In the struggle to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, governments worldwide have made face masks mandatory. As they become a type of ‘new norm’ worldwide, evidence suggests a link between face masks and eye-related health issues, including dry eye and eye infections.
Possible solutions proposed to address this issue include:
- Tape or clip application
- Hydrophilic lens treatment
- Lowering the glasses further down the nose bridge
- Consciously breathing downwards
- Adjusting the mask’s fit over the bridge of the nose
Unfortunately, all the above solutions failed to solve the issues caused by the face mask/glasses combination. Some aggravate the situation by introducing other adverse or unwanted effects.
An acceptable solution would be recommending contact lenses for suffering patients. Condensation wouldn’t occur, given the aqueous nature of the tear film on contact lenses.
Contact Lenses Vs. Glasses
Eurolens research was conducted at the University of Manchester and published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye sought to compare vision correction options. This research tested whether subjective ocular and task-related parameters linked with wearing a face mask would be better in a group of new users of contact lenses than a group of habitual spectacle wearers.
Thirty participants were to wear their assigned vision correction for at least eight hours a day, five days a week. The study went on for two weeks. Participants attended the follow-up visits, having worn the assigned vision correction for at least two hours prior.
Carole Maldonado-Codina, the journal’s head author, stated in a CooperVision news publication that since early 2020, when face masks became mandatory, there had been several anecdotal reports of eye health complications and glasses fogging.
She further stated that their research ascertained the above reports and shed light on several aspects favoring contact lens as the best vision correction to use with face masks.
Participants reported various benefits of the contact lens/face mask combination for vision-related symptoms. They also reported improvements in breathing and heat-related symptoms, including a range of daily activities like walking and exercising.
Any obstacle in wearing a face mask would ultimately lead to poor mask usage or complete failure to use the face mask at all, leading to a higher risk of COVID-19 contraction. This fact is particularly applicable to healthcare workers who must wear their face masks correctly over long periods of exposure to germs and viruses.
All the advantages associated with contact lenses result in the improved observation of proper face mask use. The analysis and results of this study suggest that in all possible circumstances, contact lenses are the best vision correction option for those using face masks.
In their verdict, the authors offer a definite approval for contact lenses, writing that the research suggested contact lenses should be the vision correction option of choice where applicable for those wearing masks.
Dr. Maldonado-Codina further stated that eye care professionals should discuss the results of this research with their patients, especially those who have never worn contact lenses before. She recommended dual wear for reluctant patients, advising that they go for contact lenses only when wearing face masks. Allentown Optical is committed to offering the best in wholesale optical products and services. Contact us today to get started.