Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D.
In addition to cardiac and neurological risks of COVID 19 discussed in two recent blogs, new data also reveals risks to vision. The virus can cause some blockage in blood flow in the retina, which threatens vision ( https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19 ).
A researcher at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California found higher risks of blockage in veins In the retina 6 months after COVID infection compared to 6 months before infection. This is consistent with how COVID can cause problems in blood circulation in various parts of the body. More specific symptoms can include sensitivity to bright light, bleeding within the retina, pain in the eyes, and blurred vision. These issues can be irreversible.
From January 2020 to May 2021, this study tracked more than 432,000 patients in the Kaiser Permanente health system in Southern California who tested positive for COVID 19. More generally, COVID can cause clotting of the blood in various parts of the body, so this is apparently a more specific impact in the eyes. More general illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes, can also cause similar difficulties.
Within our work as psychotherapists, these findings (along with the cardiac and neurological risks) encourage us to counsel our patients that a COVID infection is not a casual experience, as with a common cold or even the flu. Questions remain about how a less severe infection, often the result of being vaccinated and boosted, may reduce the risks of these complications of COVID 19.
Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Torrance, CA. A member of the Independent Psychotherapy Network, he can be reached at 310 539-2772 or firstname.lastname@example.org Telehealth and in-person sessions are available.
Copyright 2022 by Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D.