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The influence of face masks on the dispersion of bacteria towards the ocular surface was investigated in patients with several conditions related to masking: 1) no mask, 2) incorrect mask use covering mouth but not nose, 3) correct mask use covering both nose and mouth, and 4) correct mask use covering both nose and mouth and sealed with paper tape at the top of the mask. Findings suggest no significant difference in bacterial dispersion when wearing the mask correctly vs with the addition of a paper tape seal.
Sealing the top of the mask provided no major benefit over correct mask use without sealing. This information is significant for those doing intravitreal injections.
– Kathleen F. Freeman, OD, FAAO
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Taping the superior aspect of patient masks qualitatively decreases air flow and bacterial dispersion towards the ocular surface while inappropriately worn masks both qualitatively and quantitatively increase bacterial dispersion towards the ocular surface.