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Cornea ; 40(4): 477-483, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262261


PURPOSE: This is a cohort study to evaluate the presence of objective signs and subjective symptoms of dry eye disease in postcoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients compared with the control. METHODS: Prospective, observational, single-ctenter, cohort study. Sixty-four post-COVID-19 patients and 50 control were recruited. All participants underwent a complete ophthalmological examination including Ocular Surface Disease Index Questionnaire (OSDI), best-corrected visual acuity, slit-lamp biomicroscopy, fundus examination, Schirmer test type 1, tear break-up time test (tBUT), evaluation of conjunctival hyperemia, corneal staining, and tear film osmolarity test. RESULTS: The OSDI score was higher in the post-COVID-19 group in the quantitative and qualitative analysis (P < 0.001 and P =0.012, respectively). The mean tBUT in post-COVID-19 patients was 6.95 ± 4.07 seconds compared with a mean tBUT of 10.12 ± 3.90 seconds in the control group. The post-COVID-19 group showed a higher number of patients with a simultaneous impairment of the OSDI score and tBUT (P = 0.019). The Schirmer test results were strikingly significant both in the quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis (P <0.001 and P = 0.0014, respectively). Both quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis revealed a significant difference in tear osmolarity in the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS: Comparing the ocular surface assessment of post-COVID-19 patients with heathy control, a statistically significant increase of dry eye disease has emerged both in subjective and objective evaluations. Our clinical results support the findings that suggested a susceptibility of the ocular surface to the virus, and it underlines the importance of the ocular surface assessment in post-COVID-19 patients for a correct diagnosis and therapy.

COVID-19/complications , Dry Eye Syndromes/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cohort Studies , Diabetes Mellitus/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus/etiology , Dry Eye Syndromes/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Osmolar Concentration , Prospective Studies , Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension/diagnosis , Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension/etiology , Slit Lamp Microscopy , Tears/chemistry , Tears/physiology , Visual Acuity/physiology