Dry eye disease in students with myopia during COVID-19 pandemic


  • M.V. Panchenko Kharkiv National Medical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine, Ukraine
  • P.A. Bezditko Kharkiv National Medical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine, Ukraine




coronavirus disease 2019, dry eye disease, myopia, corneal topography


Background. Today, the urgent problem is coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in the whole world. Safety measures such as the use of masks, distance learning have been implemented. However, ophthalmologists, as well as the general population, should know that a face mask together with prolonged use of digital devices leads to an increase in the number of dry eye cases in many patients. The purpose was to study the frequency of dry eye disease in students with myopia. Materials and methods. The study involved 96 medical students diagnosed with myopia taken by random sampling, who were examined by an ophthalmologist. Apart from the standard ophthalmologic examination, all patients underwent the evaluation of the stability of the precorneal tear film by means of corneal topography, and Norn test (tear break-up time (TBUT)). There was also used a standard questionnaire designed to assess the severity of dry eye disease symptoms (Ocular Surface Disease Index). Results. The corneal topography of the 47 patients did not demonstrate any reduction in TBUT. The average time of the concentric ring remained stable for 20.2 ± 3.0 seconds. But 49 individuals exhibited signs of tear film instability over time compared to 47 patients without TBUT impairment. In 47 people without impairments, corneal topography demonstrated that this indicator in Norn test varied from 25 to 18 seconds, i.e. was within the age norm (21.5 ± 3.5 seconds on average). In 3 patients with a minimum TBUT on keratotopography, its value during the Norn test was 9 seconds. In 36 patients with reduced TBUT according to both methods, there was a weak degree of dry eyes, in 10 — moderate, in 3 — severe. The most common complaints were a sandy, gritty sensation in the eyes, visual discomfort when working at a computer and in windy weather, and with prolonged use of a protective mask. Conclusions. Among students who were on distance learning, 51.04 % of individuals have objectively confirmed dry eye disease. People wearing contact lenses have a more pronounced degree of dry eye, so it is mandatory for ophthalmologists to prescribe lubricating eye drops.


World Health Organization [WHO] 2020. WHO Timeline — COVID-19. https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08-04-2020-who-timeline---covid-19. Accessed 20.04.20.

Guan W., Ni Z., Hu Y. Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in China. N. Engl. J. Med. 2020.

Dennis R.J., Miller R.E., Peterson R.D., Jackson W.G. Contact lens wear with the USAF protective integrated hood/mask chemi­cal defense ensemble. Aviat. Space Environ. Med. 1992. № 63(7). Р. 565-71. [PubMed]

Salinas R., Puig M., Fry C.L., Johnson D.A., Kheirkhah A. Floppy eyelid syndrome: a comprehensive review. Ocul. Surf. 2020. № 18. Р. 31-39. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2019.10.002. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

Singh N.P., Walker R.J.E., Cowan F., Davidson A.C., Roberts D.N. Retrograde air escape via the nasolacrimal system. Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. 2014. № 123(5). Р. 321-324. doi: 10.1177/0003489414525924. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

Hong N., Yu W., Xia J., Shen Y., Yap M., Han W. Evaluation of ocular symptoms and tropism of SARS-CoV-2 in patients confirmed with COVID-19. Acta Ophthalmol. 2020. doi: 10.1111/aos.14445. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

Wu P., Duan F., Luo C., Liu Q., Qu X., Liang L. et al. Characteristics of ocular findings of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hubei Province, China. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2020. № 138. Р. 575-578. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.1291. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

Lazzarino A.I. Rapid response to: face masks for the public during the covid-19 crisis. BMJ. 2020. № 369. m1435. https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1435/rr-40. [PubMed]

Sun C., Wang Y., Liu G., Liu Z. Role of the eye in transmitting human coronavirus: what we know and what we do not know. Front Public Health. 2020. № 8. Р. 155. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00155/full. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

Olivia Li J.-P., Shun Chiu Lam D., Chen Y., Shu Wei Ting D. Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): the importance of recognising possible early ocular manifestation and using protective eyewear. British Journal of Ophthalmology. 2020. № 104(3). https://bjo.bmj.com/. Accessed 14 May 2020. [PubMed]

Saldanha I.J. еt al. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on eye strain and dry eye symptoms. The Ocular Surface. 2021. Vol. 22. P. 38-46.

Лаврик Н.С., Пальоха О.М., Чміль Г.О. Дослідження впливу роботи за монітором комп’ютера на функціональний стан ока. Офтальмологический журнал. 2003. № 2. С. 64-67.

Лаврик Н.С., Пальоха О.М., Чміль А.О. Зміни зволоження переднього відрізка очного яблука при роботі за моніторами комп’ютерів. Зб. наук. праць співробітників КМАПО ім. П.Л. Шупика. К., 2004. Вип. 13, кн. 4. С. 510-514.

Пальоха О.М. Ефективність комплексу заходів для захисту органа зору при роботі за монітором комп’ютера. Зб. наук. праць співробітників НМАПО ім. П.Л. Шупика. К., 2006. Вип. 15, кн. 1. С. 707-713.

Schiffman R.M., Christianson M.D., Jacobsen G., Hirsch J.D., Reis B.L. Reliability and validity of the Ocular Surface Disease Index. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2000. 118(5). 615-621.





Clinical Ophthalmology