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My Eyes Are Burning – Could It Be COVID-19?

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COVID-19 is a viral infection that can cause fever, muscle aches and a long list of other symptoms.

While rare, burning eyes are a possible symptom of COVID-19. The only sure way to know if you have COVID is to undergo a COVID test.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19

COVID-19 has the potential to cause burning eyes. However, this is an uncommon symptom. Along with these eye symptoms, the most typical COVID-19 symptoms to watch for are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of smell or taste

COVID-19 is caused by a virus that enters your cells via an enzyme called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). This enzyme can also be found in your lungs, heart, blood vessels, digestive tract and ocular membranes. Some researchers believe that the virus sometimes enters the eyes via this enzyme, causing ocular problems.

In the Journal of Ophthalmic & Vision Research (2021) a review of studies showed that 11% of more than  8,200 people with COVID-19 had symptoms affecting their eyes. Eight of the 932 patients with eye symptoms reported burning eyes, and 83 reported ocular pain.

Additionally, Clinical Microbiology and Infection (2021) conducted research on COVID-19 and ocular symptoms. Of the 108 COVID-19 patients in the study, 75 had at least one ocular symptom. The most common symptom (39 of those 75 patients) reported burning eyes.

Could My Burning Eyes Be Something Else?

Yes, definitely! There are plenty of other conditions that cause burning eyes, including:

  • Allergies
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Pterygium
  • Ocular rosacea
  • Toxins
  • Chemical burns

When To See A Doctor

If you experience any of these above it is important to seek attention from an eye doctor for a comprehensive diagnosis of the cause and treatment plan.

If you are also experiencing other COVID-19 symptoms, immediately follow your local COVID advice regarding testing and other recommendations.

At James Tracey Eye Care, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 201-746-6700 or book an appointment online to see one of our Woodcliff Lake eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

Why You Should Avoid Online Eye Tests

How To Prevent Your Lenses From Scratching

Are You Susceptible To Vision Loss?




What are other causes of burning eyes?

Besides COVID-19, other potential causes of burning eyes include dry eye syndrome, an eye infection, exposure to smoke, a scratch on your cornea, allergies and eye strain.

How can I treat burning eyes?

Treatment will depend on the reason your eyes are burning. While compresses might help, an eye check-up can determine the underlying cause of your discomfort and your eye doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment.