Best Slit Lamp Breath Shield Design for Ophthalmologists

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This experimental study compared 6 commercially available breath shield designs and 1 “homemade” breath shield made from a plastic container lid.

The following breath shields were picked based on popularity of user reviews:

  • ChinRestPaperSource: Reichert and Keeler (AMBC2P)
  • Haag-Streit Regular (AMBC4P, Panfundus, Inc)
  • Haag-Streit Improved (AMBC5P, Panfundus, Inc)
  • Universal Small (AMBUS1P, Panfundus, Inc)
  • Universal Large (AMBUL1P Panfundus, Inc)
  • Zombie Shield (AMBUZ, Panfundus, Inc)

Due to budget constraints, the Zombie Shield was constructed out of cardboard using the dimensions found on the company’s website.

The final shield was created using a disposable plastic salad container lid with edges that curved towards the examiner at roughly 35 degrees.

After spraying each breath shield with a spray gun adjusted to angularly disperse a mist of colored dye similar to a sneezing patient, the amount of overspray compared.

Larger shields had better protection than smaller ones, with overspray ranging from 54% to almost none. Breath shields hung by the objective lens arm had better results than those hung by the oculars of comparable size.

The homemade curved plastic breath shield, which was 513 cm2, allowed only 2% overspray. Nearly all overspray was prevented when the largest breath shield measuring 1254 cm2 was hung near the oculars.


Liu J, Wang AY, Ing EB. Efficacy of slit lamp breath shields. Am J Ophthalmol. 2020; doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2020.05.005.


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