The "Quarantine Dry Eye": The Lockdown for Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Its Implications for Ocular Surface Health.
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led many countries of the world to impose a series of containment measures such as lockdowns (mass quarantines), curfews or similar restrictions (eg, stay-at-home orders, or shelter-in-place orders). All these restrictions were established in order to limit spread of COVID-19. Thus, approximately 3.9 billion people worldwide were under lockdown by early April 2020. During this time (home confinement), some solutions have been proposed by experts to improve work and school productivity, including smart working and online school lessons. However, many of the restrictive measures are likely to act as predisposing factors for dry eye disease (DED), directly or related to sick building syndrome (SBS). Herein, we discuss the implications of quarantine measures on eye health, in particular on DED associated with SBS, and introduce some potential preventive strategies for lockdown-related ocular surface disorders. Several risk factors are implicated in their pathogenesis, including environmental changes (eg, air quality) and modifications in personal behaviors (eg, the abuse of digital devices, malnutrition, and sleep/psychiatric disorders). Considering a number of predisposing factors for DED, it is possible to state that patients under lockdown are at risk of ocular surface alterations. Accordingly, the COVID-19 pandemic era is expected to determine an increase in dry eye patients all around the world (a new phenomenon that we propose to name the "quarantine dry eye") in the event that the restrictive measures will be recursively extended over time.