Wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increase in dry eye disease (DED) , especially among patients who wear contact lenses and / or glasses.

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Wearing a mask is an important part of preventing the spread of COVID-19, but masks can come with some side effects such as mask acne, fogged glasses, and general irritation on the face. Now there is a new side effect to be aware of: mask-associated dry eyes (MATA).

A report published in the journal “Ophthalmology and Therapy” describes that there is a tremendous increase in cases of eye irritation and dry eyes in people who wear masks regularly. The report’s authors note that they have seen “a marked increase in dry eye symptoms in regular mask wearers”. Those affected also include people who have never had dry eyes to deal with in the past. People who wear masks regularly for long periods of time seem to be more likely to develop dry eye symptoms. The mask is probably the cause of a change in the airflow dynamics at the top of the mask. Face masks cause air to flow out and up towards the eyes. When this airflow passes over the corneal surface, it accelerates the evaporation of the liquid film, dries out the surface of the eye and causes symptoms both in patients without a history of DED and in patients with a pre-existing eye disease. In addition, excessive facial touch and eye rubbing in response to a poorly fitting mask can lead to infection, an allergic reaction, and other tear film dysfunction.

The groups at particularly high risk for MATA include those who wear glasses and contact lenses. Interestingly, there were no statistically significant differences in discomfort between contact lens wearers and those who wore glasses. People who did not wear glasses or contact lenses were much less likely to have dry eyes or MATA.

As a result of MATA during the pandemic, Euroeyes observed an increased number of patients (with glasses or contact lenses) suffering from MATA and therefore undergoing laser treatment to get rid of the glasses or contact lenses and avoid future dry eye symptoms.

About EuroEyes

The EuroEyes Clinic Group is a globally successful company that was founded over 25 years ago in Hamburg and has its headquarters there to this day. In addition to locations throughout Germany, EuroEyes is also represented in China and Denmark. The clinic offers patients the entire spectrum of refractive surgery for the correction of ametropia. With the most modern eye laser and lens surgery procedures EuroEyes treats over 25,000 patients with myopia or farsightedness , astigmatism , presbyopia or cataracts every year . The interventions enable the start of a life free of glasses and contact lenses without impairment of vision and quality of vision.

Do you want to get rid of your glasses or contact lenses? Then please contact our service center or fill out our contact form. We look forward to seeing you!

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