New contact lens update addresses key pandemic eye issues

The Center for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) published Issue 63 of Contact Lens Update, which explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on five clinically relevant eye conditions. The latest edition and all back issues are available free of charge at ContactLensUpdate.com.

Highly relevant to eye care practitioners around the world, the issue examines and summarizes how mask wear, home teaching and remote working can impact patients presenting to clinical practice – and approaches prevention and mitigation potential.

CORE Director Lyndon Jones’s opening editorial provides an in-depth look at five possible eye complications from the pandemic. These cover a potential increase in myopia and dry eye complaints related to increased use of digital devices, as well as a discussion of whether wearing masks increased hordeolum levels and chalazion, dry eye, and dissatisfaction with wearing glasses. The article includes several clinical pearls to help practitioners study and manage these conditions.

In the feature article, CORE’s Rosa Yang discusses the main findings of an article on the progression of myopia in a large sample of school-aged children after COVID-19 home lockdown in China. As distance education continues, the findings should be of interest to all practitioners who examine young children and who employ or are considering myopia management.

The last two contributions discuss the impact of wearing a mask on the ocular surface and on the fogging of glasses. Carole Maldonado-Codina, associate director of Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester, is the author of a recent poster that studies patient preference between glasses and contact lenses while wearing a mask.

Keyur Patel, Clinical Director at Tompkins Knight & Son Optometrists in the UK, presents a compelling case study examining the impact of improper mask wear on tear rupture time on the ocular surface. He then provides some very relevant and timely advice on how this can lead to an increase in dry eye symptoms that patients may not even vaguely relate to using their mask.

“Almost exactly two years after the first reports of a fatal respiratory disease began to emerge from China, the pandemic continues to dominate our daily lives,” said Dr Jones. “These changes include homeschooled children, adults working remotely, an increase in the use of digital devices, and mask-wearing and social distancing are becoming widespread around the world.

“How do these factors impact our eyes? The changes to our daily life seem to have a much bigger impact than we might have imagined. Contact Lens Update consolidated and examined in detail the most pronounced changes using an evidence-based approach to provide practitioners with sound and timely clinical advice on how to find and manage associated complications.

Published six times a year, Contact Lens Update provides a global platform for unbiased clinical information based on current research. Since 2011, each issue has provided reliable and up-to-date eye health information to over 60,000 eyecare professionals.

In addition to a comprehensive archive of back issues, ContactLensUpdate.com offers a Resource Library that provides free professional tools, patient resources, images and videos. It also contains free technical training videos produced by the International Association of Contact Lens Educators, as well as an industry glossary. Industry professionals can access the latest issue directly from ContactLensUpdate.com or sign up quickly to receive future issues by email.

The publication receives support from the educational branches of Alcon, CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision.

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