June 2021
Volume 62, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2021
Impact of the United Kingdom (UK) COVID-19 lockdown measures on air pollution and ocular surface disease symptomatology amongst shielding patients
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alberto Recchioni
    Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Optometry & Vision Sciences Group, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Maryam Makanvand
    School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Natraj Poonit
    Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Graham R Wallace
    Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • William Bloss
    School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Saaeha Rauz
    Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Alberto Recchioni, None; Maryam Makanvand, None; Natraj Poonit, None; Graham Wallace, None; William Bloss, None; Saaeha Rauz, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Alberto Recchioni (AR) is supported by funding from the II-LA-1117-20001 Programme Invention for Innovation (i4i), National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Maryam Makanvand (MM) and William Bloss (WB) are supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Saaeha Rauz (SR) is supported by is supported by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Invention for Innovation (i4i), Medical Research Council (MRC) Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS), Fight for Sight, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals National Health Service Trust. Graham Wallace (GW) is supported by Medical Research Council and Fight for Sight.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2021, Vol.62, 1273. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Alberto Recchioni, Maryam Makanvand, Natraj Poonit, Graham R Wallace, William Bloss, Saaeha Rauz; Impact of the United Kingdom (UK) COVID-19 lockdown measures on air pollution and ocular surface disease symptomatology amongst shielding patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):1273.

      Download citation file:


      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

Purpose : Worldwide lockdown reduced global air pollution during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In this study, we evaluate whether the UK lockdown impacted upon dry eye symptoms in severe ocular surface disease (OSD) patients and whether there is a relationship with changes in air pollution levels.

Methods : 35 OSD patients (median age 70 (range 42-85) years; 17(48.5%) females; 22(63%) ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid; 3(9%) high-risk corneal transplant recipients; 4(12%) ulcerative keratitis; 2(6%) Stevens-Johnson syndrome; 3(9%) other (granulomatous polyangiitis, Sjögren’s syndrome, pemphigus vulgaris) maintained on systemic immunosuppression including mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, tacrolimus, methotrexate and cyclophosphamide achieved a risk stratification score of >3, defined as coronavirus high-risk and fulfilled the government criteria for shielding for a minimum of 12 weeks. Symptoms and air pollutions data were considered from three different time periods categorised as pre, during and post-lockdown. Pre-lockdown symptoms were curated from hospital electronic databases using the OSDI© symptom questionnaire (Allergan plc, Irvine, CA) whilst during and post-lockdown data were obtained via postal hardcopy. Air pollution data for patient postcodes were derived from Department for Environment, Food, & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and from the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) monitoring network for nitrogen dioxides (NO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) particulate matter 10µm (PM10) and 2.5µm (PM25).

Results : A 12% increase in symptom scores were observed during versus pre periods (36.11±16.09 vs 32.24±29.17, p=0.381). Similarly, a 19% reduction was observed between the during and post periods (36.11±16.09 vs 29.46 ± 26.29, p=0.144). However, significant reduction of NO2 (35%, from 17.11±6.87 to 11.17±4.79, p<0.001) and NOx (44%, from 26.06±11.64 to 14.53±7.18, p<0.001) respectively, were observed between pre and during periods. Symptoms and air pollutants were not correlated across all the considered periods.

Conclusions : Despite the reduction of air pollutants due to lockdown measures, dry eye symptoms experienced by immunosuppressed OSD patients were increased. This might be due to a range of environmental factors such as increase use of electronic blue screen electronic devices as well as the psychological impact of lockdown on patient wellbeing.

This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.

×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×