Affection of the central nervous system and the eyes is increasingly recognized as manifestations of a SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19). This review aims at summarizing and discussing recent advances concerning causes and locations of impaired vision because of an infection with SARS-CoV-2.
On a literature search through PubMed and ScholarOne, all available publications about COVID-19 patients with impaired vision were retrieved.
Visual impairment in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients may be due to infection of lacrimal glands (dacryoadenitis), conjunctivitis, tonic pupils, vitritis, central retinal artery/venous occlusion, retinitis, retinal bleeding, panuveitis, anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, optic nerve stroke, optic neuritis, optic perineuritis, or occipital ischemic stroke. Visual impairment may be the initial manifestation of SARS-CoV-2.
This mini review shows that impaired vision may be the initial manifestation of COVID-19, that all sections of the visual tract may be affected and causative for visual impairment in COVID-19 patients, and that SARS-CoV-2 manifests along the visual tract with ischemia, focal infection, and immunological reactions.