Carole Maldonado-Codina is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester and Associate Director of the Eurolens Research group. In these roles she is responsible for contact lens teaching on the undergraduate Optometry degree program, supervises postgraduate students and acts as Principal Investigator on research projects.
Presented at the American Academy of Optometry meeting, Boston 2021, this poster explores satisfaction with different forms of visual correction when used in conjunction with a face mask
Carole Maldonado-Codina, Maria Navascues-Cornago, Aftab Mirza, Andrew J Plowright, Sarah L Smith, Michael L Read, Jose Vega, Gary N Orsborn and Philip B Morgan
Purpose: The COVID-19 global pandemic has seen a significant increase in the use of personal face masks (PFMs) in the general population and there has been a plethora of anecdotal reports suggesting that PFM use with spectacles is difficult. This work set out to investigate: i) satisfaction with vision correction and ii) ease of use of a PFM in a group of spectacle wearers and a group of neophyte soft contact lens wearers.
Methods: Thirty subjects were randomized to either continue wearing their spectacles (n=15) or be fitted with somofilcon A daily disposable contact lenses (n=15) (‘group’). All subjects were required to wear a disposable PFM (Type II R surgical) for at least one hour per day on four or more days per week. After two weeks, subjects completed a PFM usability questionnaire (5-category response scale), the Quality-of-Life Impact of Refractive Correction Questionnaire (QIRC) (5-category response scale) and answered various questions on their experience with their vision correction (using 0-100 visual analogue grading scales). QIRC scores were converted to Rasch weighted scores to fit a 0-100 scale. Overall QIRC scores were compared between the two groups using a linear mixed model and individual questions were compared using Mann-Whitney U tests.
Results: Differences in favor of the contact lenses were seen for the following in the PFM questionnaire: ‘breathing’, ‘heat’, ‘comfort on ears’, ‘overall comfort’, ‘walking’, ‘driving’, ‘reading’, ‘computer use’, ‘exercising’ and ‘socializing’ (all p<0.05). There was no difference between the two groups for the overall QIRC score but the following individual question scores reflected better quality of life in the contact lens wearers: ‘outdoor activities’, ‘keep fit’ and ‘able to do things’ (all p<0.05). Significant differences were also seen for the 0-100 VAS symptoms probing vision quality in favor of the contact lenses: distance and near vision, fogging, restricted field of view and peripheral blur.
Conclusion: This work supports anecdotal reports that contact lenses are a better vision correction option than spectacles when wearing PFMs. Subjects report a range of benefits to the contact lens/face mask combination for vision and various day-to-day activities including walking and driving. The vision findings suggest that contact lenses should be the preferred vision correction option for people using face masks.