Researchers recently discovered that about 20% of people infected by the novel coronavirus end up with dry eye disease.

Why it matters: The dry eye COVID-19 symptom joins a growing list of various coronavirus symptoms someone can experience after infection.

Driving the news: A new study from the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that the risk of dry eye disease (DED) can increase for those who were infected by the coronavirus.

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What they found: Researchers reviewed 228 cases of recovered COVID-19 patients from one to three months after infection and compared those records to 109 healthy people, per the South China Morning Post.

  • Scientists found that patients who had COVID-19 had a higher risk for eye disease.
  • In fact, about 21.5% of patients had one sign of developing the condition.

Symptoms: The most common COVID-19 symptom was blurred vision, followed by itching, pain and burning sensations, per South China Morning Post.

  • Tearing, discharge and redness were also mentioned among the top symptoms.
  • Other symptoms included “grittiness, light sensitivity and lid swelling,” but these were the least common symptoms, according to South China Morning Post.

Flashback: Dr. Nina Aslam, a general practitioner who works for Goldeneye Eye Care in the United Kingdom, told The Express back in January that the omicron variant often caused conjunctivitis — or pinkeye — in patients.

  • “Cell receptors by which COVID variants enter the body are present in the eye,” she said at the time, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
  • “The virus penetrates the body by tricking the receptors for the Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE-2) into thinking the virus is the ACE-2 enzyme. 
  • “These receptors are found in different parts of the eye — cells which line the retina, eye white and eyelid.”