BACKGROUND: Although the primary target of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is the respiratory tract, the expression of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor in other tissues facilitates viral entry in others parts of the body, including ocular structures. Ocular manifestations may occur before, during, or after systemic infection.
CASE PRESENTATION: We report the case of a 60-year-old male who presented with bilateral interstitial keratitis after the onset of COVID-19, with ocular symptoms starting within 7 days after systemic symptoms. Laboratory investigation did not identify any alternative etiology for his disease, although the possibility of Epstein-Barr virus or herpes simpex virus could not be definitively ruled out. The patient had already developed significant corneal scarring and visual debilitation by the time topical steroids were initiated, and his final corrected visual acuity with rigid gas permeable contact lenses was 20/50 and 20/80 in the right and left eye, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The involvement of ocular tissue by the virus can lead to permanent sequelae such as severe visual loss, and clinicians should be aware of and recognize ophthalmic manifestations of this disease to prompt early intervention.
Daher, Nathalie D. and Syed, Zeba A., "Bilateral Interstitial Keratitis Following COVID-19: A Case Report" (2023). Wills Eye Hospital Papers. Paper 203.
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