The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) has announced the launch of its next global workshop, ‘A Lifestyle Epidemic: Ocular Surface Disease’.
"The world around us has changed unbelievably and our behaviours reflect that transformation,” said TFOS executive director Amy Gallant Sullivan. “Today, for example, tens of millions of people are at home, managing excessive-screen-time due to virtual classrooms and teleworking, due to the Covid-19 school and office closures. The new TFOS workshop will focus on how eye problems are increasingly linked to our lifestyle choices, what we do to ourselves, from technology use, to our beauty routines, to what we eat, to where we live.”
The World Health Organisation’s recently released 2019 World Report on Vision also reported eye problems being increasingly linked to lifestyle choices. Behaviours are causing a number of health issues leading to chronic non-infectious diseases resulting in a diminishing quality of life and sometimes near life-threatening consequences, it said.
Similarly, a Dutch study - The relationship between occupation and dry eye - underlined the importance of asking about a dry eye patient’s occupation. “Screening for symptomatic dry eye in high-risk occupations, such as building workers and indoor occupations with high screen use, is relevant from an occupational health and work productivity perspective,” said the authors. The multicentre study, published by Ocular Surface, showed a lower risk of dry eye in outdoor and active occupations, with authors recommending future studies to investigate its potential protective and treatment effects.
Associate Professor Jennifer Craig, head of the Ocular Surface Laboratory at the University of Auckland, has been named chair of the new TFOS workshop*. Subcommittees of the workshop and subsequent report will focus on digital eye strain, cosmetics, nutrition, self 'iatrogenesis,' environment, lifestyle challenges, contact lenses, societal challenges and public awareness.