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Week in Review: Bus Stop Locator App, Drive-Through IOP Measurements, Dry Eye and Sleep Issues





Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma

A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

A smartphone app helps vision-impaired people to locate bus stops. The micronavigation app All_Aboard, developed by researchers at the Schepens Institute of Mass Eye and Ear, works in conjunction with standard GPS systems to aid blind and visually impaired people in safely locating bus stops. When All_Aboard is opened, it uses the smartphone’s camera to detect bus stop signs and then provides audio prompts to guide the user to their destination. A field evaluation found that All_Aboard had greater success than Google Maps in finding the actual physical location of bus stops around Boston. Dr. Gang Luo, a member of the research team, said “Our findings suggest that the All_Aboard app could help travelers with visual impairments in navigation by accurately detecting the bus stop. . . . greatly reducing their chance of missing buses.” Mass Eye and Ear; Translational Vision Science & Technology

Drive-through services for glaucoma measurement are convenient, but are not fully reliable. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center offered drive-through IOP measurements, using a handheld iCare tonometer. When these drive-through IOP measurements were compared with those of the same patients’ in-clinic IOP measurements, the drive-through measurements were a mean of 2.1 mm Hg higher across both eyes. In total, 68.6% of all drive-through measurements were higher than clinic measurements. As overestimation of IOP could lead to overaggressive treatment, the authors recommend further optimization of handheld tonometer devices, protocols, and measurements. Journal of Glaucoma

Having dry eye symptoms makes it difficult to sleep. In this cross-sectional study of 141 people (87% male) seen at the eye clinic of the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center, all participants completed the 19-item Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire; higher PSQI scores indicate worse sleep quality. Seventy-seven participants were found to have dry eye (DE) symptoms; in general, this group had worse self-reported sleep quality than the participants without DE symptoms. Sleep disturbances were closely associated with ocular pain intensity and other Ocular Surface Disease Index metrics, but were not associated with DE surface signs (e.g., eyelid laxity, anterior blepharitis). The authors conclude that addressing both DE symptoms and sleep disturbances when they are identified could help reduce sleeping problems while improving mental health. BMJ Open Ophthalmology



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