Sex is something that is always spoken about throughout adolescence and adulthood, and specifically safe sex. However, there may be some symptoms that people don’t realise are related to STDs. STDs can be extremely serious and have surprising side effects, including problems with your eyes and vision. Expert optometrist Roshni Patel spoke exclusively with Express.co.uk to discuss the unusual first warnings of the disease found in your eyes.
“Practising safe sex is extremely important and can protect individuals from sexually transmitted diseases (STD),” began Roshni.
“Some STDs can start as asymptomatic which, if left untreated, can cause serious health-related problems that can also impact your eyesight, including eye infections and even blindness.”
When asked about which sexually transmitted diseases affect a person’s eyes, Roshni said: “Herpes can lead to eye disease. The herpes virus lays dormant and therefore herpes-related eye infections can recur over time.
“Chlamydia trachomatis, another common STD, can cause trachoma, a bacterial infection that affects the eyes.
“If left untreated, trachoma, a hygiene-related disease that can develop from chlamydia, can lead to partial vision loss or blindness. However, Trachoma is rare in many countries and is more commonly found in developing nations.
“Normally affecting parts of the body involved in sexual contact, those suffering from gonorrhoea may find that their eyes can also be affected as well.”
Answering how these symptoms can come about, Roshni explained: “Symptoms usually take three to five days to appear, however, they can also occur as soon as one day or even up to one month after being infected.
“The most common eye-related signs and symptoms of this disease include: thick discharge that may appear yellow/green; sensitivity to light; and pain or redness in or around the eyes.
“Gonorrhoea of the eye is extremely rare in adults but if you think you may have it, it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible so that the right treatment plan is created for you.”
There are ways in which to reduce your risk of developing an STD.
Using condoms and oral sex barriers will help prevent your exposure to STDs while getting tested regularly at your local health clinic will assist in catching them early if you do have an STD.
A spokesperson for Accurate Hiv Std Testing said: “Over the past two years, we have seen how easily a virus can spread, even without close physical contact.
“So, it is more important than ever for the public to know about the best ways to stay aware and in control of their sexual health.”