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Ocular Surface Disease

Top 3 factors linked to face mask-associated dry eye in medical students

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Medical students should be educated on “face mask-appropriate behavior” to reduce the chances of dry eye secondary to face masks use, according to a recent study. N95 masks, loose-fit masks, and 6 to 8 hours of continuous mask use were the face mask-associated factors that were significantly linked to dry eye.

A cross-sectional study to evaluate face mask-associated factors causing dry eye among medical students was conducted on undergraduate medical and dental students, while they were attending offline classes and were required to wear face masks in accordance with the government regulations. Sociodemographic data, ocular and medical history, face mask-wearing practices, screen usage, and quantification of symptoms using the modified Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire were collected. Objective tests were conducted in students having dry eye. ANOVA, Mann-Whitney, and Kruskal-Wallis tests identified the association of quantitative variables, and the Chi-square test was done for qualitative variables. Multivariate logistic regression identified the risk factors for varying severity of dry eye.

The mean age of the 410 students was 21. According to the OSDI, 39.51% of students had dry eyes, 23.41% had mild dry eye, 8.78% had moderate dry eye, and 7.32% had severe dry eye. The Schirmer’s test and tear film break-up time were performed on 29 and 20 students, respectively, mean values being 19.25 ± 5.29 mm and 10.15 ± 1.41 s for nonsevere and 6.53 ± 1.55 mm and 5.3 ± 0.98 s for severe dry eye, respectively.

Reference
Gupta P, Bansal A, Aggarwal A, Singla R. Study of face mask-associated dry eye among medical students. Int J Appl Basic Med Res. 2023;13(4):240-245. doi:10.4103/ijabmr.ijabmr_366_23.

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