Long Covid victim discusses daily impact of virus
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It is thought around two million Brits have had long Covid since the start of the pandemic. Most people with coronavirus will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for those with long Covid they can last months.
Dr Peter Hampson, clinical director of the Association of Optometrists, explained that some long Covid patients notice problems with their eyesight, including blind spots.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Some long Covid sufferers report eye fatigue and changes to their vision.
“Most commonly this is linked to the general malaise someone may experience during and after illness, however, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that Covid can mirror similar diseases that occur in the eye.
“Covid can cause blood clots and can lead to similar outcomes as those seen in diabetes and hypertension – where the retina can be damaged, the technical name for this is retinopathy.
“For example, we know that when there is inflammation of the blood vessels in and around the eye, or when blood vessels into the eye become blocked, certain things can happen.
“The cells of the retina are quite similar to the cells in the brain and when the retina is starved of oxygen due to blood vessels being blocked, breaking, or leaking, this can lead to complications such as damage to your visual field or damage to the sharpness of vision.”
He urged people to seek medical help if they have concerns about their eyesight.
“Some of the symptoms to look out for are changes to vision – not being able to see as well as you could or new blind spots,” he added.
“If you are concerned, it’s really important to get checked out by an eyecare professional as soon as possible as we know that early interventions make sure you get access to the treatment you need and an overall better outcome for your eye health.
“The easiest way is to make an appointment with your optometrist for a sight test and eye health examination and it’s helpful to explain any problems you are having when making the appointment so they can be sure to make the correct type of appointment to investigate.”
The most common symptoms of long Covid include:
- Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- Heart palpitations
- Pins and needles
- Joint pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Tinnitus, earaches
- Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
- A high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
Read more: Cancer warning: Cured bacon might be BANNED in the UK over tumour health risk
The NHS advises seeking a doctor if you’re “worried” about symptoms four weeks or more after you had COVID-19 or “thought you may have had COVID-19”.
It says: “Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and the impact they’re having on your life.
“They may suggest some tests to find out more about your symptoms and rule out other things that could be causing them.
“These might include: blood tests, checking your blood pressure and heart rate or a chest X-ray.”
As of May 19 this year, there were 22.2 million recorded cases of Covid in the UK.
Of these 1.8 million were reinfections.
And as of June 24, there have been a total of 197,635 COVID-19 deaths.
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