Does COVID-19 affect the retina?

A small study published in The Lancet suggests that it does.

Tell me about the study.

Researchers used OCT to evaluate patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 to determine whether subclinical retinal changes were present. A total of 12 patients were examined 11 to 33 days after the onset of symptoms. All patients had normal blood parameters at the time of their eye exam.

What did they find?

All patients showed hyperreflective lesions at the level of ganglion cell and inner plexiform layers, more prominently at the papillomacular bundle in both eyes. Also of note, four patients presented with subtle cotton wool spots and microhemorrhages along the retinal arcade. The researchers noted that visual acuity and pupillary reflexes were normal in all eyes and that no symptoms or signs of intraocular inflammation were detected.

The take home:

The study authors stated that although COVID-19 animal models suggest that ocular lesions could include retinitis and optic neuritis, this is, to the best of their knowledge, the first report of retinal findings possibly associated with COVID-19 infection in humans.


Are there any glasses that can prevent my myopia from getting worse?

There's a new option—if you live in the European Union (EU). SightGlass Vision received approval to commercialize its new product in the EU, United Kingdom, and other European Economic Area countries.

What is the new product?

It's a spectacle lens made with the company’s Diffusion Optics Technology and is designed to lower contrast in a focus-independent manner while still providing excellent visual acuity. This works under the hypothesis that high retinal contrast causes myopia and therefore lowering retinal contrast would reduce the progression of myopia.

When can we get it in the United States?



Optometry practices looted.

After weeks of being closed down due to COVID-19, most optometry practices had finally started to reopen by the end of May. Unfortunately, many practices in several cities across the nation, already feeling a sense of hardship, were looted during protests over the death of George Floyd. ODs on Facebook organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to raise money for OD-owned independent practices damaged by looters during the protests. Donate if you can. Share if you’re willing.

Black lives matter.

Of course there’s a bigger issue outside of the looting, and it’s part of the reason for the protests: racism. Below are some organizations you can support that serve the black community.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund: America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education.

Advancement Project: A multi-racial civil rights organization that uses innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change.



The number of practices surveyed that now incorporate telehealth care. (via)

You're not the only one with money problems.

Vision Group Holdings, the management company behind TLC and Lasik Vision Institute, has filed for bankruptcy. (via)

See you next week!