The aim of this study is to demonstrate the prevalence of self-reported mask-associated dry eye (MADE) in health-care professionals and the possible risk factors that give rise to MADE.
A self-administered questionnaire consisting of 12 questions about MADE and possible risk factors that give rise to MADE was created on web-based “google forms” application, and was then sent to 437 healthcare professionals working in a coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic hospital, using common telecommunication devices.
Three hundred and thirty-three of the 437 health-care professionals, who answered the questionnaire, were included in the study. The prevalence of self-reported MADE among these health-care professionals was found to be 70% (n = 233). Having at least one of the symptoms of dry eye while not having a mask on and advanced age were determined as the possible risk factors for MADE ( = .02 and < .001, respectively). The clinical examinations of the 195 participants, who had self-reported MADE and accepted the invitation to undergo a clinical evaluation with respect to the symptoms of MADE, revealed that only 60 (30.7%) of these participants had aqueous-type dryness with staining on the ocular surface with fluorescein.
The high prevalence of self-reported MADE among health-care professionals can be attributed to the prolonged use of masks associated with longer working hours. Therefore, it is important that the ocular complaints of professionals are addressed by ophthalmology consultants/ophthalmologists during these difficult times.