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COVID induced Vision Problems – Part 2

In the last video, we talked about how COVID can cause problems that are similar to those of other brain injuries. In this video, I'm going to discuss the visual problems that can result. I'm Dr. Moshe Roth. I'm a Neuro-Optometrist. I practice in Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ. Some people who recovered from COVID continue to struggle even weeks and months later, and are often at a loss of where to seek help. The virus can damage the lungs and the heart and the brain. And that increases the risk of long-term health problems. COVID deprives the body oxygen. We're all aware of the ventilators have been used to mitigate those effects on the lungs, but the effect of oxygen deprivation on the brain is less publicized. It stands to reason that anoxia meaning the lack of oxygen is the underlying reason for the brain-based problems and the visual complications.

The most common visual symptoms are blurred vision, double vision, poor depth perception, and sensitivity to light. Other common problems that are associated with that are difficulty paying attention, headaches, memory problems, forgetfulness, and brain fog. Some people complain of vertigo and dizziness. And the reason for that is because there's a direct connection between the eye and the balance system. This in the inner ear, this is termed eight visual vestibular dysfunction. More general symptoms include difficulty breathing, difficulty, making it through the day without having to take a nap and difficulty exercise. Patients often talk about its impact on their mental health. They feel lightheaded and lethargic for months after they've illness. Some who've had COVID have symptoms that have become better and worse. The term long callers has been used to describe people with persistent symptoms. After recovering from COVID, the national institutes of health refers to these long-term COVID-19 symptoms as PASC or Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Neuro optometry and neuro-ophthalmology sounds similar, but these are really two different subspecialties. Dr. Eric Sigman is a neuro ophthalmologist at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. And he explained the difference between the two professions in this way, neural ophthalmologist diagnose what had happened, but neuro optometry can change what can happen. Neuro optometrists help individuals who suffered brain injury to regain their abilities through neuro rehabilitation therapy. We're able to help people who've suffered COVID induced brain injury, much as we can help people who've suffered acquired brain injury and traumatic brain injury concussion. If you find that you or someone you love has visual symptoms that have continued even after recovering from COVID, we're available to help you.