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A round-up of the eye-related hot topics that have been trending on social media over the last few weeks.


#Trufflesthekitty #Visionambassador #glassescat #ambylopiaawarness

Truffles the Kitty was recently featured on Good Morning America [1]. Save the cute kitty footage for a bad day! Truffles was the kitten of a stray cat, found when the owner Danielle, an optician, was at a church camp. Truffles seemed to be more interactive than most cats at an early age, so Danielle wondered whether Truffles would try wearing glasses as her ‘next trick’ [2]. It turns out Truffles was rather keen on this, and Danielle soon discovered that Truffles’ glasses-wearing trick put her paediatric patients at ease and helped build children’s confidence with wearing glasses. Truffles also helps demonstrate amblyopia patching for children, which helps introduce in a relatable approach to what can be a scary concept for children to patch over their good eye for the first time. Furthermore, Truffles helps to advocate good eyecare on her social media pages [3-5]

!#one-eyedcat #mid-flight #Deltaairlines

A one-eyed cat went viral on TikTok, racking up 13.8 million views at the time of writing [6]. The person documenting this caught a very amusing in-flight announcement: “Send a call button or check your bag. Your cat is not in your bag.” To add to the comedy, the cat appeared to be snuggling down comfortably in a corner beside a trolley when this announcement came on.

#lipglosseyes #glazedeyeshadow

Ah TikTok, where questionable beauty trends begin. We had the banana peel facial hack, sunscreen contouring (not advisable!), and now lip gloss for the eyes. The winter saw the rise of Hailey Bieber’s (in)famous glazed doughnut nails. Heck, even I was eventually swayed. The glazed doughnut nail trend then became a glazed eyeshadow trend, and one way to achieve this is to apply lip gloss as eyeshadow. This is really ill-advised, despite the editorial effect it achieves. Firstly, there can be colourants and other ingredients that, while safe for application on lips, are not safe to be applied near the eye, where they could enter it [7]. There is also potential for oral microbes to enter the eye, which could cause infections, particularly if the product is being used for both lips and eyes. Bacterial / viral conjunctivitis (‘pink eye’) is normally not regarded as serious, but the cold sore virus, Herpes simplex, could be transferred to the eyes, and this is a much more serious infection. I would steer clear of the lip gloss version and use eyeshadows designed to create this shiny, chrome-like effect [8].

#malebeauty #huntereyes #sexycheetah

Men, don’t think you’re getting away that lightly! The latest male beauty trend is ‘hunter eyes’ [9]. On TikTok the hashtag #huntereyes has 106.3 million views and counting [10]. What exactly are these? They are akin to ‘fox eyes’ for women [11]. Essentially, these are narrow, deep-set, hooded eyes with a positive canthal tilt (tilting up at the lateral canthus) [9]. Supposedly this eye shape is more appealing to women, because it resembles those found in apex predators – those at the top of the food chain – such as cheetahs or tigers. The surgical fix is to get a canthoplasty, a procedure that anchors the lateral canthus to the orbital rim and is used in the cosmetic context to correct sagging lower lid structures, or less commonly to create a more ‘almond / hunter / fox’ shaped eye [12]. As with many other beauty trends on TikTok, this one comes with some misinformation. The current top video when searching #huntereyes on TikTok is a video with exercises on how to achieve hunter eyes by retraining the muscles used to achieve this aesthetic [13]. ‘Glow up tips for boys’ claims hunter eyes can be achieved by stretching and pulling the skin in the eye area [9]. This would only serve to accelerate the development of eye area wrinkles and sagging from loss of elasticity. And apparently mewing, which is flattening one’s tongue against the roof of the mouth, will re-define the jaw and result in hunter eyes.

#probiotics #dryeye

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have presented fascinating findings at the American Society for Microbiology 2023 meeting. They found in a mouse model that oral supplementation of probiotics containing the Limosilactobacillus reuteri DSM17938 strain, which is a human-derived, commercially available strain, has potentially protective effects against dry eye symptoms [14,15]. The mice were first treated with antibiotics to eliminate the gut microbiome, then exposed to dry conditions and fed a solution containing either saline or the probiotic bacteria. After five days, the mice fed the probiotic solution had healthier corneal surfaces with more conjunctival goblet cells, which produce the mucinous part of tears, suggesting that probiotic supplementation with this probiotic bacterial strain may potentially treat dry eye symptoms [14,15]. We await human studies with anticipation.

#iPhoneiOS17 #screendistance

Screen Distance is a new feature in iPhone iOS 17. It measures the distance between the screen and the user’s eyes, without capturing any images or video, to help the user maintain a healthy distance from the screen. The data captured is kept on the device and not shared with Apple. They claim that it may help reduce the risk of myopia [16]. However, the association between screen time and myopia has not been proven [17]. Nevertheless, it is an interesting addition to the iOS system.


On a separate note, I am stepping down as Section Editor of the What’s Trending section. As the first editor of this section, it has been a privilege and great fun to help shape its tone and direction, and I am always humbled by who is reading this little segment. While I will no longer be involved at Eye News, I am sure that I will see you soon.




[all links last accessed July 2023]




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Stephanie Chiu

Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.

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