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COVID-19 Symptom: Blurry Vision

Written by Ada’s Medical Knowledge Team

Updated on


  • Blurred vision has been reported as a symptom by patients with COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 is known to cause several other eye problems, including dryness, redness, and sensitivity to light.
  • Blurred vision can cause patients to experience other symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating.
  • To treat blurred vision from COVID-19, it’s essential to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment, such as eye drops, artificial tears, or screen breaks.

Blurred vision with COVID-19 and other eye problems are symptoms reported by patients with the virus. One study found that 10% of COVID-19 patients experience at least one eye problem, such as dryness, redness, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. 1

You may not notice your blurred vision from COVID-19 right away, but rather the symptoms that result from it. Blurred vision can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and more.

This article provides an overview of how COVID-19 causes blurry vision and other typical eye symptoms patients with COVID experience.

How does COVID cause blurred vision?

There are several theories on how COVID-19 causes vision problems. Some of the more researched ways blurred vision from COVID-19 can result include:

Disruption of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS is responsible for many bodily functions, including controlling your heart rate, blood pressure, and even your vision. It has 2 parts, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which work together to control the size of your pupils. However, in COVID-19 patients, the SNS tends to be more active, causing issues like light sensitivity and blurry vision. 2

Neurovascular Coupling (NVC) dysfunction. COVID-19 can also disrupt how nerve cells in your brain receive the resources they need to function properly, which is called neurovascular coupling (NVC) dysfunction. This can lead to vision problems such as poor visual acuity, loss of field of vision, and sensitivity to light. 3

Vestibular Issues. The vestibular system, which helps you maintain balance, also communicates with your eyes through the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). With COVID-19, you may experience blurry or double vision because the VOR is not working correctly due to the infection, even though there may not be anything wrong with your eyes. 4

Reduced blood flow to the eye: The virus can block or limit the blood supply to the eye, resulting in a condition known as retinopathy. This can cause the tissue in your retina to swell and die, leading to white and fluffy cotton wool spots in the eye and may need immediate medical attention. 5

Direct viral infection: If the virus enters your body through the eyes, it can travel through the mucous membrane and reach the retina, which is located at the back of the eye. The virus can then infect cells in the eye through the ACE-2 receptor, which can cause conjunctivitis, red and itchy eyes, and blurry vision. 6 7

What other eye symptoms can COVID-19 cause?

Besides blurred vision, COVID-19 has been linked with several other eye issues, including: 8 9 10

  • Dry eye. Occurs when tears are not able to provide adequate lubrication for the eyes. It can cause discomfort, a feeling of dryness or grittiness in the eyes, and sometimes even blurred vision.
  • Conjunctivitis. Also known as pink eye, this is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the clear membrane covering the eye's white part and the eyelids' inner surface. It can cause redness, itching, discharge, and sometimes even blurred vision.
  • Increased tearing. This is where the eyes produce too many tears, leading to excessive tearing and watery eyes. 
  • Chemosis. The swelling of the conjunctiva, chemosis, can cause the eye to look puffy and red.
  • Eye inflammation. This general term refers to any inflammation in the eye or surrounding tissues.

What are other causes of blurry vision?

There are many other possible causes of blurry vision, some of which include: 11 12 13 14 15 16

  • Refractive errors. The most common cause of blurry vision is refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
  • Eye conditions. Various eye conditions can cause blurry vision, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal detachment.
  • Eye strain. Spending extended periods in front of a screen or reading for prolonged periods can lead to eye strain, which can cause blurry vision.
  • Head injuries. Head injuries or trauma can cause blurry vision, as can some neurological conditions.
  • Allergies. Allergies can cause blurry vision due to inflammation and swelling in the eye. Learn more about Covid Vs Allergy symptoms
  • Dry eye. Insufficient lubrication of the eye can cause blurry vision, especially in people who spend extended periods in dry, air-conditioned environments.

If you experience blurry vision, seeing an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye examination is essential to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

How do you treat blurred vision from COVID-19?

Treatment for blurred vision from COVID largely depends on the underlying cause of your blurriness and the severity of your symptoms.

For instance, if your blurred vision is caused by conjunctivitis, you may be prescribed drops or an ointment from your doctor. 17

If your blurred vision is from dry eyes, you can use artificial tears or a humidifier to add moisture to the air. 18

Other ways to seek relief from your COVID-19 blurred vision include:

  • Cool compress
  • Avoid touching your eyes
  • Take screen breaks

If your blurred vision does not seem to be getting better, contact your doctor.

Wrapping Up

Various eye symptoms have been reported with COVID-19. If you have COVID-19 and experience blurry vision or other eye symptoms like dryness or pain, contact your eye doctor and who can offer advice on how to treat it best.


Q: Is blurry vision a symptom of COVID-19?
A: Yes, blurry vision is a symptom that some patients with COVID-19 have reported. Blurred vision can cause patients to experience other symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating.

Q: Can COVID cause double vision?
A: Yes, although not frequent, COVID-19 can cause double vision. In some cases, COVID-19 can affect the vestibular system, which maintains balance and coordinates eye movements. When this system is disrupted, it can lead to problems with the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), which can cause double vision. If you experience double vision with a sudden onset, you should seek immediate medical help to exclude other, more severe causes of this symptom.

Q: What causes sudden blurred vision?
A: Sudden blurred vision can be caused by various factors, including refractive errors, eye conditions, head injuries, and neurological conditions. It can also be a symptom of other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. If you have inexplicable sudden vision problems, please see a doctor to detect and treat the cause on time.

Q: What are the eye symptoms of COVID-19?
A: COVID-19 can cause various eye symptoms, including conjunctivitis (pink eye), tearing, and sensitivity to light. It can also cause blurred vision, eye pain, and inflammation of the eyelids.

Q: How do you get rid of blurry vision?
A: The treatment for blurry vision depends on its underlying cause. Using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops may help if it's due to dry eyes. If it's due to refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, prescription glasses or contact lenses can improve vision.