Redness of eye mistaken as mucor in post Covid phase | Nagpur News – Times of India

NAGPUR: Apprehensions of having contracted the dreadful mucormycosis — early symptoms of which are seen in eye, nose or teeth — among recovered Covid patients has led to an increased detection of ocular surface inflammation (OSI) and retinal vasculitis (RV), say doctors.
Some city eye specialists said home isolated patients are reporting OSI (redness in eyes) while those who were admitted for Covid treatment are generally suffering from RV (clotting in eye).
Both the disorders were seen during the first wave too, but as large number of people were infected and many mucor, also known as black fungus, cases emerged, these two ophthalmic post Covid complications have doubled this time.
Well-known eye specialist Dr Gopal Arora, however, observed that the two disorders are commonly seen in ophthalmology and presently co-related with other factors and not just Covid. “Dry eye syndrome has come to be known as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. It is due to increased screen time. Clotting in eye can result due to multiple factors, with Covid being one of them,” he said.
Other doctors said patients are self-diagnosing the redness in eye as mucormycosis, which following diagnosis doesn’t turn out to be the case.
Retina surgeon Dr Sandeep Anjankar said he has been getting patients with complaints of redness in eye. “Mostly, patients are suffering from OSI or conjunctivitis. But these symptoms are misdiagnosed to be mucormycosis by the patients themselves. Retinal vasculitis or vascular occlusion (blockage of a blood vessel, usually with a clot) occurs either due to increased inflammatory or coagulating factors,” he said.
Dr Anjankar added, “In 90% cases, vision loss is reversible if the disorder is detected early.”
Consultant ophthalmologist Dr Ashish Kamble said, “When a new virus or bacteria infects a body, sometimes cross-antigenicity can occur. This means certain viral antigens mimic those of the body which mount an immune response in the body, including in the eyes which is most commonly presented as redness of eye.”
He added inflammation means body’s immune system is activated. When the inflammation occurs in ocular surface, the eye turns red. “I have commonly seen this in post-Covid patients,” said Dr Kamble.
Not just Covid, it can happen after any viral infection. “It can be seen in any post viral inflammation, even in bacterial infections like tuberculosis too,” he said.
Regarding retinal occlusion, Dr Kamble said it is known that clotting in heart or brain is a post-Covid problem. “Same types of clots are formed in blood vessels of eye. This is called vascular occlusion. Sometimes, there are clots in artery which supplies blood to the eye. This is a bad situation as it can result in permanent loss of vision. Veins, which pump out blood from eye, may also get clots. In this case too, vision is affected, but to some extent can be restored,” he said.
In mucor, artery occlusion was found along with other complications like drooping of eyelids, diplopia (double vision) and proptosis (prominence and forward displacement of eyeballs). It is very rare for mucormycosis to cause vascular occlusion alone, said Dr Kamble.

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