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