The challenge of COVID-19 is still ongoing. Patients that are weak and sickest among others use a ventilator that helps them breathe properly. Some patients are in a position where they lie flat as they face downwards which helps in boosting the amount of oxygen being transported in their blood.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a change in the delivery of eye health services. The new normal put up limitations and restrictions. The safety of patients and health workers is a priority. Emergency surgeries are the only one who has given attention because of the complications that you can develop if you did not deal with it immediately.
The common reason why vision loss occurs is that many people neglect vision problems which develop more complications but according to eye experts, patients with coronavirus are at risk for vision loss in prone positioning.
Should I Worry Regarding Coronavirus and the Risk of Vision Loss?
Eye experts have a warning regarding the prone position. Dr. Andrew Lee, an ophthalmologist and Academy Spokesperson, mentioned that the risk of vision loss is low and there are no reports regarding this matter.
In spinal surgery, 2 out of 1,000 patients that lie in a prone position for hours wakes up with permanent vision loss. The risk of blindness is greater with longer hours in that position during surgery. It alerts patients with COVID-19 because they are placed on their stomachs for days or weeks. The prone position is used as an intervention for patients with COVID-19 that promotes breathing.
The impact and treatment of COVID-19 are still being processed. It is too early to conclude because there may be a possibility of vision problems later on.
How Does Laying Facedown Raises Eye Pressure
If your head is resting lower than your heart most especially when you lay on your stomach, the pressure is being composed in the eye. With this, the oxygen supply to the optic nerve is stopped which can trigger eye stroke or ischemia. The worst-case scenario is irreversible blindness that can affect one or both eyes.
The risk is high in men and also patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, or who experienced blood loss during surgery. Dr. Lee advised keeping heads above while in a prone position to decrease the risk of vision loss while being on a ventilator.
If you have recovered from COVID-19 and you undergo a lung treatment in a facedown position, observe and report any visual change to your doctor.