Purchase this article with an account.
Yuichi Hori, Takashi Itokawa, Yukinobu Okajima, Hiroko Iwashita, Koji Kakisu, Takashi Suzuki; Reduction of mask-associated dry eye by using surgical tape to secure the top edge of the mask. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):1508 – A0233.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, mask-associated dry eye (MADE) has increased worldwide possibly because the breath leaks from the top of the masks changes the ocular surface conditions. We tested the hypothesis that surgical taping of the top edge of the mask to the skin reduces the risk of ocular surface damage.
We enrolled 60 volunteers (30 females, 30 males; mean age, 27.1±5.2 years) who wear face masks over 5 hours a day. We measured the fluorescein tear break-up time (FBUT), ocular surface temperature, and conjunctival blood flow before wearing masks, after wearing masks taped on the top edge, and after wearing masks without tape. We used the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) to record participants’ symptoms of MADE and measured their corneal tactile and pain sensitivity using a Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer.
The FBUT with masks without tape (4.4±2.4 seconds) was significantly shorter than that without masks (6.4±3.1 seconds) and with taped masks (5.8±3.2 seconds) (P<0.01 and P=0.05, respectively, Tukey HSD test). There was no significant difference in the FBUT between use of no masks and taped masks (P>0.05). The differences in the corneal and conjunctival temperatures after wearing masks without tape (0.19±0.28 and 0.13±0.28°C, respectively) were significantly higher than after wearing taped masks (0.05±0.27 and 0.06±0.24°C, respectively, P<0.01, paired t-test). The conjunctival blood flow with masks without tape was significantly higher than that of taped masks (P<0.01). Of the 60 subjects, 13 (21.7%) subjects reported MADE symptoms. In the MADE group, the OSDI (P=0.001, analysis of covariance) was significantly higher and the FBUT of masks without tape (P=0.006) was significantly shorter than in the non-MADE group. Pain sensitivity in the MADE group was significantly higher than in the non-MADE group (P<0.01), indicating that subjects in the MADE group were significantly hypersensitive to corneal pain.
Wearing masks decreased FBUT and increased ocular surface temperature and blood flow. Taping the top edge of the mask prevented those changes. Fitting masks tightly to the nose or applying tape over the mask may reduce the MADE risk, which can be associated with ocular surface hypersensitivity.
This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only