By Dr. Mallika Marshall

(CBS Boston) – Scientists are discovering that the coronavirus can affect many organs in the body and the eye is no exception.

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A new study finds that people with severe COVID-19 can develop growths in the back of the eye.

Researchers in France studied nearly 130 patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 who had undergone brain MRI. They found that about 7-percent of patients had one or more nodules or growths in the back of the eyeball.  It’s unclear why these nodules develop but may be related to inflammation caused by the virus.  Whether these growths lead to vision loss is unknown but they say patients with severe COVID should be screened regularly for eye abnormalities. They also plan to study the eyes of patients with mild to moderate COVID to see whether they too are at risk.

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On a lighter note…while COVID-19 lockdowns have had devastating psychological and economic impacts on many, for some, there have been welcome benefits, including one for a greater appreciation for family.

Researchers in the U.K. and Portugal surveyed almost 400 people who care for children, mostly mothers who worked from home.  Almost 90-percent said there have been positives to come out of the pandemic and being stuck at home.

Nearly half reported a renewed appreciation for their family. About a quarter said it allowed them to reconsider what is really important in life and to live healthier with less stress. Other lockdown benefits included spiritual growth, a chance to discover new opportunities, a better work-life balance, and the ability to learn new technologies.

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Mallika Marshall, MD, is an Emmy-award winning journalist and physician who serves as the regular Health Reporter at WBZ-TV in Boston.