Increased mask use, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, was linked with mask-associated dry eye disease (MADE) in Chinese residents, reveals a study in Scientific Reports.1
Specifically, out of 6,925 study participants, MADE was reported by 547, including 419, who said they developed new dry eye symptoms after wearing face masks, and 128 who said their pre-existing dry eye symptoms became worse with masks. Additionally, MADE was associated with wearing face masks for a longer time, decreased time outside, reduced daily reading time, shortened screen time use, and dry environment. Further, MADE was more prevalent in those older than age 20.
The study was comprised of Chinese residents ages 6 to 79 who had formal school education and provided their MADE status via a 19-item population-based, observational, cross-sectional, and descriptive online questionnaire through various social media platforms.
The purpose of the study was to assess the relationship between increased face mask use during COVID-19 era with mask-associated dry eye.
1. Fan Q, Liang M, Kong W, et al. Wearing face masks and possibility for dry eye during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sci Rep. Apr 13;12(1):6214.