CORE News

CORE’s Mask-Associated Dry Eye (MADE) Infographics Now Available in 22 Languages from COVIDEyeFacts.org

Recent Outreach on the Issue Attracts Global Attention

WATERLOO, Ontario, September 21, 2020—Efforts by the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) to educate eye care professionals and the general public about mask-associated dry eye (MADE) have attracted widespread attention during the past several weeks. In a nod to requests from around the world for more information, CORE has now released its downloadable MADE infographic in 22 languages at COVIDEyeFacts.org.  Alcon Europe provided translation services.

“In less than a month from when we first described MADE in The Conversation, interest has skyrocketed. I think this outreach shows the essential role that ocular science and optometry can play in shaping larger healthcare discussions, including the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Lyndon Jones, director of CORE. “We thank Alcon for helping us spread the word even farther.”

CORE’s strong affirmation that responsible mask wear remains critical to public health has been central to its work.

Since late August, CORE’s MADE insights have been published or broadcast in more than 20 countries on six continents, with a potential audience approaching 1 billion people. In addition to being embraced by the optometry and ophthalmology communities, MADE has also been the subject of feature stories in The Washington Post, The Mirror, CTV, Health.com, The National Post, Sina.com, Lifehacker Japan, and nearly 200 other media outlets.

The MADE infographic is available in the following languages: Bosnian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

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 About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACT
Aimee J. Lewis
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838

CORE Alerts Practitioners to Mask-Associated Dry Eye (MADE)

ECPs Should Ask Patients About Symptoms, Offer Tips to Mitigate Issue

WATERLOO, Ontario, August 31, 2020—Widespread use of face masks has been determined essential to combat COVID-19’s spread, yet is giving rise to a new phenomenon: increased reports of dry, uncomfortable eyes. Experts from the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) are advising eye care professionals (ECPs) on how to recognize mask-associated dry eye (MADE) and methods to mitigate the condition.

Reports of MADE have circulated since early summer and a recent review1 concluded that eye dryness and irritation from mask wear may become a problem for a large percentage of the population.

“Face masks are crucial in the fight against COVID-19, and ECPs are well-positioned to provide patients with advice on appropriate wear in order to maximize eye comfort,” said Dr. Lyndon Jones, director of CORE. “Asking patients about their mask-wearing experiences and providing a few helpful tips takes little time and can make a substantial difference.”

MADE: What, Why and Who’s at Risk?

Masks significantly reduce the outward spread of air. However, exhaled air still needs to disperse; when a mask sits loosely against the face the likely route is upwards. This forces a stream of air over the surface of the eye, creating conditions that accelerate tear film evaporation, leading to dry spots on the ocular surface and discomfort.

In addition to worsening symptoms in patients with pre-existing dry eye disease, MADE can affect a wide-spectrum of others: the elderly who typically have a poorer quality tear film, contact lens wearers, and masked people working extended hours in air-conditioned settings and/or while using digital screens.

Beyond discomfort, MADE may encourage people to rub their eyes for temporary relief—raising the possibility of unwashed hands being brought to the face. In turn, this increases the likelihood of coronavirus infection through the mouth, nose, and to a lesser extent, the eye.

Guidance for Practitioners

CORE suggests that ECPs consider incorporating three MADE-related actions into their examination lane protocols:

  1. Consider the role of the face mask if there are worsening symptoms and signs in patients with confirmed dry eye disease, or if patients report dry, uncomfortable eyes or variable vision for the first time.
  2. Routinely ask all patients how their eyes feel while wearing a mask, since many may not think to volunteer their experiences or associate their symptoms with mask use.
  3. Provide advice on alleviating the symptoms, including using a new CORE-developed infographic to help show how a few simple steps can likely provide relief and minimize reoccurrence.

Tips for Patients

As illustrated in its new MADE infographic (available for download from COVIDEyeFacts.org), CORE recommends that mask wearers experiencing dry eye symptoms try straight-forward solutions:

  1. Ensure that a mask is worn appropriately, particularly with spectacles or sunglasses. A carefully taped top edge that does not interfere with blinking may help.
  2. Apply lubricating drops, asking their ECP for recommendations.
  3. Limit time in air-conditioned environments and take regular breaks from digital devices.

CORE experts are also been quick to state that people should first check with their eye care practitioner for advice and to rule out other cases—a good approach with any new eye-related concern.

Don’t Ditch the Mask

Dr. Jones is adamant that bringing more attention to MADE should not be used to support anti-mask wearing sentiments.

“Responsibly wearing a mask, even when having to contend with eye dryness, is a critical part of overcoming the global pandemic. The good news is that we understand MADE and can address it—an opportunity for ECPs to further communicate their knowledge and ongoing value to patients at a time when sound, scientific guidance is needed more than ever,” he noted.

# # #

About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.434.2150

  1. Moshirfar, M., West, W.B. & Marx, D.P. Face Mask-Associated Ocular Irritation and Dryness. Ophthalmol Ther 9, 397–400 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40123-020-00282-6

COPE Approved Online Event: Power of One – Roadmap to Better Contact Lens Patient Care

Presenter: Todd Ruhl: Aug 18 and Aug 19
Presenter: Gord Young: Aug 25

Comprehensive Searchable Contact Lens Database Launched in US

CORE’s Latest Contact Lens Compendium Features US Products

WATERLOO, Ontario, July 14, 2020 For the first time, the premier searchable contact lens database for eye care practitioners (ECPs)—the Contact Lens Compendium—is available for United States practitioners. With the launch of US Compendium, ECPs now have free access to the most up-to-date listing of contact lens products, including the latest parameters on lenses, solutions and rewetting drops currently available in the US market.

Maintained by the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo, this vital resource is updated regularly online and offers a variety of search options for product filtering and comparison, enabling practitioners to easily find suitable products for their patients. Manufacturers are also able to log in to update product information directly. The project is a resource of Contact Lens Update and the US version may be accessed at https://compendium.contactlensupdate.com/us.

With a few keystrokes, ECPs can quickly find and compare contact lenses across the entire universe of available products. For instance, a fitter can pull up silicone hydrogel daily disposable lens options for a patient with a -8.00D prescription in seconds, or easily query all monthly hydrogels for a hyperopic astigmat of +4.00/-2.25 x 35. The advanced search function enables exact parameters to be used, saving time and presenting perhaps otherwise overlooked possibilities.

Compendium has long been available for the Canadian market in both print and online formats. The online version has become a valuable resource for thousands of Canadian optometrists.

“As we’ve seen online usage of Compendium grow in Canada, we’ve heard from practitioners that it is their go-to resource for contact lens product information,” says Sarah Guthrie, Senior Research Scientist at CORE. “We wanted to bring that same comprehensive online reference for lenses and solutions to optometrists in the US.”

A print version will be updated annually and is available for either free download or bound hard copy purchase at https://compendium.contactlensupdate.com/us/print_version.

The Contact Lens Compendium versions exist with the financial support of both the optometric profession and the contact lens industry.

# # #

About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.434.2150

OcuBlink Introduces Synthetic Eyeballs for AR/VR Testing

Piloted with AdHawk Microsystems for Consumer Electronics and Medical Applications

WATERLOO, Ontario, June 30, 2020—OcuBlink, the developer of sophisticated eye models for ophthalmic-related testing, has introduced the first synthetic eyeball for augmented and virtual reality validation applications. The newest models have nearly identical optical properties as human eyes, including mimicking the complexity of how visible and infrared light reflects through the pupil and across the limbus. The design, engineering and manufacturing process results in an optically clear, standardized and stable eyeball that enables testing consistency.

The product is being piloted by AdHawk Microsystems to calibrate eye tracking in advanced AR/VR systems for medical and consumer electronics applications. AdHawk produces custom, wafer-scale silicon devices to accelerate the proliferation of eye tracking in a broad range of devices. Its MEMS-based eye tracker captures subtle changes in eye movement dynamics, enabling effortless, ultra-low-latency control of wearable devices while revealing people’s interests, emotional state and brain health.

AdHawk has incorporated the OcuBlink eyeballs into its round-the-clock robotic testing system to evaluate its algorithms and new devices, such as AR/VR glasses, with a high degree of replicability. This precision is required for the company’s unique microsystems that take and process thousands of measurements every second, allowing on-the-fly velocity calculations with unprecedented resolution. Since velocity profiles of saccades (the rapid involuntary movements of the eye) are highly consistent, AdHawk’s proprietary algorithms can predict where a user will look.

“By using OcuBlink synthetic eye models, AdHawk is able to run reliable, consistent tests all day, every day,” says Neil Sarkar, PhD, CEO and co-founder of AdHawk. “We can run tests remotely and when our facilities are unstaffed. We wouldn’t be able to do this work as effectively or precisely with more traditional eyeball substitutes.”

“Our innovations are advancing and accelerating how researchers, corporations, universities and others can interact with the eye,” says Chau-Minh Phan, MSc, PhD, FAAO, co-founder of OcuBlink. “This includes our OcuBlink system for on-eye fluidics testing, our Ocuball products for foreign body removal training, and now our synthetic offering for AR/VR system validation. These are fantastic products in their own right, and also serve as building blocks for even more pronounced innovations in our artificial eye pipeline.”

OcuBlink, Inc. began as an initiative of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) and now operates as an affiliate, utilizing CORE’s staffing, counsel and laboratories. In the fall of 2018, OcuBlink was accepted into Velocity, Canada’s most productive startup incubator. In 2019, OcuBlink, Inc. released Ocuball, life-like polymer-based eyeballs that reduce dependence on animal testing and are in use by optometry schools worldwide to train students in foreign body removal.

For more information, visit OcuBlink.com.

Editor’s Note: Download the full-resolution version of OcuBlink synthetic eyeballs being used by AdHawk Microsystems by clicking here.

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About OcuBlink Inc.

OcuBlink develops sophisticated in vitro eye models for ophthalmic companies to accelerate research and development of products for the eye. These include devices for studying anterior and posterior eye disease and contact lens offerings, and its platforms have already been the subject of six conference abstracts and seven papers highlighting the technology. OcuBlink is affiliated with the Centre for Ocular Research and Education (CORE), based at the School of Optometry & Vision Science, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. For more information, visit OcuBlink.com.

 

About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.434.2150

 

Dry Eye Disease: Contact Lens Update Explores “New News” Since TFOS DEWS II

TFOS global ambassadors Jennifer Craig and Scott Schachter deliver new insights relevant to the investigation and management of dry eye disease in clinical practice

WATERLOO, Ontario, June 8, 2020—The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) has published issue number 54 of its free online education magazine, Contact Lens Update. Focused on translating research into practice, this edition reviews new information and insights generated since the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society Dry Eye Workshop II (TFOS DEWS II) reports were published in 2017.

Jennifer Craig

Jennifer Craig, associate professor and head of the Ocular Surface Laboratory at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, provides an extensive update in her editorial. She describes how TFOS DEWS II has helped dry eye practice move forward, as well as covering several new and interesting avenues of research.

Scott Schachter

Scott Schachter calls on his experience running a private practice in California focused on ocular surface disease and serving as an adjunct clinical professor at Marshall B. Ketchum University. He explains the results from three papers that examine the visual impact of dry eye disease, producing clinically relevant advice for use by eye care professionals.

Both Jennifer and Scott are actively involved in generating new research in the field, and examples from both experts are shared in the conference highlight section of the issue.

Practitioner reference

The issue’s clinical insight factsheet provides important information on the use of preserved and non-preserved artificial tears. Based on an extensive literature review conducted by the Centre for Ocular Research & Education’s (CORE) Karen Walsh, professional education team leader, and Lyndon Jones, director, this update is designed to be printed and used by clinicians to guide evidence-based decisions for their dry eye patients.

Published six times per year, Contact Lens Update provides a global platform for unbiased clinical insights based in current research. Since 2011, each issue has provided dependable and up-to-date ocular health information for more than 60,000 leading eye care professionals.

In addition to a complete archive of back issues, ContactLensUpdate.com offers a resource library that provides no-cost professional tools, patient resources, images and video. It also houses complimentary technical training videos produced by International Association of Contact Lens Educators, plus an industry glossary. Industry professionals can access the latest issue directly from ContactLensUpdate.com or quickly sign up for email receipt of future issues.

The publication receives support from the educational arms of Alcon, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision.

# # #

About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.545.1815

New Paper in Clinical and Experimental Optometry Summarizes SARS-CoV-2 Interaction with the Ocular Surface

WATERLOO, Ontario, May 20, 2020—“The ocular surface, coronaviruses and COVID-19,” an extensive literature review now published in Clinical and Experimental Optometry, considers a number of questions regarding SARS-CoV-2 transmission and the ocular surface. In a complex and fast-moving subject area, the paper provides a timely and useful overview of the current evidence base, along with its relevance for clinical practice.

The authors suggest it is possible coronaviruses may not bind to ocular surface cells and initiate infection. Additionally, hypotheses that the virus could travel from the nasopharynx or through the conjunctival capillaries to the ocular surface during infection are examined.

Published May 13, the paper is available at no charge to researchers, ECPs and other health care professionals via open access at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cxo.13088.

The review is written by Mark Willcox, DSc, director of research at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW (Sydney), Karen Walsh, MCOptom, professional education team leader and clinical scientist at the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo, Jason Nichols, OD, associate vice president for research and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, Philip Morgan, PhD, director of Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester, and Lyndon Jones, DSc, director of CORE.

It follows publication of the five authors’ widely read paper in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, “The COVID-19 pandemic: Important considerations for contact lens practitioners.”

HOW TO CITE
Willcox, M.D., Walsh, K., Nichols, J.J., Morgan, P.B. and Jones, L.W. (2020), The ocular surface, coronaviruses and COVID‐19. Clin Exp Optom. doi:10.1111/cxo.13088

MEDIA CONTACT
Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
mike@mcdougallpr.com or +1-585-545-1815 (mobile)

University of Waterloo Appoints Lyndon Jones as Newest University Professor

Honour Recognizes Exceptional Scholarly Achievement for Full-Time Faculty

 WATERLOO, Ontario, April 30, 2020—The University of Waterloo has appointed Dr. Lyndon Jones, professor at its School of Optometry & Vision Science, as a University Professor. The designation is awarded to professors who exemplify exceptional scholarly achievements and international pre-eminence. It follows his appointment as a University Research Chair in 2012.

Dr. Jones is one of three faculty members across the entire University to receive the designation in 2020 from the University’s Board of Governors. He joins 18 other active, full-time faculty who currently hold the title—approximately one out of every 60 professors on campus.

In addition to his faculty position, Dr. Jones serves as director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE). His research interests primarily focus on the interaction of contact lens materials with the ocular environment, dry eye, myopia control and the development of materials for ocular drug delivery.

“Lyndon brings a unique perspective and keen insights in conducting significant inter-disciplinary research with engineers, chemists, and material scientists in both academia and industry.  He has authored over 400 refereed and professional papers, one textbook and is a co-inventor on eight patents with impressive metrics to support the impact of his efforts,” wrote School of Optometry & Vision Science Director Stan Woo in his nomination letter.

“He is tireless in his quest to lead innovation in the field of contact lens and biomaterials, and his energy inspires those around him to realize their full potential. Lyndon is a gifted speaker and educator, being equally comfortable lecturing to optometry students as he is leading discussions with graduate students and eye care practitioners.”

“It is a great privilege to be named a University Professor,” said Dr. Jones. “I am humbled and honoured to be recognized among other talented professors who have helped shape the university’s international reputation.”

Once appointed, a University Professor retains the designation for life. The School of Optometry & Vision Science’s only other recipient of the honor was Dr. Jake Sivak, who was appointed in 2007 and has since retired.

# # #

About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS
Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.545.1815

New Peer-Reviewed Paper in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye Offers Advice to Contact Lens Practitioners During COVID-19 Pandemic

Findings Help Eye Care Practitioners Provide Evidence-Based Guidance to Patients,
Including Five Important Facts for Every Contact Lens Wearer

WATERLOO, Ontario, April 13, 2020—A new peer-reviewed paper from five prominent ocular scientists will help eye care practitioners (ECPs) instruct and reassure contact lens wearers during the global COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic. Published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners” delves into multiple aspects of eye health amidst the global health crisis, with a specific emphasis on the safe use of contact lenses.

The paper and related ECP and patient resources can be accessed from COVIDEyeFacts.org

“Our findings indicate that contact lenses remain a perfectly acceptable form of vision correction during the coronavirus pandemic, as long as people observe good hand hygiene and follow appropriate wear-and-care directions,” said Dr. Lyndon Jones, director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo and the paper’s lead author. “Unfortunately, we have seen a number of erroneous reports regarding contact lenses and spectacles in recent days. Our goal is to make sure that science-backed truths are understood and shared, helping eye care practitioners provide accurate, timely counsel to patients.”

Based on the paper, CORE has developed five facts (also available as a downloadable infographic) for ECPs to share with anyone who relies on contact lenses or glasses / spectacles:

    1. People Can Keep Wearing Contact Lenses. There is currently no scientific evidence that contact lens wearers have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 compared with glasses / spectacles wearers. Patients should consult their eye care practitioners with questions.
    1. Good Hygiene Habits are Critical. Thorough handwashing and drying are essential, as well as properly wearing and caring for contact lenses, ensuring good contact lens case hygiene, and regularly cleaning glasses / spectacles with soap and water. These habits will help wearers stay healthy and out of their doctor’s office or hospital, thereby minimizing impacts on the wider healthcare system.
    1. Regular Eyeglasses / Spectacles Do Not Provide Protection. No scientific evidence supports rumors that everyday eyeglasses / spectacles offer protection against COVID-19.
    1. Keep Unwashed Hands Away from the Face. Whether people wear contact lenses, glasses / spectacles or require no vision correction at all, individuals should avoid touching their nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands, consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
    1. If You Are Sick, Temporarily Stop Wearing Contact Lenses. Contact lens wearers who are ill should temporarily revert to wearing eyeglasses / spectacles. They can resume use with fresh, new contact lenses and lens cases once they return to full health and have spoken with their eye care practitioner.

On April 8, the CDC issued updated guidance on contact lens wear during the COVID-19 pandemic, further supporting key findings from the Contact Lens & Anterior Eye paper. The CDC additionally points out that personal eyeglasses and contact lenses do not qualify as personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Contact Lens & Anterior Eye paper also reviews why management of adverse events should be retained within optometric systems, offers guidance on sleeping in contact lenses, considers wearing modalities and lens materials, and offers areas for further study.

Joining Dr. Jones as paper authors were four globally respected researchers, educators and clinicians: Dr. Karen Walsh, professional education team leader and clinical scientist at CORE, Dr. Mark Willcox, director of research at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW (Sydney), Dr. Philip Morgan, director of Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), and Dr. Jason Nichols, associate vice president for research and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry (United States) and editor-in-chief of Contact Lens Spectrum.

The latest findings complement and significantly expand on CORE advisories regarding handwashing and safe contact lens wear issued in mid-March 2020.

About CORE

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

 

Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
mike@mcdougallpr.com or +1-585-545-1815 (mobile)

Aimee J. Lewis
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1-585-414-9838 (mobile)

New Research Reassures & Advises Contact Lens Wearers During Coronavirus / COVID-19 Pandemic; Offers Clear Facts and Hygiene Advice

Peer-Reviewed Paper by Prominent Scientists Reinforces Need for Hand Washing,
Warns that Wearing Glasses / Spectacles Does Not Reduce Risk of Infection

WATERLOO, Ontario, April 13, 2020—Moving swiftly to address and correct harmful myths and misinformation, a new peer-reviewed paper from five of the world’s most prominent ocular scientists reassures contact lens wearers during the global COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic. Published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners” offers five important facts for anyone who relies on contact lenses or eyeglasses / spectacles:

    1. You Can Keep Wearing Contact Lenses. There is currently no scientific evidence that contact lens wearers have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 compared with glasses / spectacles wearers. Consult your eye care practitioner with questions.
    2. Good Hygiene Habits are Critical. Thorough handwashing and drying are essential, as well as properly wearing and caring for contact lenses, ensuring good contact lens case hygiene, and regularly cleaning glasses / spectacles with soap and water. These habits can help you stay healthy and out of your doctor’s office or hospital.
    3. Regular Eyeglasses / Spectacles Do Not Provide Protection. No scientific evidence supports rumors that everyday eyeglasses / spectacles offer protection against COVID-19.
    4. Keep Unwashed Hands Away from Your Face. Whether you wear contact lenses, glasses / spectacles or require no vision correction at all, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands, consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) and S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
    5. If You Are Sick, Temporarily Stop Wearing Contact Lenses. Contact lens wearers who are ill should temporarily revert to wearing eyeglasses / spectacles. You can resume use with fresh, new contact lenses and lens cases once you return to full health and have spoken with your eye care practitioner.

On April 8, the CDC issued updated guidance on contact lens wear during the COVID-19 pandemic, further supporting key findings from the Contact Lens & Anterior Eye paper. The CDC also points out that personal eyeglasses and contact lenses do not qualify as personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Millions of people are asking how COVID-19 affects eye care, especially since approximately two out of every three adults worldwide wear contact lenses, spectacles or eyeglasses. Unfortunately, misinformation has become widespread in recent days. Our goal is to make sure that science-backed truths are understood and shared, replacing fear with fact,” said Dr. Lyndon Jones, director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) and the paper’s lead author. “Our findings indicate that contact lenses remain a perfectly acceptable form of vision correction during the coronavirus pandemic, as long as people practice good hand hygiene and follow appropriate wear-and-care directions.”

The complete paper incorporates findings from more than 100 referenced sources. It delves into multiple aspects of ocular health amidst the pandemic, including practical advice for eye care professionals. The paper and other resources for good wear and care can be downloaded from COVIDEyeFacts.org.

This new research-based review complements and significantly expands on CORE advisories regarding handwashing and safe contact lens wear issued in mid-March 2020.

Dr. Jones is a preeminent authority on eye care, having authored more than 400 refereed and professional papers and delivered more than 1,000 lectures worldwide in over 40 countries. In 2019, he was named by Expertscape as the most published expert in the field of contact lens research.

Joining him to author the COVID-19 paper were four globally respected researchers, educators and clinicians: Dr. Karen Walsh, professional education team leader and clinical scientist at CORE, Dr. Mark Willcox, director of research at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW (Sydney), Dr. Philip Morgan, director of Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), and Dr. Jason Nichols, associate vice president for research and Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry (United States) and editor-in-chief of Contact Lens Spectrum.

About CORE

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

 

Aimee J. Lewis
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1-585-414-9838 (mobile)

Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
mike@mcdougallpr.com or +1-585-545-1815 (mobile)